Telly has come a long way since being rebranded. In the seven months since adopting its new moniker, the company formerly known as Twitvid has doubled its user base to 7 million and continues to iterate on its video discovery app. Today it’s announcing a new web interface to provide a more lean-back experience, as well as what it hopes will be a better recommendations system.
In short, Telly is looking to improve the results it gives when providing users with a stream of videos to check out. But to do that, it’s grabbing a lot more data than it previously did, using signals from users’ social networks to help determine which videos they might want to watch.
When the company first launched its video discovery platform, it promised to offer up a personalized feed of videos based on what users had previously watched. But it had a cold-start problem — how to start recommending stuff without any data input to base those recommendations on? Now, the company is taking into account data from Facebook — specifically what its users and their friends are watching and sharing and liking on Facebook and Twitter. That gives Telly a whole lot more to go on.
The company then takes into account what a user has previously viewed, how long ago a video was share, and what device videos are being shared or viewed on, and creates a custom stream of video. That ensures that a user who is watching video on his phone will get more short-form videos than someone who is watching in a Web browser.
Speaking of — Telly has updated its web interface to make it simpler, more intuitive and easier to use. The My Telly interface now provides a simple carousel of videos, which gives viewers more of a lean-back experience, while also providing all the same tools for sharing with friends. Users can let a continuous stream of videos wash over them, or, if they don’t like something, skip to the next video. And that feedback will be used in future viewing sessions to provide even better recommendations.
Frankly, the social video discovery segment is totally crowded with players like Showyou and Plizy and Squrl and 9x9tv and Shelby.tv, and it’s clear that it’s going to be a huge market, as there’s just a buttload of video out there and no real good way to sort through it all. But we’re still waiting for one of these apps to break through and go mainstream and get all the users. We’ll see if Telly will be the one.