Today, Twitvid is announcing that it is transforming its clip sharing site into a social video network that allows you to share video from any sources with friends and followers. The new Twitvid will allow you to follow topics or people that interest them and get their content delivered in a personal video feed.
Twitvid says that this is the first network of its type, dedicated to allowing people to post up video that they find on the net and share them with an interconnected network of users. At launch, users can share video that they have shot on their devices, as well as YouTube, and Vimeo, with other services coming down the pike.
When you visit Twitvid from today, you will be presented with a central feed of video that is being shared with you by the users and brands that you follow. You can choose to just see your video, browse by categories, peek at suggested feeds and create your own channels. These sub-channels can be public or private and are useful for grouping your videos together.
If, for instance, you have a habit of collecting cooking tips or video game walkthroughs, you can present those collections as a channel for others to subscribe to. Since the video can come from anywhere, you’re not limited to having to upload and present videos all on one network either.
Much attention has been paid to the experience of the new Twitvid, creating a unified and clean experience that standardizes how videos are displayed to you. This allows the interface to stay familiar to you as you browse video across many networks. Twitvid’s Mo Adham says that they’re starting with limited choices for video networks at first because they were super picky about the user experience.
If they couldn’t fit the video into their template seamlessly, including the slick lean-back autoplay experience, then the user experience would be hurt. So Twitvid is taking its time to make sure that the video services they support won’t impact the overall user enjoyment.
The slick thing about the way that Twitvid is handling the transition is that anyone who has a Twitvid account already has a personal profile on the new network. This lowers the friction for adoption as everyone has instant access to all of the content that they have already uploaded, it’s just much easier to view now. Any public videos are also available for others to follow and view, which populates the network with connections ready to be made.
I’ve been playing around with the new service pre-launch and it really does feel like it does a good job allowing interesting content to bubble up out of the thousands of videos posted to services like YouTube and Vimeo every day. As you find videos you like, you can add them to your feed by simply pasting a link into the share box on Twitvid, it works very well and I had no issues importing videos.
It would definitely be good to see a bookmarklet for sharing videos found on the web though, something that I couldn’t locate in my use of the service.
The lean-back nature of the Autoplay feature is really super once you look at it in the context of channels. Find a channel of videos on a topic that you like and mash the AutoPlay button and you’ll get a continuous stream of good stuff to watch, presented in a visually appealing way. It’s much like other products like Shelby.tv, but more focused, as it allows you to choose who curates your content and what topics it covers.
The philosophy of the service is based around the fact that “sitting in a tiny room alone with your TV sucks,” Adham says, “you want people watching TV, or videos, with you.”
This way, you get to watch the videos and have a conversation about them right on Twitvid. Comments are handled separately from YouTube and will only appear when the video is viewed and commented on by the people on the network. This should help to cut down on some of the massive noise level of YouTube comments. Once the network really gets going comment overload will likely become an issue, but Twitvid is working on ways to choose which comments are visible to you.
Twitvid currently serves up 12 million unique active monthly visitors, all of which will have access to TwitVid from day one, allowing it to jump off from a higher platform than most ‘startup’ social networks. Adham says that Twitvid has seen a 51% increase since March in video consumption, with an 8% month-over-month growth and it sees the potential for more with 41 billion people watching online video yearly.
Honestly, the new Twitvid is incredibly effective at getting you browsing videos. The hardest part of writing this piece up was forcing myself to stop watching crazy, stupid and funny videos submitted to Twitvid. This should only get better as users start sharing the best video on the web across the new network.