It's become commonplace for celebrities and companies to make announcements via Twitter. Thus, should we really be surprised that Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement via Twitter (and also, via a new service called Tout)?
Although Twitter hosted the Tweet, it was Tout that hosted the video (below). The Tweet drove 500K users to six-week old Tout in the space of three hours. [Tout can be thought of as a sort of video Twitter.]
Apparently, Shaq is a fan of Tout. He contacted the service ahead of time, telling them he wanted to use Tout to announce his retirement. Tout CEO Michael Downing said
“Shaq’s got a lot of different things going on, but he’s told us that this is his personal media network and he’s going to be using us to promote everything else he’s doing.”
O'Neal has also agreed to join the startup’s advisory board.
This is definitely good news for Tout, if folks follow him from Twitter and Facebook. O'Neal has about 3.8 million Twitter followers and 2 million Facebook fans.
Since its launch, Tout has lengthened the amount of time users have for a video clip from 11 seconds to 15 seconds, hardly YouTube length, but if you compare it to 140 characters for Twitter, it sort of fits. Tout also strengthened its servers in expectation of a huge rush of fans viewing Shaq's retirement video.
That video can be viewed below.