This week saw some pretty big leaps in connecting online video with social networking. Popular video sites MomMeTV, Jetset Show and Disney Xtreme Digital all released social networking features over the past few days, hitting big demographics that don’t usually get covered in the online world: kids (DXD), teens (Jetset), and mothers (MomMe). I’m hoping for someone to round out the bunch and launch a video networking site for senior citizens by the end of day.
I think the most exciting one is recent Webby winner Jetset Show’s site The Mix, which allows teens to make their own pages and upload videos like this spoof of William Hung’s Cooking Show. One of the biggest features of Jetset that’s made it so popular in the short period of time it’s been live is how much the show integrates its viewers into the episodes, so there’s not a doubt in my mind that the ability to upload videos to Mix is going to be popular. Host Zadi Diaz has already said in Mix’s announcement video that profiles and original videos will be incorporated into the show. User videos were always tucked into the show, but eliminating the need for young adults, who already have the tiniest of attention spans, to utilize Pando or YouSendIt to get their vids to the site is a huge development.
The other new youth-related video networking site is Disney Xtreme Digital, which released a site for the non-Jetset crowd (like most Disney products, this one comes with a disclaimer of suggestion describing what age group it’s best suited for: 14 and under). Kids can watch, listen, send, and embed Disney media through profiles, multimedia chatrooms, and personalized channels with their favorite Disney clips. Unlike MySpace and similar sites, safety is a big issue here. Kids can create user profiles that can only be seen if the viewer attempting to access them is logged in and parental controls limit whether their children can take part in chatrooms, multiplayer games, and other activities where they might run into someone who’s closer to 43 than 13. If you’re sneaky and crafty (as most kids 14 and under tend to be), you can find a way to get around these controls, but it’s nice to see that protective features like that exist.
And speaking of parents, MomMeTV‘s site, My MomMeTV Social Network, is the last big release of the week. The site, whose tagline is “Expression. Interaction. Community.” features profiles, blogs, video-sharing, photo-sharing, and discussion groups. It’s a popular site whose emphasis is on communication, so this is bound to be a hit. The first group is named “Best Jeans for Moms” and the most recent user blog post is a profession of love for Starbucks black iced tea; MomMeTV is more about motherhood and My MomMeTV Social Network is more about moms. Not every Mom is interested in the most fashionable biodegradable diapers, so it’s great that a site like this exists.