Sharing photos wasn’t always easy. Remember the dark-days of PhotoBucket? Of bandwidth caps? When you had to create an account on some site just to share and view photos? The frustration this caused resulted in Imgur — a quick photo sharing site we all know and love.
vidd.me aims to make us shake off our old ways of sharing videos and it wants to do for videos what Imgur did for photos. But is it any good?
What is vidd.me?
vidd.me lets anyone upload videos to the web, quickly, anonymously, and painlessly. Created by US based entrepreneur Alex Benzer; a man with a pedigree for tech startups having previously been behind the (recently acquired) SocialEngine.
Sharing videos is done via a web client or with their iOS and Android applications. Once your video has finished uploading, you are given a link which you can share easily over Twitter, Facebook or on Reddit. You don’t even have to log in. Just like Imgur.
This begs the question: Why not just use YouTube?
Why Not Just Use YouTube?
vidd.me isn’t YouTube, and nor are they trying to be. This is clear from looking at each stage of the user experience, which has been shaped to be completely distinct from its Google-owned competitor. This is true not only with its minimalist UI, but also its lack of signup and social media integration.
That’s right, Google Plus — or rather, the Google+ sign-in which brought about some much wailing and gnashing of teeth to the YouTube community — is nowhere to be found. Comments are handled with Disqus, meaning that you don’t need to create a new social account to add your two cents.
Videos can be uploaded anonymously. Alex Benzer thinks that this “enables an entirely new category of casual content creators.”, and I’m inclined to agree. There’s no bullshit here. Just drag, drop, and you’re done. It also stands to reason that the lack of identifying information associated with any video uploads will be a benefit to anyone hoping to leak a video without incurring the wrath of the authorities or their employees.
Vidd.me are a bit laisez-faire when it comes to what you’re able to upload. Is it legal in the US? You’re fine. That includes videos that can be considered profoundly NSFW. However, it’s important to note that there’s no obvious way to delete uploaded videos. Furthermore, if you upload something anonymously, it’ll be even harder to get it removed further down the line. As a result, you’d be well advised to think carefully before you upload.
How Does Sharing Work?
Unlike YouTube, sharing videos from the Web interface is a painless experience. Just drag and drop your MP4 or AVI into the browser, and vidd.me will take care of the rest. So long as it’s legal, vidd.me will host it.
vidd.me also supports animated GIFs. Just drag and drop them into your browser and they’ll get converted into a nice, zippy HTML5 video file. The HTML5 convert also has the added advantage of being a fraction of the size of a GIF. By some estimates, a converted GIF is smaller by as much as 1/8th of the original file.
Video playback is HTML5 based, with Flash being a fallback medium. This makes sense given that Flash is a technology that is very much in its twilight years, as HTML5 comes to the fore. Indeed, Flash isn’t supported by most mobile platforms, with only the new Blackberry 10 platform showing it any love.
Other essential features for a video sharing site are accounted for, including embedding of videos. There’s even a rudimentary aggregation of content on the site, with the most popular videos on the site being organized by order of view count.
vidd.me is a very ambitious product. A modern day David vs Goliath, they’re taking on a Google backed behemoth which has cornered the video sharing market. Whilst it is very early days, if vidd.me is able to provide a reliable, stable service, and if the dissatisfaction with YouTube content removal policies and usage of Google Plus remains high, they very well could find themselves chipping away at their huge market share.
The future is bright. Founder Alex Benzer says that in the coming months, they intend to tackle the various issues that blight the likes of YouTube, including terrible user comments and the broken content ID system which incenses many content owners.
Image Credit : Movie Making (Nicholas Weng)