Last week if you would have visited Chill.com you would have found yourself avatar’d up in a synchronous viewing room where you could watch video content alongside other avatars and chat in real time. Today if you visit the Chill website you’ll find something completely different—a brand new platform that lets you watch and share online video with friends in a format that, I think, can best be described as Pinterest for videos.
How does it work? Basically, Chill aggregates all your favorite videos from sites like YouTube, Hulu, Vimeo, Break, CollegeHumor and more. All of the videos you post are compiled into a grid and those that are following you can then watch, comment, share and react (laugh, smile, love, etc.) to them. Check out my Chill profile to see an example (and follow me, you know you want to, yeah!). While you’re at it, you can also follow Jimmy Kimmel, Snoop Dogg, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Shira Lazar, who are just a few of the notables already on Chill.
Chill founder Brian Norgard explains, “At Chill, we’re building a product where the best content—whether it’s YouTube, television or motion pictures—finds you through people you trust. The world is becoming networked and Chill is designed to make video sharing beautiful, simple and contextual.” And beautiful, simple and contextual it certainly is!
I was curious about why the company decided to take Chill in a new direction, from social viewing rooms to Pinterest for videos. Marc Hustvedt, who joined Chill as Head of Strategic Partnerships back in November, explained via email. “When we first launched Chill viewing rooms back in the fall, we learned quite a bit about how people want to socialize around a synchronous video experience. In some cases this worked incredibly well, especially when there was a compelling live event like the American Music Awards. In others, such as shared VOD clips, we found there was a better way to bring that realtime social experience alive.
“So, in the new Chill it’s actually highly realtime social, much like the previous version. When someone is watching one of your videos, a notification slides out in realtime alerting you that they are and asking if you want to go to that video or even chat with them. At the same time, you also have a lot more freedom and control over what you want to watch rather than having to sit through and wait for someone else’s video selection to finish playing in a shared room.”
So what can we expect from Chill in the future? Hustvedt tells me, “Chill is one of the first examples of a post-television product. There’s an entire generation that cares much more deeply about video on the Internet than what’s on TV or in the theaters. They live and breathe content being shared in their network. Whether it’s a music video, a funny video on YouTube or something shot with an iPhone what matters is the content and the context. Expression is driven through media sharing and this is just the start, especially in video.”
Have you had the opportunity to check out the new Chill yet? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.