Tout got a big boost when Shaquille O’Neal announced his NBA retirement in one of the service’s 15-second video clips. Before then, few people had heard of the service, which allows users to easily link the videos to their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Prior to O’Neal’s unsolicited endorsement, Tout, which just launched in April, was largely unknown. After Shaq’s quick message thanking fans, however, interest in the service exploded. “We got lucky with him being so involved with it,” said Melissa Breen of Tout.
But since then, interest in Shaq may have risen thanks for Tout.
The ex-NBA big man has seen his number of Twitter followers grow to 4.9 million since he started using the service eight months ago. Prior to that, Breen said, he had been “stuck at about 3.5 million for quite some time.”
Breen claims other Tout users are seeing a boost in followers as a result of the service. A sizzle reel she played on Saturday at Columbia University’s social media weekend in New York big increases from average users to Ryan Seacrest. Traffic on the site is growing at about 25% per month.
It’s hard to attribute how much of the growth is organic and how much can be attributed to Tout. But the company likes to point to CBS News anchor Katie Couric, who gained 10,000 new Twitter followers within 10 days after she started using the service.
“We don’t want to take credit…[but] the only answer is that it’s more immersive. People want to connect,” Tout’s Gardner Loulan told CNET.