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Smule vies for the 'Instagram of video' crown with new Strum app

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Strum iOS
Strum iOS

Just one day after Viddy launched its Instagram-influenced video app for Android, Smule is the latest developer attempting to replicate the photo platform's meteoric rise. The result of that effort is Strum, a new app that lets users record and share 15-second clips. Much like Viddy, you can apply a variety of visual filters to those videos. But as you'd expect from the company behind I Am T-Pain, there's also a heavy emphasis on audio. Smule is leveraging what it's learned from a broad portfolio of music apps and applying those lessons to video sharing. Each filter within Strum offers an accompanying audio track that acts as a soundtrack to your movie. Much like the visual overlays, these music samples are often over-the-top, but you can always choose to upload untouched videos instead.

Using Strum purely as a social platform is a bit of a mixed bag. User profiles are nearly identical to those you'll find Instagram, though it's hard to fault Smule for sticking to a successful formula. And like Instagram, a "featured" section of the app collects popular clips for easy viewing. But until you build a substantial list of users to follow, Strum's social side can feel a bit hollow. Watching uploaded clips is extremely quick though, requiring little in the way of buffering over both Wi-Fi and LTE. Strum faces the same challenges that Viddy and other developers are contending with; whether anyone can truly become the Instagram of video remains to be seen, but the list of companies vying for the crown is growing quickly. Smule is available as a free download in the App Store now.