vPlayer - Socialising Video
If you've ever posted a comment on YouTube you'll have noticed that whilst the functionality is perfectly adequate it's not truly interactive. You can comment on a video ("I love this!") but you can't necessarily provide much context or time accuracy ("I love it when she kisses that guy! - it's about 3 minutes in").
For a real-life example, take a look at the Football section on the Guardian website. Along with stories and editorial, the Guardian regularly links to videos on YouTube to showcase brilliant goals, free kicks and other mad skills and again, it's common to see a time annotation. The user clicks the link, goes to YouTube and has to manually forward the video to the relevant bit.
vPlayer, a new online video player created by 90:10 Labs, has innovated through this problem by, first, integrating comments functionality with Facebook and Twitter (more on this in a moment) and second, and rather impressively, incorporating time-stamp functionality so that you can link to a specific point within a video. This is demonstrated nicely on Hyundai's Facebook page. Play the video and you can see some vertical white lines inside the player interface which denote when other viewers have had their comments time-stamped. Scroll over those lines and you'll see the comment that was left there.
So let's talk about the Facebook / Twitter integration. What does this do and why is it good? Well, comments that you leave on YouTube stay on YouTube - there's no further social element. With vPlayer however, because comments are made via Facebook IDs and can automatically be posted as status updates and tweets, audiences are less likely to drift to other social media sites. This is a boon for brands.
90:10 Labs are already working with companies like Microsoft and Hyundai who, once they become clients, get access to vPlayer's dashboard which gives them a wealth of demographic data about who's looking at their content. This is another advantage over YouTube and means that brands can find out much more about their watchers than ever before.
As for cost, vPlayer can be licensed directly from 90:10 Labs either as a fully hosted service or integrated into an existing platform. Individual videos can be loaded, or whole series can be used in order to build a community of users around certain video brands.
It's an interesting new take on the video player and well worth a look.