Online video collection service Vodpod has rolled out a new feature that allows its users to build communities around groups of videos. With the launch of its Vodpod Groups service, the startup hopes to create destination pages on the site where users can go to vote on and discuss videos that interest them.
With Vodpod Groups, users can collaborate on video pages, putting together lists of videos or clips in one place. Users can start new groups by picking a topic of interest, such as sports teams, funny videos or favorite musical artists. Anyone can join a group, or the founder of a group (called a chief) can invite friends or colleagues to join. Vodpod groups have social sharing tools, so users can alert friends to new groups on Facebook, Twitter, or by email. (Vodpod employees have given a good example of how to use the service on its own Vodpod HQ group.)
Until now, Vodpod has primarily be used by publishers to curate and display embeddable videos on their own web sites using its widgets and APIs. (For instance, Vodpod powers the NewTeeVee Station collection you see at the top of NewTeeVee.) Its primary competition is Magnify.net, which also enables publishers to curate and display embeddable videos on their web sites.
Vodpod has more than 800,000 users, which have shared more than 4.5 million embedded videos from more than 14,000 different video sites on the service. At the same time, Vodpod is looking to make itself into more of a destination site, and Groups is a part of that plan. It already has more than 11 million unique visitors, but Vodpod is looking to expand that and drive engagement by moving viewership and conversations to the site.
(Disclosure: Vodpod is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.)
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