Off-line, watching video is more often than not a social experience as friends and family gather around the telly. Whilst, arguably, online and in the age of the laptop or smartphone, it’s very much a solitary exercise. Attempts at making the online viewing experience more social aren’t anything new but video monetization platform Invideous has perhaps a novel solution: something it’s calling a ‘social playhead’.
Installable as a plug-in for most of the popular video hosting platforms, in the same way that a regular video playhead lets a viewer see at what point they are in the video, the social playhead lets users see who else is watching the video and, specifically, at what point they are at too. Users can then initiate a conversation by clicking on the person’s avatar displayed within the playhead upon rollover which launches Invideous’ own in-video IM client.
Pretty neat, huh.
Naturally, the social module ties in with Twitter and Facebook too so that it’s easy to share a link and associated comment of the video a user is watching. While the company claims that, since the social plugin works with most leading video players, its ‘social playhead’ is available as a simple install to almost any publisher of a site currently running video.
Revenue-wise, Invideous is the first to concede that its new social offering isn’t as potentially money spinning as its pay-per-view platform – it’s free for publishers to use – but since both functionality comes bundled, it could work as a great marketing tool or value add-on for the latter.