12seconds just launched 12mail, the company's newest iPhone app. 12mail is basically a video messaging app with a focus on person-to-person video messaging for Facebook and Twitter. The free app uses Apple's push notification system to alert users of incoming messages, which, true to the company's name, can't be longer than 12 seconds. Just like 12cast, 12seconds's other iPhone app, this new app doesn't require users to have a 12seconds account and will simply work with a user's Twitter and Facebook contact list. While 12seconds's earlier app was simply focused on sending videos to Twitter, 12mail now gives users the ability to send videos directly to their friends.
The app works on all iPhones, including 1st generation phones, though it can obviously not send video messages from any other device but the 3GS. Users with 1st generation iPhones and the iPhone 3G can send a picture and record an audio message on top of that. It's also important to note that while 12mail supports both Twitter and Facebook, it does treat the two networks differently. On Twitter, 12mail will send direct messages to all the recipients. On Facebook, these messages will appear on a user's wall. Receivers who don't use the app can use a webcam and reply from 12seconds.tv's web service.
While testing the app over the last few days, it pretty much worked as advertised. Messages arrived right in the app and as Twitter DMs and then played back smoothly in the iPhone's built-in video player. If you want to start to record a video, just flip the phone to the left and it will bring up the recorder (you can also just press a button, of course).
One feature that makes the app especially easy to use is the easy to use contacts manager that allows you to set up a group of 'favorites' - something that comes in very handy when you follow a few hundred Twitter users.
Video Voicemail Over Twitter & Facebook
There are, of course, already lots of other mobile and web-based services that can post videos to Twitter, but very few of them focus on actual person-to-person communication. With push notifications and the use of Twitter DMs, 12mail feels more like an email app than just another way to send videos to Twitter or Facebook.