Squrl has updated its iPad app, shifting its primary focus from video bookmarking to video discovery. The app, which was just launched, will allow users to more easily find and watch the newest content from all of their favorite video publishers.
Among other updates to the app, new users no longer have to sign in or authenticate with social networks like Twitter or Facebook — although it helps if they want to find the content that their friends are sharing. Instead, they can open the app and immediately start adding channels of videos from categories like News, Technology, Business and Entertainment.
Once channels of content have been selected, users can find the newest videos from those sources from a “Fresh” tab within the app. Viewers can also see what the more general Squrl audience is watching, through a “What’s Hot” tab. And they can check out viewership activity of other people they’re following by clicking through user profiles.
But what’s really great about the app is that it builds a continuous playback experience through the various categories of content. That means viewers can watch an ongoing stream of videos from tech publishers or news sites, without having to jump between applications or websites — a key for Squrl is it tries to keep its users engaged.
The most interesting part of the new app might just be the huge selection of content that it has to choose from, including thousands of video feeds from hundreds of video publishers. And it’s not just web-only or web-original content from the likes of YouTube or Vimeo. In addition to publishers like the New York Times or TED Talks, Squrl also allows viewers to see videos from providers like Hulu, and even to connect their Netflix accounts with the app.
As more networks and pay TV operators get comfortable with the idea of sharing their content, that means there’s a real opportunity for Squrl to potentially authenticate with more TV providers in the future. We could imagine, for instance, adding authentication for an HBO Go or Comcast’s Xfinity TV content.