White-label video publishing company thePlatform has rolled out new features that will allow video publishers to utilize social sharing functionality in their video players, enabling viewers to embed clips on social networks and personal web sites. The new features will also allow publishers to monetize those video views by extending advertising onto embedded players on those third-party sites.
With thePlatform’s new Player Development Kit (PDK) 4.2, social features can be integrated directly into the video player so that viewers can share clips on social sites like Delicious, Digg, Facebook, MySpace, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Vodpod, Windows Live and Yahoo! Buzz. Publishers can pick and choose which built-in social sites they’d like to enable, or they can add their own through APIs. For sharing via Twitter, the new PDK lets publishers specify a hash tag to be carried with the link back to the video, as well as short URLs.
The new features become available today, with some publishers ready to take advantage of them. According to Marty Roberts, thePlatform’s vice president of marketing, the Associated Press will be one of the first customers to roll out the new features, which could be a good sign for acceptance among other publishers using thePlatform’s system. “The AP is very conservative with the distribution of their content, so when they start embracing something like this, I know that the rest of my customers aren’t very far behind,” Roberts said.
In addition to integration with certain social networks, publishers are able to add features to allow viewers to embed the video or email it to a friend. Users can also comment, rate, tag or create favorites through the player. The new video player features also enable viewers to specify which section of a clip they’d like to share, to ensure the relevance of the video that’s being shared. For long-for video sharing especially, this will enable viewers to cut straight to certain scenes they find interesting and share them with their friends.
But the big win for publishers is the ability to carry over advertising into embedded players on social networks and other sites. The decision to add social sharing comes as attitudes have shifted about how publishers can distribute and monetize content on third-party sites, according to Roberts. Now that publishers and advertisers are getting more comfortable with the idea of running ads against videos, even in environments that they can’t control, more are willing to allow embedding, knowing that they can monetize a piece of content.
“We’re working with customers and their advertisers to ensure that they feel comfortable sharing with social networks,” Roberts said. “People are getting more comfortable with advertising against a piece of content, and realizing that’s what’s being watched, not the third-party site.”
We’ve been big believers in social video sharing ever since CNN’s Facebook integration for Barack Obama’s inauguration drew huge video views and engagement numbers for the event. Since then, Facebook and Twitter have proven to help deliver audiences to web videos, and it’s good to see video publishers — and video management firms like thePlatform — finally catching on.
Related GigaOM Pro content: Is Facebook Video Chat the Future of Social Media? (subscription required)