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Yahoo Video Social Sharing : YouTube & MySpace Features

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Yahoo Video Social Sharing : YouTube & MySpace Features

Yahoo Video Social Sharing : YouTube & MySpace Features

Previously announced on Analyst Day, Yahoo! has launched its new, more social and more personalized video site. All the major portals and engines are chasing breakout video star YouTube (the “MySpace of video”) and don’t really want to have to buy the site if they can avoid it. However, Yahoo!, because of its Flickr and del.icio.us acquisitions and general emphasis on “social media,” is the most likely would-be suitor (but Fox would be a real possibility there too).

In announcing the redesign/upgrade at Analyst Day, the only video competitor Yahoo! SVP Jeff Weiner referenced was YouTube. Video and video search may turn out over the long run to be an area as competitive as search.

One reason is that it’s got arguably as good or better monetization potential given the premiums that advertisers might well pay to reach online video audiences, especially when targeting is added as an overlay. And the new “Panama” platform is supposed to equally apply to and accomodate video advertising as it rolls out later this year and early next.

Here’s more from Kevin Delaney at the WSJ (sub. requ’d):

New features on the Yahoo video service include allowing users to watch groups of videos related by source or topic and mark those “channels” for updates and future viewing. Yahoo said there are tens of millions of videos available through its video service, including links to videos on other Web sites such as YouTube and Google Video.

“From a user perspective, it’s comprehensive, open programming,” said Jason Zajac, Yahoo general manager of social media.

The sharing, tagging and personalization elements of the site are very nice and simple to use. Interestingly, video is an arena that shows the limits of search as a nagivational metaphor. Here browsing tags, categories or channels — unless you’re looking for that specific Steven Colbert video — offers a generally better experience. One awkward element (vs. YouTube) is that most of the videos play on third party sites right now so there are vastly different user experiences in terms of actual playback experience. That will change a bit over time as more videos are directly uploaded to Yahoo!

What will be very interesting is when you can get this content and this user experience directly on your TV, which is currently the plan through Yahoo! Go. A similar offering will be available from Yahoo! partner TiVo in a deal with Brightcove.

Here’s Hitwise traffic data showing the top seven video sites and their respective market shares of the video viewing online audience:

· YouTube — 42.94%
· MySpace Videos — 24.22%
· Yahoo! Video Search — 9.58%
· MSN Video Search — 9.21%
· Google Video Search — 6.48%
· AOL Video — 4.28%
· iFilm (owned by MTV/Viacom) — 2.28%

Greg Sterling is the founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, a consulting and research firm focused on online consumer and advertiser behavior and the relationship between the Internet and traditional media, with an emphasis on the local marketplace.

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