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over 7 years ago

How to make a great submission video

The deadline for the App Challenge is 22 days away.

Until now, you've been focused on building an awesome app; but don't forget about your demo video! It's often the first thing that judges and voters look at.

What does your app do? How does it work? What problem does it solve? A good video tells your story clearly and concisely.

Tips on making a great video

  • Set the stage — start with a bang (your elevator pitch). Treat the opening seconds of your video as you would a movie trailer or TV ad: pique your audience’s interest. You'll have time to talk about app features later on in the vid, but only if your viewer's still with you!
  • Show, don't tell. Demonstrate key features and functionality of your app through screencasts. Explaining what it does and how it works helps judges and voters understand and appreciate the design of your product.
  • KISS. Keep it short and simple. Per the official rules, your video shouldn't be longer than five minutes. As Thomas Jefferson once said, "The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do."
  • Get organized. Write out a script and rehearse it before recording.
  • Build in a cushion — start uploading at least 48 hours before deadline. Due to file size, format, and your Internet connection, publishing a video to YouTube or Vimeo could take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours or more. We've seen more than a few apps get disqualified because their videos weren't published on time. Don't wait until the last minute — give yourself wiggle room in case of any technical hiccups.

First time making a video? Check out these helpful screencasting tools.


Post technical API questions on the API Developer Forum. Post all other questions on the challenge Discussions tab.