What is ‘Screen Capture’ and How does it work?

A copy of this article was posted onto Codexcel.com


In the age where everything even remotely interesting is happening within the confines of a screen, being knowledgeable of how to take an image from one screen and spread it out onto even further screens is becoming more and more crucial. Most times, the image that needs to be taken and duplicated onto another screen is not necessarily original, but being used for another purpose. We call this replicating and reproducing and repurposing of already produced content “Screen Capturing”, or if the image being reused is a video, a “Screencast.”


How Screen Capture Works.

Just like when you press the sleep button and the home button on your iPhone at the same to time take a screen grab that you can then use for a future purpose, a computer screen capture (or television screen capture) can do the exact same thing. What is popular now is that people are taking these images and incorporating them into new works and creations. The biggest example of utilizing screen captures and screen casts is on YouTube.

On YouTube, the most popular kinds of videos are the ones that revolve around reviews and commentaries of already existing content that was produced by entities elsewhere. A trailer that was released, summer 2016’s ‘Batman v Superman’ for example, was played and recorded on screens and then displayed onto another screen, which was layered into another screen that displayed a viewer’s awe struck reaction (Stay with me, I know that was a lot to handle).


Why do users Screen Capture?

This layering of screen captured content is part of a fad known as “Reaction Videos”, and they are gaining an increasing popularity on YouTube. The content being “reacted” to varies immensely, with some videos being of an elderly lady reacting to a video of a kitten playing with its owner’s car keys, to video gamers’ filming themselves and screen capturing their play-through of the latest ‘Slenderman’ installment. Regardless of the subject matter being reused and repurposed, screen casting and screen grabbing has become one of the most popular, as well as one of the cheapest marketing techniques and natural view boosters that has ever been conceived on the internet.


The Best Programs.

The most popular programs being used to screen capture and screen grab are programs like the ones automatically included in PC’s and Mac’s, but more elite applications are coming into popularity like the one by Camtasia Studios, MSI Afterburner, and iShowU HD. These applications are making it more and more accessible for users to create their own content, but most importantly to marketers, it is making it easier and easier to redistribute finished content and make already existing content go viral.


What Screen Grabs and Casts can do.

One single video on YouTube may gather a ton of hits within a single time frame, but imagine if you not only had a video that was successful on a single page, but also being spread around and adapted and interacted with by that many more YouTubers? Take the ‘Batman v Superman’ trailer. The standalone trailer released by Warner Bros. gathered a walloping 67,000,000 hits since its original posting about a year ago. Believe it or not, the amount of individuals who have played and viewed that trailer actually reaches astronomically far beyond that number.

With the original trailer, combined with all of the reaction videos, fan accounts that recorded it and re-uploaded it, and parody accounts that screen captured it and dubbed it over or recut it to give the trailer a new and humorous meaning, the final count of eyeballs that actually laid eyes on the Warner Bros. ‘Batman v Superman’ trailer is actually astronomically higher than the originally posted number—and the marketing department over at Warner Bros. only had to release that one trailer.


Why Marketers Love and Hate it.

Screen capture software has become a way for content creators to produce easy content, as well as marketers to be able to spread and market their own content around with that much more ease. Many screen capture software programs are free, or relatively inexpensive, making the technology of freezing an on-screen image or recording an onscreen video clip that much easier to use. Despite all of the genuine views that a single video can garner over a period of time that it is available on YouTube and elsewhere online, there still is a troll that lurks online that threatens to take away the honesty of how popular any one video can actually be: Fake Views.

On YouTube, the number of views on the bottom right of your displayed video shows just how popular and received the video in question is. The more views it has received, the more likely we are to feel that the producers or posters of the video are genuinely good at what they have created. Even if the video in question truly is a masterpiece, if the video has a high enough view count and barely any comments below, there is a chance that the posters of the video have paid to have extra views tacked onto their view count.

There are several business offering to help boost the amount of views your video can receive. Some offer packages that have different price ranges that include how many thousands of extra views you would like to receive for your inquired video. Google however, has vowed to crack down on companies that use this business model, but due to how many accounts utilize this plan of boosting views, it’s hard to reach and shut down all of them.


While “Screenshotting” and Screencasting” is definitely a useful and ingenious application for marketers for the purpose of spreading already viral videos and images to become even more viral, combined with fake views is a sign that this particular account may be ingenuous. So stay cautious while online.   



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