Red Bull Disruptive Social Tool Squashes Character Limits

Marketing Communication News
Red Bull's newest social media tool, Shout/out, utilises speed reading to bypass the restrictive 140-character limit on Twitter. The tool was created with music and sports fans in mind, targeting those who value real-time communication without imposition, in-the-moment sharing without restraint.
Shout/out went public for the first time at GLA x LDN in Glasgow, a part of Red Bull's Music Academy UK Tour. Created by London-based The Marketing Store, the tool makes sharing at live events a simpler process. Basically, text is rendered as animated speed-reading gifs, filtering through words in sequential order at a fast pace. These gif messages can still be read by the human eye, assuming you're paying attention (see above).

Currently, the tool is only available to those attending Red Bull events and the brand's athletes or artists. The lucky few granted access to Shout/out can find it on the Red Bull website. Typing a message into the platform will magically transform it into a gif. Posts created on Shout/out will have a unique look to set it apart from the common dribble we've grown accustomed to. Currently, the only customisation option is to add imagery.

According to Red Bull, this is the first time that speed reading technology will be put into consumer hands. The focus of this tool is to reclaim social media feeds, "to help people express themselves better, get noticed, and give their words wings."

Red Bull Music Academy
Publishing experiences at a live event is somewhat of a pain, especially for those with overly-active Twitter personalities. How can one be expected to contain the breadth of the night in 140 characters? Well, you'll have to figure it out if you want to keep up with other posters. Sequential tweets are currently the best combatant to the character limit. Sort of a masking tape solution for a larger problem, really. For those who can't be bothered with multiple tweets, condensing that vibrant, shining personality to fit a narrow box will have to do. 
Chris Tyas, head of digital at The Marketing Store, said to The Drum, "The need to express yourself and be heard is a key part of what makes us human. However, the full power and emotion of the written word is slowly being diluted as Facebook and Twitter specifically engineer their platforms to capitlise on promoted content, and in doing so reduce the impact of organic content."  

As it stands, there is no social platform more instantaneous and constantly flowing than Twitter. However, it doesn't live up to its full potential, says Tyas: "At the moment they haven't found a display mechanic that matches the vast potential of fast mobile connection and hi resolution screens."
Gifs are an accepted form of expression, universally utilised and understood. Their relevance is such that they've been natively incorporated into messaging platforms (like Tumblr, Viber, and Tinder), and have pushed towards personal inclusion with Giphy's Cam app where you can star in your own gif creation. Readily adopted into modern internet language, the soundless, animated loops have revolutionised conversations by providing a visual representation of the thoughts, feeling, emotions, or reactions of the poster.

Red Bull has found a way to take gifs past their visual parameters with its speed reading technology. We can only hope that this tool will be made more widely available in the future. 

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