As millions of video choices come online, social recommendations will play an increasingly important role in what you watch. Rather than hunting and pecking for something good, we’ll tune into to what our friends are watching and suggesting. Redux (free invites after the jump) is a startup looking to make social discovery of entertainment easier, and today the company is announcing the ability to tap into your existing networks on Twitter and Facebook to do it.
Through Redux, you can log in with your Facebook or Twitter credentials and receive your friends’ news feeds. While scraping your feeds, Redux adds relevant thumbnails and videos from friends’ posts, so you don’t just see a series of bit.ly links you have to click through to watch.
In addition to your existing friends, you can choose to follow Redux members who aren’t a part of your online social circle, subscribe to particular channels such as “movie scenes” or “fail,” or create your own specific channel. You can also comment or “give props” (though I’m not sure who gives “props” anymore) to videos that catch your fancy.
If sorting through a news feed is too much work for you, then there is the more passive “TV” mode, where you can sit back and watch as a continuous parade of videos tweeted and Facebooked autoplay on-screen.
Having thumbnails and video embeds appear in your news feed directly on Redux is actually quite useful, but I’m not sure about the long-term viability of the site. Facebook already includes thumbnails and videos (and is a growing online video powerhouse), and it wouldn’t be a stretch for Twitter or a social news aggregator like Tweetdeck to add those images and embeds. Competitors in the social video space include ffwd’s Twtimatic and uShow.
Where Redux could make a bigger difference is on the big screen. During a phone interview, Redux founder and CEO David McIntosh said the company is working with Boxee (which creates a social media browser for 10-foot experiences) as well as consumer electronics companies to get its service on television sets.
Based in Berkeley, Calif., Redux was founded two years ago and released its private beta in May. Redux has raised a total of $5 million in two rounds of funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Peter Thiel and Alsop Louie. Yikes! That’s a lot of money, and in looking at the site, you wonder what they spent it on. But initially, Redux was more about using content as a way of letting people discover other people, and used an algorithmic approach to recommend content. McIntosh said they soon discovered that using crowds was a better approach.
If you are interested in signing up for Redux, we’ve got 300 invites. Just visit http://redux.com/signup/newteevee