Qik

Qik is useful video sharing app for smart phones. It lets you upload and share videos recorded from your iPhone, Android phone or Blackberry with ease.

Qik's homepage

A free version of Qik (pronounced 'Quick') can be downloaded from iTunes or the Android Market. But before you can start recording and sharing videos you have to set up a Qik account. If the thought of having to remember yet another username and password combination doesn’t hold much appeal, you also have the option of signing up via Twitter or Facebook.

Once your account is set up, recording a video is as easy as opening the app, choosing the ‘Record and Share’ option and pressing the big red ‘Record’ button. There is no limit to how long your recording can be, but keep in mind that uploading videos cuts deeply into your data allowance. I’ve found that when recording on normal quality, a thirty second video takes up about 3MB.

Left: While Qik also allows video chats, its recording and sharing capabilities are what makes it most interesting to journalists. Right: The recording screen (with some subtle product placement). Hold your mobile horizontally while filming for best results.
Left: While Qik also allows video chats, its recording and sharing capabilities are what makes it most interesting to journalists. Right: The recording screen (with some subtle product placement). Hold your mobile horizontally while filming for best results.

Once you finish recording, the video will automatically start uploading to Qik’s servers. If you are attempting to upload a video from somewhere without Wi-Fi access or 3G coverage, Qik will store your video in your phone’s internal memory until it can tap into a sufficient Internet connection.

Videos you record and upload are by default public, but you also have the option of making videos private. This can be achieved by ‘locking’ the video before you film it or while it is being uploaded. That way you can share the video with only a selected group of people or revise it first before making the decision on whether to publish.

Once it has finished uploading, a video can be found on your Qik account. You can then embed the Qik video on a blog or web page using the embed code the service provides. For example, here's a test video we filmed yesterday:

This video can also be viewed on our Qik channel.

However, to make your videos easier to find you can connect Qik with your Facebook or Twitter accounts. That way, your videos can be posted on your Facebook wall or tweeted out to your followers. You can also set up your account so that any videos you record are also uploaded to your YouTube channel (which is what we have done for our test video).

Left: Qik videos can be shared on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. You can also adjust the default sharing settings.
Left: Qik videos can be shared on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. You can also adjust the default sharing settings.

After a video has been recorded Qik does not allow you to make any edits to it, which means the resource is best for live reporting. For example, if news were to break and you only had your phone on you, a Qik video could be a great way to capture what’s happening and get the footage out to audiences quickly. The app’s social media connectivity also ensures that your video will be appearing where people can find it.

If you're tempted to try out some mobile journalism and are looking for an easy way to record and share videos using your smartphone, Qik has a lot of potential.