If you had followed our post 2 Really Fun Ways To Listen To Music & Watch Videos Online With Your Friends last year, my colleague Steve had talked about an interesting web app for videos – Chill.com. It was in fact described as the Turntable.fm for videos with video rooms to watch videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Justin.tv, Ustream, Livestream, Twitch.tv, and YouTube Live with friends.
That has changed as the Chill.com you knew has gone for a complete makeover and adopted the Pinterest look. It’s no longer the Turntable.fm for videos, but “Pinterest” for videos. You still have videos from the above mentioned sites. But watching and sharing them is closer to the way of Pinterest. So, is it just another Pinterest copycat or is there more substance to the video discovery site?
The New Chill – Making Videos Truly Social
The video rooms are out. Instead you have the re-imagined grid structure with videos that are being shared by you, your circle of friends, and the wider community beautifully displayed. In the new Chill, it’s all about video sharing in a beautiful, simple and contextual way. Presently, Chill supports videos from YouTube, Vimeo, VEVO, and Hulu. For live streamed events, they support Ustream, Livestream, Justin.tv, and YouTube Live.
A Pinboard For Interesting Videos
Building your pinboard (called Collections on Chill.com) is similar to the way Pinterest does it.
- Log into the site with your Facebook credentials. Click on a few interests so Chill can recommend a few more by analyzing your likes.
- With your Facebook data, Chill suggests friends you can follow.
- Start building your videos into Collections. Collections are like the Image Boards of Pinterest. You can make your own and populate it with videos you like on Chill.com or other supported video websites. Some collections are really worth a look. Also, you can use the Post to Chill bookmarklet (like Pin It on Pinterest).
- Reposting videos, sharing, and commenting on them is very similar to the way you repin on Pinterest.
Is Chill A Good Social Video Discovery Site?
Here are my short observations on the likeability factor of Chill.
- It is visually pleasing. It has the same easy-on-the-eyes appeal that makes Pinterest such a social magnet.
- The Private Chat feature is cool because you can really get to know your circle on Chill.
- Chill has a wide range of categories and you can build up your collection with the stocks on YouTube, Vimeo, VEVO, and Hulu.
- Chill recommends videos related to what you’re currently watching. As Chill says, you can start conversations around a video. The video page makes it easy – the emoticons are a nice touch. You can start talking in real-time.
The Pinterest Influence – A New Design Age?
As you amble through the Chill.com site, the Pinterest design principles are unmistakable. Just like any other design trend that came before, Chill.com is ‘borrowing’ an idea and re-imagining its service around it. We have had ‘design ages’ before and they have been led by websites which were on top of the popularity charts for that age. From MySpace to Amazon…from eBay to Facebook. Pinterest is probably defining this design age. Pinterest is not the first site which has tried this layout. But it is the best example we know of and thus, all sites will be benchmarked against it.
Rather than a design, sites following Pinterest like Chill.com and a few more are adopting the new way we consume and share information. You can see more examples here at the jQuery Masonry plugin site which is also used by Pinterest and Chill.com. The visual pinboard style makes consuming information easier in some ways. You can tell at a glance what someone is posting or sharing. The attractive ones catch your eye in an instant rather than you having to wade through a linear chronological feed.
So, in conclusion let’s say that Pinterest got there first. But others are adopting the same style of presentation. Whether the design will stick or fade with the cycle is another matter.
What do you think of Chill.com? Does it work as a good social video discovery site or as a pinboard for watchable videos?