Screenr is a web-based screencasting tool that allows you to quickly create screencasts. Free and web-based, there is no software to download, unlike Jing, which Screenr is very similar to. Videos are limited to 5 minutes and Screenr will host your videos, providing you embed code to put the videos where you want. You can also tweet the screencast out on Twitter, download an MP4 version, or publish the final result to YouTube.
Here’s a demo.
Besides Camtasia and Captivate, the two mainstream commercial products that allow you to do very sophisticated screencasts that include interactivity, post production editing, and branching, there are a number of free screencasting tools similar to Screenr out there, including Screenjelly and Screentoaster. For Firefox users there is also a handy FF plugin called Capture Fox.
In my mind, the difference between Screenr and these other tools is that Screenr is coming from the e-learning world and is suported by Articulate, a company that makes a very succesful line of e-learning application products. And, as Articualte CEO Adam Schwartz says, the cost for Articulate to run Screenr is:
…really cheap for us. We’re hosted on the Rackspace cloud, and the cost for doing this is like two orders of magnitude less than it was when we looked at this two years ago. It would cost more as a marketing fiasco to shut this down than it would to keep it running.
From the same article, Schwartz also said that Screenr
is a first step in the company’s creation of a new group of e-learning products, which he compares to the popular software-based screencast products from Camtasia. But with Artculate’s focus on education, the tools will be “more about interactivity, branching, learning, and simulation.” His fully developed screencast tools will have the capabilities for grading and quizzing, and will be integrated into more fully formed educational suites.
So it sounds like Articulate has some pretty big plans with Screenr and this is just the beginning.
You do, however, need a Twitter account to use Screenr as the service is completely integrated with Twitter. This might deter some who have been reluctant to take the Twitter plunge, or might be the deciding reason for some to start using it. A big part of the idea of Screenr is to allow people to quickly make a screencast and then publish it to their network via Twitter, reinforcing the idea (for me at least) that one of the core values of Twitter is as a network notification (distribution) system.