Nutshell: Easy as 1-2-3

With what feels like little room for new contenders, Prezi enters the arena with Nutshell: a new way to create and share stories.

Simply take three “snapshots” in a any given scene, and Nutshell will stitch them together into one seamless video with just a touch of Ken Burns.1

Depending on the content, calling them “stories” might be a bit of a stretch, but nonetheless Prezi at least wants you to try.

If content is king, Nutshell’s patriarch is on vacation.

Since the app is so new — not even a week old — there isn’t much to see or browse. You’re given three “inspirations” that serve as basic, uninspired ways to use the app. There’s no “following” friends or catch-all feed to scroll through.

In some ways, focusing the app on pure content creation rather than a social network could actually work in Prezi’s favor. By being limited to only three “snaps,” the resulting video ends up being relavity short — perfect for sharing to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Thankfully, the app is incredibly simple to use. When creating a nutshell, there are three buttons: back/cancel, take a photo and switch cameras. That’s it.

After you’ve taken your three photos, Nutshell you compile your “story.” From there, you can text and various animated graphics to spruce up your nuthsell.

It’ll end up looking something like this.

  1. The Ken Burns effect, for the uneducated.

Though, it’s difficult to gauge how effective Nutshell can be at telling stories.

For one, it seems like the app favors a pre-plannned approach when it comes to setting up shots. The nature and theme of the app doesn’t lend itself to spontaneity.

While Nutshell certainly has a few unique qualities that set it a part from others, I don’t see it having the same staying power compared to other apps of it’s kind. Being limited to three photos is both a blessing and a curse. If you’re ever in a situation that requires more than three “scenes,” you’re out of luck.

Without the juggernauts on Instagram, Vine, etc., Nuthshell doesn’t stand a chance of surviving if the videos made aren’t shared across other platforms.

There’s potential. But without some kind of breakthrough, Prezi’s new app will be a tough nut to crack.