Video question-and-answer site VYou is officially coming out of beta, with the launch of a newly redesigned site. The update, which puts even more focus on conversational video between its users, adds a number of new key features, including the ability to comment on videos and to provide open questions to the site’s general audience.
VYou is all about community, and so giving its users more options to interact with each other is one way it can try to boost engagement between them. That’s part of the reason why commenting on user videos is so important — it allows them to interact without necessarily recording their own responses.
It’s also why VYou introduced the concept of the “open question,” which its users can ask and have anyone on the site answer. By making questions available to all, it increased the chance of those enquiries — and some of their answers — becoming viral among its users. Vyou now allows users to “own” their questions, so others can see who came up with some of the more interesting ones.
In addition, VYou has improved discovery of popular and featured videos through its browse function, enabling users to find new and interesting users to follow. It also provides featured responses and featured channels, which typically include media outlets like ABC News, Nickelodeon, and Daily Candy, among others. VYou has also attracted users such as Deepak Chopra, Bob Vila, Michael Showalter and Andrew W.K.
Perhaps most importantly, the site represents an evolution in design. According to VYou chief marketing officer Rex Sorgatz, the site’s homepage has been redesigned to feel “lighter” — almost like an app, he told me in a phone interview. The resemblance is no coincidence, particularly as VYou recognizes the opportunity for creating more mobile app experiences. The startup launched an iPhone app in September and plans to release more apps — including one for the iPad and one for Android — in the coming months.