Today, Boxee is launching its private online video-sharing service known as Cloudee into a public beta. The NYC-based startup first introduced the service in the beginning of the summer as a way for family and friends to store their personal videos in the cloud and share them with others, via a mobile application that runs on iPhone. With today’s release, Boxee is expanding Cloudee from a mobile-only service, with the debut of desktop uploaders for Mac and Windows, as well as improved web-based interface for managing, organizing and sharing videos from the Cloudee website itself.
The service operates in a crowded space, where dozens upon dozens of apps offer ways to stream, record, broadcast, and/or share video recorded on mobile, but Cloudee’s niche was in the emerging “private sharing” space. That trend has more recently taken root as companies try to find new ways to engage in a social networking arena dominated by the likes of Facebook. Cloudee, then, put its focus on selective sharing. Videos can be uploaded from the mobile apps, and now the desktop, organized into folders, and then users choose which family and friends are permitted to view them. The service will also nicely ties into Boxee’s main offering, the connected device known as Boxee Box, as it will be one of the places where the videos can be viewed in the future, in addition to within the app or browser.
Today, the Cloudee website is getting a boost with an all-new interface for streaming and sharing videos, while the mobile app gets an iOS 6-focused upgrade. Previously, web users could only view, like or comment on shared videos or collections, similar to the Instagram web interface. Now they essentially have access to all the mobile app’s features on the web.
A bigger change is the addition of the desktop uploaders – that expands upon Cloudee’s potential to cater to other types of users – those with video shot using cameras, camcorders, and webcams for example, those who have an archive of video on their computer, or who have created videos of their own using desktop editing tools.
On mobile, the app is now not only optimized for the iPhone 5′s screen size, it has also added a few more features, including a faster way to share to Facebook or Twitter friends, or from the address book. While you could do this before, the new process involves only one click. Plus, you can now choose to share video with only one Facebook friend.
Because the app is still in beta, it will continue to offer free, unlimited storage. Later on, all accounts will be able to watch and share videos, but those who want to continue to upload (after reaching the free storage limit) will have to upgrade to a premium account. You can grab the app and the desktop uploaders from Cloudee’s homepage here.