Beet is a social video app for iOS that lets you take quick videos you can share in the form of Stories. And no, it’s not the same as Snapchat.
The app’s founders have a very different goal – to help people regain online spontaneity by telling the stories of their life through quick and emotive, montage-style video clips.
Each video can only be six seconds long and you can add as many clips to it as you can fit.
Your profile displays all of your moments (unless you’ve deleted them) in circular icons and any new Stories you create are displayed in diamond shape icons to differentiate.
You can choose to have your profile on private or public and you can share your videos with people in messages or via email and WhatsApp, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites.
There are no editing tools; the videos simply act as hints to your memory of specific moments so you can remember and relive the full story for yourself.
My first impression of the app is that it’s not about amassing thousands of followers or a verified account, it’s about capturing meaningful moments and sharing them with people who matter.
As I said, it’s about capturing and sharing moments; whether these are special occasions or everyday events, that’s up to you.
All of your moments go into a Story called ‘Life’ on your profile and you can create sub-Stories as well as you capture things, which makes it easier to manage your clips.
I imagine the app will particularly appeal to people with young children who might want to share milestones and even just general updates with family elsewhere. For that, it’s perfect.
Otherwise, it could be used to show your friends your holiday adventures, your new home or anything really.
For me, I’m relocating to a new country next week so I plan to use it to capture some moments of the move and my new apartment to show my family who aren’t on Facebook or any social networking sites.
One of my favourite things about the app is the style of content that seems to be taking over so far. Users are embracing the personal element of the app, and when you use the Discover page, you get a real sense of knowing more about people from the insights provided by their Stories.
I think that’s helped greatly by the fact that still images are a no-no on Beet; it only allows video clips.
The six second limit obviously draws inspiration from Vine, but with a different agenda. The montage style makes Beet’s content appeal on a more liminal level as it occupies a space between images and videos, aiming to trigger a memory rather than encapsulate it.
When you sign up you’re shown suggested accounts to follow and any of your Facebook friends who are on it, if you’ve chosen to log in with your account.
Your main view is the timeline page and it features content by people you follow from the previous 48 hours.
When you’re watching someone’s video, you can tap to skip or double-tap to give ‘karma’, which is similar to upvoting or liking a post.
There’s a Discovery feed where you can view trending Stories and new clips every day, as well as a news style story – Today on Beet – that showcases the latest posts.
One neat feature is that you have the option to keep your videos individual to you, but you can also create group Stories with your friends, family or other users on the app.
If you choose to start a group post, you’ll have the option to moderate any clips that go into it.
Beet is straightforward to use and doesn’t take long to get addicted to, trust me. The element of truthfulness in its content, that’s still saved and not ephemeral, makes it refreshing to use. And the design on its own is functional as well as stylish.
While I still have Snapchat on my homescreen, Beet has taken over in recent days and I reckon I won’t be deleting it anytime soon.
If you’re tiring of Snapchat’s ephemerality and looking for a creative way to share or record your experiences in a way that a photo can’t capture, then Beet is an app worth getting.
It’s free to download on iOS and an Android version is in the works.