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The Velfie - India Embrace the Latest Social Media Craze


I know what you're wondering - is this seriously a thing? Oh my yes, with the advent of Dubsmash and other pretenders, 'Velfies' (that's video selfies to you and me) are becoming the latest craze. It's gained a lot of momentum in India, where the actual Velfie app was developed. It's very similar to Dubsmash, enabling you to pick a famous quote or song excerpt and lip-sync along to it, but it offers a far wider range of features and sharing options.

There's another Indian app called Frankly which is based around the idea, but without the lip-syncing. Frankly is more based around a question/answer messaging format, allowing users to send short videos to each other as a means of communication, as opposed to the standard, ongoing feed of something like face time. I'm not sure whether or not this is necessarily better, but it's certainly a new way of approaching social networking.

India have embraced this concept so widely that they might be morphing into a blueprint for an upcoming global social media revolution. Equally though, it could just remain isolated or pull a laser-disc and awkwardly shuffle into the background. For the time being though, it's massive over there. Tech firms have started conducting interviews in Velfie format, celebrities have started posting them as a kind of '30 seconds a day' video diary and they've been used to run Q&A sessions with politicians.

Advertisers are also jumping on it. In order to promote the recent Indian film Gabbar is Back, fans were challenged to send in Velfies of themselves lip-syncing their favourite lines from the movie, vying for the chance to meet the film's star, Akshay Kumar. The minds behind Velfie are hoping that with time the app will develop into its own, fully fledged social network, placing it even further ahead of Dubsmash. A live-streaming function is also allegedly on the to-do list.

This does, in a way, seem like yet another logical progression in the media messaging saga. We talked recently about how GIFs were overtaking emojis as a communication format because they allow people to more easily convey body language (whilst also referencing all their favourite memes and shows) and Velfies take it one step further by just provided a raw feed, eliminating the need to emulate body language at all.

It also feels a lot more personal, however disjointed it might be. Think about it, you're unlikely to ever get the chance to speak directly to any massive politicians or celebrities over Skype, but sending a Velfie and getting one back is a distinct possibility. It's as much an indication of India's growing advancement into the world of social media as anything else, but I don't think Velfies are going anywhere fast, so keep the term in mind, silly as it is.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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The Velfie - India Embrace the Latest Social Media Craze Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, July 17, 2015 Rating: 5

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