The emphasis on real-time, online communications has grown tremendously over the past few years with social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook storming the Internet.
Moving beyond text-based communications, the next step in real-time communications is video, of course.
Tout is a mobile video tool designed for capturing and sharing short video status updates via Twitter or Facebook.
Available for free in the iPhone App store, the app allows for point and shoot 15-second clips to send to the social networks.
The current climate of the Internet is primarily based on engagement and relationship building.
However, video facilitates a whole new level of engagement within these social networks, in what Tout describes as a "visual conversation."
"Some moments in life just can’t be reflected in text. Tout delivers ‘life as it happens’ in full-motion color and sound, as opposed to 'life as it’s written in 140 characters or less'," explains Tout founder and CEO Michael Downing.
"Not everybody has witty and well-crafted writing skills to express themselves in blogs or Tweets, but we all have unique visual perspective and, these perspectives will be the basis of a new form of conversation and storytelling moving forward."
And Tout user Stephen Fishbach, a finalist on CBS’s Survivor, says the app helps him give followers an "instantaneous window" into his world.
"[It] literally enables them to see what I see, is incredibly powerful, and lets me build new kinds of relationships with my community."
Twitter and Facebook will undoubtedly see more of these video sharing tools, as creative minds develop new ways to engage within various social communities.
Yes, apps like BubbleTweet and Zkatter currently exist, but those, along with Tout, may run into problems down the line as Twitter threatens to restrict third party engagement within the site.
For example, Twitter has already made plans to remove third party ads from the site and will probably one-day integrate its own video sharing tool.
Although a Twitter intervention is solely speculative, there is no doubt online engagement will move beyond text-based and picture communication into the video realm.