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A concierge’s job is to take care of every whim, fancy, and mood. When it comes to online entertainment, there are digital Man Fridays that cover every instant demand you can think of. It’s a concept that’s more familiar to radio stations and online services that let us play music according to mood. Then, we do tend to do evening sitdowns and watch movies with matching moods too. Why should casual video-surfing be any different?
5By.com matches that need with a new free video curation web application – a “video concierge” that trawls the Web for the best videos and delivers them to you. Many video streaming websites do that, so 5By takes a different path. It creates a personalized video playlist according to your moods and interests. I hope you spotted the timesaver there – you don’t have to take the pain of scouring through endless pages of YouTube (or any other site) to watch a video you feel like watching right now!
YouTube Is A Mammoth Haystack
All you are looking for is a needle. YouTube and quality video sites like Vimeo mass videos like no other. YouTube also recommends videos and channels. Vimeo has neat categories, staff picks, a couch mode, and even a new On Demand section. But none, so far as I know, give you a way to drill down to the finer choices. 5By.com overturns the usual categories or genres and swings your watching around real moods and intentions.
3 Things 5By.com Does Really Well
The hated Google+ log in isn’t there. The site gives you a choice of Facebook authorization or the straightforward email approach. Feed the information in and you are in within a few seconds. Three key features of 5By.com should make it a worthwhile watch.
A Range Of Categories…and Serendipitous Discovery
Every viwer likes to see a certain kind of video. Sometimes, it is decided by mood…and more commonly, by deliberate interest. 5By.com does a neat job of leading with a user’s temperament. But it also drills down to more finely defined video genres. For instance: the site acts as a concierge and shows you six different possibilities for the day. This selection changes with the day and the time of the day.
Picking a choice like “Killing Time” takes you to regular categories as shown in the screen below. Clicking on any one automatically loads a video from either YouTube or Vimeo. At this point, the users has no control on choosing the precise video to watch as it is pulled from the many videos curated by the team behind 5By.com. The unintentional discovery of videos while casually browsing is part of the fun factor. If you are on a video-watching binge, you can also mark a few to “watch later”.
Every video on the site fits into a channel. Head to the Channel section and check them all out in one go. There are 68 channels for your eyeballs right now. Expect the number to grow.
Taps Both YouTube & Vimeo
For the true enthusiast, Vimeo is debatably better than YouTube. With 5By.com, you get the best of both worlds. So far, videos are handpicked with a little help from technology, though this could change in the future as the site grows and automatic algorithms are put in place to handle traffic. There’s also a Staff Section as a category where you get to see some of the best ones which have been cherry-picked. Head to the Newest section to see the latest additions.
Senses What You Like To Watch
This is how the video page looks like. All in full-screen glory. The video player has a few buttons you can use to give the site some feedback. Three “emotion” (emoji) buttons share space with the usual player controls and social sharing options. The feedback should help the application serve up better videos over a period of time as it gather intelligence on viewer habits.
Serious Intent With A Future To Come
5By.com has some experienced development chops behind it. The serendipitous discovery reminds us of StumbleUpon, and not surprisingly because it is a StumbleUpon app. The team has also released a free iOS app and an Android app. The mobile apps have an extra — it allows you to select videos according to the time you have.
5By.com was StumbleUpon’s first acquisition in September last year. So it is still early days for the site, but the promise is there. The success of the site will be determined by the quality of the videos and the self-discoveries we can use it for. For now, it is an enjoyable way to watch some good videos in an ad-free environment. How’s your mood? Give it a swing and see if you can add 5By.com to a motley group of video websites that give you an alternative way to watch YouTube without actually going there.