Tout: The Next Big Thing in Social Media?

Earlier this summer basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal set fire to a new type of social media. Could it be the future of the web?

Check us out on Tout right here!

My dreams were as big as Shaquille O’Neal… Until he shattered them like a backboard.

"Well we did it, 19 years baby," Shaq said as my head sank lower into my palms. "I’m telling you first, I’m about to retire."

I wasn’t upset about Shaq retiring from professional basketball, but rather it was the way he told his fans.

Shaq announced his retirement on a new social media platform, that he endorses, called Tout. A social media platform that was my idea… or at least I thought it was.

A few months ago I came up with, what I thought was a brilliant and original idea. A site similar to Twitter, but instead of posting updates with words, the user would use only video to create a status.

Meet Tout.

Like most of my original ideas, it apparently wasn’t original. With the Internet evolving on a day-by-day basis, any web-based idea needs quick action to launch ahead of the competition.  Other than asking my friends and family what they thought of my idea, my action was pretty much nil.
Shaq announced his retirement June 1 on Tout, and 500,000 views (in three hours) later, my idea was blocked. Stuffed, more like it. Swatted up into the fourth row.

Tout, which launched in mid-April, describes its website as "Life’s moments." Users upload 15-second-or-less videos to share important moments with their friends, family, followers, etc. Shaq stumbled upon the phone app and was instantly intrigued.

He contacted Tout and said he would endorse the company if he was able to get a small portion of the ownership. That small portion eventually may turn out to be big,  since the 7’1” future hall-of-famer frequently Tweets Tout links to his 4.1 million Twitter followers.

The idea for Tout arose when founder and CEO Michael Downing recognized Twitter and blogs were lacking the visual experience.

"Not everybody has witty and well-crafted writing skills to express themselves in blogs or Tweets, but we all have unique visual perspective and, these perspectives will be the basis of a new form of conversation and storytelling moving forward," Downing said.

However, the idea has not fully caught on yet. Shaq has just over 5,000 followers on Tout, which is around one percent of his Twitter following. History tells us Tout will catch on (print to television, Youtube, etc.), but it just may need another larger-than-life star to enjoy retirement on it.

Hey Randy Moss, Tout me. Quick.

Follow aideMMedia on Tout

Will Tout be the future of social media?

by Eli Baldrige