I'm often asked if video is just too difficult for people to really do. Well the chances are that your team and customers have likely already started creating video. This months Ice Bucket Challange, raising money for ALS, shows that it is not video that is the challenge, but getting the correct incentivisation.

With over 3 million videos created by everyday people, and $41 million raised for ALS - the impact of user generated video, done right, cannot be ignored.

Stats from the top 10.

There are far more than 10 video platforms, but we’ve narrowed it down to our favourite 10, the most commonly used, the most impactful, and the most potential. In no particular order, lets start with an old friend:

1. Skype

Now in its 11th year, Skype has had one of, if not, the, greatest impact on video as a communication tool. Of its 300 million active users, 4.9million sign in daily, and 76% of these account holders are over the age of 24. Skype serves both the consumer market, connecting families and friends, but also the business market, and we use it on a daily basis for face to face global calls.

2. Instagram

Instagram only recently launched video functionality in June 2014, however, due to its 200 million active users already creating visual content in the form of images, it is due to become a big player in the video space. Currently at around 8% of posts, Videos are limited to 15 seconds of creative beauty.

3. WhatsApp

WhatsApp became the first Video ready platform to reach the benchmark of 500 million active users in April 2014. Whats even more impressive is that 70% of its users are active daily. Predominantly a messaging service, with 50 billion messages processed each day, WhatsApp’s media sharing is on the rise, with daily shares of 700 million images, 200 million voice recordings & 100 million videos, limited to 90 seconds.

4. Vine

Unlike Instagram and WhatsApp, 100% of Vine users make video, so though a smaller user base, the platform sees more than 1 million of its 6 second videos produced each day. This 6 second limit does tend to see Vine used by a more creative audience. With 271 million users on Twitter there is definitely room for growth.

5. YouTube

Launched in 2005, YouTube did for amateur video publishers, what Skype did for video conversationalists, in championing the user generated video industry for entertainment. YouTube is predominantly accessed by casual viewers, but still boasts an impressive 300 million registered users, and though not all necessarily create video, a high proportion of these do.

6. Weixin / WeChat

WeChat is to China, what WhatsApp is to the Western world, and boasts almost as many active users at 450 million, 40% more users than the US population. As with WhatsApp, most content generated on WeChat is text & images, yet video use is growing day by day.

7. Oovoo

Born out of Israel, Oovoo, though less well known, has a healthy 100 million active users for its video chat service. 30% of its users are over 35, showing a good range of demographic penetration.

8. Apple Facetime

Apples native video chat platform Facetime, can be found on all IOS devices. Sources claim a user base of 250 million, however that said, it is difficult to know how many of these users are active. Great for IOS users as it is free, Facetime’s stumbling block comes from not being available on other mobile OS.

9. Google Hangouts

The Ying to Facetime’s Yang is Google Hangouts. Boasting a potential user base of 540 million users, as all of Google account holders have access. It is difficult however to see current activity, and how many users are active on the system. One of the major benefits of Hangouts are its extensions beyond simple calls to conference calling and Webinars, a big plus for business users.

10. GoPro

Not strictly a “platform”, GoPro still deserves an honorable mention. Whilst they may not boast the numbers that the online services can reach, in an industry declining by 30% a year (compact cameras), GoPro has bucked the trend and experienced 100% year on year growth, taking the value of the business into the billions. GoPro’s success arises by providing access to video capability in extreme situations, and 4 million more people are putting serious effort into creating video in 2014, that likely were not before. The 5th largest brand channel on YouTube at 1.8 million subscribers, GoPro take video outside the comfort of our homes, and I’ve a feeling they are just getting started.

A few video stats from our books...

We see a lot of daily outreach for gathering user generated video, and possibly the most impressive stat we have, is that when asked in the correct manner, 85% of people are willing to be on camera, a far cry from the “barrier” many brands believe video presents.

Second to this, the majority of Verbate respondents are over the age of 30, highlighting that video is by no means a medium for the SnapChat generation.

Perhaps in reflection of this, most respondents are not actually active on smartphone video apps such as Instgram or Vine, however they are using technologies such as Skype & Video conferencing on desktops & tablets or non app technologies like Verbate.

A final note on the state of UGV penetration

In short, many of your customers, your team, have already started creating video, be it for entertainment, communication or pleasure. Our estimation of adult smartphone users that have created video content is at least 35%, as of 2014 Q3. By 2015 we expect this number to have crossed the 50% barrier.

So again, the question really is not “if” your customers & team are comfortable with video, but what will inspire them to create this content. If you can leverage passion and a cause, like the ice bucket challenge, you are surely onto a winning strategy.

User numbers for our top 10 list.

The statistics and numbers have been sourced from a number of sources:
Wall Street DailyDigital trendsTechcrunchSkypenumerologyAdWeekMashableTelegeographyEconsultancyFool.comWearesocialThe VergeDMR - Digital Marketing Ramblings  &  Statista.com