12seconds.tv rolls into public beta, launches iPhone application

When we wrote about 12seconds.tv back in July of this year, we called it the “real video Twitter“. Rather than droning on for 19 hours on what they had for lunch, users of 12seconds.tv have – you guessed it – 12 seconds to get their point across on video.

Later this morning, 12seconds will be making the transition from invite-only alpha to public beta, opening their registration to all. They are also debuting a brand new iPhone application, which mixes things up a bit to allow users to create new 12seconds posts without violating Apple’s policies against recording video.

Due to API restrictions in place with the iPhone SDK, developers are currently unable to implement video recording functionality into their app without relinquishing any hope that the release will make it into Apple’s App Store, damning their offerings to the land of the jailbreak. As a next-best-thing solution, 12seconds has come up with a fairly crafty alternative to video for iPhone users: slideshows.

After plugging in their login credentials, users are asked to hand over three photos (either from their photo library, or snapped on the spot), and then record 12 seconds of audio to act as narration for the slideshow. The application then throws the photos together, dubs the audio on top, and publishes it online with the title and tags you punched in. Check out the video demonstration down below. It’s not the ultimate solution, but it’s about as good as it gets until Cupertino catches up with their user base’s desires and changes their policies on video recording.

The 12seconds application will set you back 99¢ which, while it won’t hurt your laundry fund, seems a bit odd. iPhone applications purposed for use with specific social sites tend to be offered up gratis as a method of bringing new users to the service. It seems like attaching a price tag to the application would limit the customer base to those already familiar enough with 12seconds to hand over a buck.

That said, I’d imagine that 12seconds will already be seeing a lot of growth over the next few weeks with registration opening up. If the iPhone app is a success with 12seconds users, it should start moving up Apple’s promotional app lists, which might just get it in front of enough eyes to cancel out any limiting effects of the entry fee.