It’s Revamp Week for Video Sites

How have vidshare sites changed this week? Let us count the ways:

  • 1. Vimeo, the vidshare offspring of College Humor, launched a new version. The biggest change (besides lookin’ a whole lot more chill) is the addition of user-level privacy settings. You can choose which of your contacts sees your uploads. Granularity like this makes Vimeo more similar to a personal blogging tool like Vox than to YouTube. It’s good to see a vid site that’s more attuned to community than to broadcast. (See our Vimeo profile from April.)
  • 2. Ad-and-lad-centric also rolled out some changes today, including a completely rebuilt video player that focuses on sequencing videos inside channels. Thus: If you’re browsing a curated channel, Heavy sequences the videos in that channel; once the first video ends, the next vid in that channel loads. Same goes for other areas like search results and most popular vids. Thumbnails for related videos are shown at the bottom of the player. A Heavy rep tells me they want to provide a continuous experience of related videos so the audience can relax with their finger off the mouse.

    Heavy is also working on being more search engine friendly, so they’ve surfaced a lot of metadata outside the player.

  • 3. Leaving the innovation to smaller sites, MySpace launched a new site called MySpaceTV, which looks exactly oddly similar to a little video backwater you may have heard of called YouTube. Looks the same, works the same, the biggest exception being that MySpace member pages each link to a separate MySpaceTV channel that contains that members videos. And, MySpace is making an effort to surface professional video received through content partnerships.

    It’ll only be a matter of time before the two sites are too similar to tell apart. As far as competitive advantages go, YouTube is completely hooked into Google’s search results. But, YouTube has also raised the ire of Hollywood. MySpace, on the other hand, isn’t as search-friendly (even their Google-powered internal search sucks), but News Corp does have its studio connections.