YouTube Wants Watching Online Videos To Be A More Social Experience

YouTube Wants Watching Online Videos To Be A More Social Experience
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Google has announced that their Uptime app will be available to the public rather than on an invite-only interface

Anna Johansson
  • 7 july 2017

Videos have always been highly social. People can’t wait to share entertaining clips with their friends through text, messenger apps, social media and the like. Research shows that 55 percent of people watch videos online every day, and those videos account for 74 percent of all online traffic. Hundreds of thousands of videos are shared daily, which is probably where YouTube got the idea to make video sharing more of a social event. With their Uptime app, users can watch videos with their friends.

At the time of its creation, Uptime was an invite-only application. Now, the massive social video company has announced that the Uptime app is open to the public.

Limitations for Uptime Removed

Uptime’s biggest limitation was the invite-only metric. Just recently, app creators quietly opened up this entirely free app to all iOS users, whether they have an invite or not.

The elimination of the invite-only application is a big step for the social channel since they have a low number of users at this point. The app has already ranked on the Apple Store’s charts, although it was very low on the list. This means that it has the potential to be a very popular app, and now that anyone can download it, it’s likely that more users will log in.

There have also been a number of exciting updates to the original interface. For one, it’s connected with Facebook to allow you to search for and connect with friends through Facebook’s interface.

They also added support for music video viewing and redesigned their home screen so that it’s easier to find videos that interest you. Unfortunately, an Android app is not yet available.

About Uptime

This exclusively iOS application was launched in early March as a different way to watch YouTube videos. It was developed by Google’s experimental research and development unit called Area120 and allows users to chime in with comments or emojis that float across the screen.

The emoji options include heart eyes, smiley face, angry face, surprised face, and other popular emojis. When you chime in with your emoji of choice, it will be displayed on the screen to anyone who is watching the video, even if they’re watching days after you inserted your emotion. Like the traditional YouTube platform, comments will also be available to those watching the video at a later date.

There’s also the option to leave “sparkles” on the video, which is revealed only to those who are watching it in real time. It’s a unique kind of interaction that shows fellow watchers when you enjoy a part of the video or it stands out to you. Your comments and emojis will also be revealed in real time to those who were watching with you.

Others have developed apps that offer a similar service, including YouTubeSocial, WeMesh, AirTime, and LiveLead. These are great services, but Uptime is a little more polished in its design.

Additionally, other social video apps are limited in use to only those who are watching in real time. To the contrary, Uptime offers the option for video watchers to tune in later without missing out on the comments.

The biggest perk of Uptime is the ability to share videos immediately with friends without opening another application. The shared video is public, so anyone using the app can see your posted video and the associated comments and emojis.

There are a few downsides to the Uptime app that users are hoping will be fixed in the future. It only offers public sharing options rather than private messaging, which doesn’t work for every sharing situation.

Additionally, not all videos on YouTube will be available to the users of Uptime. Much of the video content was picked by the staff and creators. The range of content is huge, but it’s not the same as having every video available through the original YouTube interface. You can search and share video clips from YouTube to Uptime, however. It just takes a little extra work on your part.

Perhaps the biggest downside to the Uptime app is the inability to filter community shares or search content within the community. You’ll have to see the videos people post, even if they’re offensive or uninteresting to you.

There’s hope that each of these downsides will one day be addressed. At one point, the biggest negative of the app was the invite-only feature, but now that this is off the table, there’s an impressive growth opportunity for this Google-supported application.

Uptime

Videos have always been highly social. People can’t wait to share entertaining clips with their friends through text, messenger apps, social media and the like. Research shows that 55 percent of people watch videos online every day, and those videos account for 74 percent of all online traffic. Hundreds of thousands of videos are shared daily, which is probably where YouTube got the idea to make video sharing more of a social event. With their Uptime app, users can watch videos with their friends.

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