Editor’s note: This blog is part of a series of guest posts from my social media students at Eastern Michigan University. Follow the conversations at #sm379 and @ginaluttrell.
By Joe Sloan
Besides being easy to understand, fun, and a quite useful video-sharing social media website, the word tout is also super easy to rhyme.
I could go on for days:
Tout is about shout outs, reaching out, and developing your professional clout. If you’re a lout you might not have figured out why Tout is the coolest thing since Bell’s Stout. But don’t pout ‘cause you’re not out and about like a social media scout. You will no doubt soon become a devout Tout standout by reading this free knockout virtual handout about the new video-sharing route known simply as “Tout.”
I was introduced to Tout a few months ago through a wonderful public relations-based internship that I’m working on completing. Since then I’ve followed others using Tout, spent a lot of time researching it for this blog and my internship, and discovered some pretty interesting stuff.
Also JSYK, you can get the Tout app for free at the IPhone app store. It’s also available on that weird Android thingy. You can also visit and use Tout.com from your computer or tablet.
Tout is a lot like Twitter but based on video instead of 140 characters. Not to say Twitter doesn’t use video, it’s got Vine. There is a big difference however, one that I think is quite important specifically when considering PR or Journalism. While Vine limits its videos to six seconds, Tout offers 15. That’s a whole lot of extra time which can be very useful when communicating things to others.
Yea I know, Instagram gives you 15 seconds and even offers those cool filters and all that artsy-fartsy stuff. I’m still not dissuaded. When was the last time you hopped on Instagram looking for news?
My point exactly.
Tout isn’t solely for news and you can use it for whatever you want, but lots of news organizations are now making very good use of Tout.
Who you ask?
Well… The Wall Street Journal. C-SPAN. CBS. The BBC. The L.A. Times. NPR. USA Today. Even FOX is in on the action. Also these others, just to name a few more:
Tout has a few attributes that I think give it serious potential in the social media world. Here are some pros when it comes to using Tout:
- Tout is super easy to start using. Simply go to Tout.com and click sign up. You can also sign up using your Twitter or Facebook account which makes it even easier. Fill in a few quick things and BAM, you’ve got a Tout account.
- Tout is a breeze to operate. On your IPhone hit the Tout icon on the home screen, touch the camera icon, then press the “Touch to Record” button. BOOM, you are now recording a Tout. Yes it’s that easy.
- When you’re done creating your Tout, publishing it is easy as pie. Simply touch submit, write a little caption or whatever and include any relevant hashtags (yes, they use hashtags), then hit submit again. KAZAAM! You just Touted.
- You can also share Touts through many of the current social media platforms. With one click you can post your video to Facebook, Tweet it, Google+ it, share it on Instagram, toss it on a Pinterest board, Hyperlink it, or embed it in a blog like this!
- Tout also allows you to respond to other Touts via more Touts, which makes it very easy to have a kind of virtual, face-to-face conversation with others. Kinda like video texting maybe?
Tout isn’t perfect though. Here are a few cons when it comes to the video sharing service:
- It competes with Facebook and Twitter. Regardless of the actual quality and value of Tout, Facebook and Twitter have a lot more money to spend convincing people to use their video services instead of Tout. Challenging competition to say the least.
- Tout has a very public financial partnership with the WWE pro wrestling organization. Sorry, but I’m REALLY not a fan. I just don’t like pro wrestling (except for Hulk Hogan. That guy rocks, minus the infidelity and steroid use. ‘Merica.) This partnership may help Tout financially, but having to occasionally sort through Touts about that pro wrestling nonsense just bugs me.
- Tout has yet to really pick up steam in terms of becoming a legitimate presence on social media. It is much less recognized than Vine and Instagram.
- Last but not least, Tout is a bit rough around the edges when it comes to searching for specific content. It’s difficult to use Tout to search for information like you would on YouTube or the like.
I hope this blog gives you a feel for the ins and outs of Tout. I could keep talking about Touts but I’m no lout.
One last thing. Check out this Tout about how I went about spouting out this blog about Tout.