UShow, Redux: Two new Twitterish ways to share and view video [Redux invites!]

Share videos with friends, or just sit back and watch.

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
3 min read

Two interesting, new video-sharing services just launched.

UShow lets you have conversations over video. Rafe Needleman/CNET

UShow: A new video sharing service, UShow, launched Wednesday. It lets you very easily share videos to your Twitter or Facebook network. That in itself is no great feat; anyone can paste a YouTube URL into a Twitter post. What UShow does that is kind of cool is let you tag a person or object in a video by drawing a frame around a portion of the video at a specific time. Then, when someone clicks on the UShow URL you send out, the video starts playing from that point, with your framed comment visible.

Users can then comment on the video by adding additional framed comments.

For the video watcher, it's slightly cool, but not really a compelling destination site. It's a good place to watch videos via Twitter, though; the way other users' comments are attached to time-synced overlays on videos makes for a better online conversation.

"The goal is to make the life of the video blogger easier," UShow CEO Joe Shapiro told me.

I can see that. If you want to engage with people on content, it's a good platform.

One big bonus of UShow is that you don't have to create an account to use it. It just uses your Twitter or Facebook credentials.

The big question mark for me is the stickiness of the site and the business proposition. While I like UShow, it's not hugely compelling. It strikes me as a decent-enough feature, somewhat useful for some people. It's hard to get excited about. As far as the revenue model, Shapiro told me that in-video advertising is a possibility, as is some kind of product placement scheme in videos themselves. I had the impression that the revenue model isn't quite baked.

Redux: On Thursday, Redux is launching a new feature on its video-sharing site, which, if you haven't seen it, can best be described as Friendfeed for video. On Redux, you share videos by pasting in their URLs, and you can see which videos your friends are sharing on various feeds: the Everyone feed, just people in your network, and popular videos.

Just like Friendfeed, new items pop onto the page as soon as they're posted, and a previously posted item goes back to the top when another user you're following comments on it or votes it up.

There are also "channels" on Redux where users can collect videos on given topics. I just discovered the Top Gear channel. Score!

The new feature is Redux TV, a tab on the interface that simply plays all the videos in a feed or channel one after the other. It's designed for "video snacking." It's the kind of thing you'd just leave on while you ate lunch at your desk.

Redux is not deep, but it is fun. The company plans to make money by selling ads, especially interstitial video ads in the new TV feature. That might work if the site gets enough traction. Another plan, to sell content via micropayments, seems like a stretch.

The TV feature on Redux is in private beta, but there are 500 invites to it reserved for Webware readers. Go here to grab yours.

Sit back and let Redux drive your video snack. Rafe Needleman/CNET