The tsunami of video available online is both a blessing and a curse. While there’s a ton of free content out there, it’s tough to just sit back and enjoy online video as you would a traditional TV channel.
That’s a problem that Showyou, a free video discovery app from Remixation, has been trying to solve since it launched last year. Now with Showyou 4.0, the latest version of the app launching today, the company has finally crafted the ideal app for kicking back and and enjoying popular online videos, as well as videos shared by your friends.
“The reason we got excited about [the iPad] originally and started building specifically for it was because it was the most likely to have that [prime time TV watching] characteristic,” Mark Hall, chief executive of Remixation, told VentureBeat in an interview. Not surprisingly, Hall notes that Showyou’s peak usage is from 9 p.m. to midnight.
Instead of piling on new features that make the app more complex, Remixation focused on simplifying the overall experience of the app. News users can log in and start finding interesting videos quickly. And returning Showyou users will find a more useful video feed, dubbed the “Smart Feed,” that does a better job of picking the best videos for you; more than 100 new content channels; and the ability to switch between a grid view and a more information-soaked “feed view.”
Many of the features hitting Showyou’s iPad app today first appeared in its iPhone app, which received a significant revamp in July. That makes a certain amount of sense: As the company learned how to optimize its interface for the iPhone, it was able to translate many of those lessons to the larger-screened iPad. It’s app design is reminiscent of trimming a bonsai tree.
Showyou is now approaching 100 million indexed videos, the company says, with 250,000 to 300,000 videos added every day to its search index. The company has compiled more than 1.5 billion “social signals,” which include data from tweets and other services, in its index.
There have also been lots of changes to Showyou that simply makes it easier to use. Instead of swiping its video grid in four directions, which was cool but kind of confusing in prior versions of the app, now you just have to swipe up and down. That makes using Showyou more like Pinterest, Instagram, and other popular social services. You can also swipe left or right while a video is playing to move to the next one, or have the videos automatically play (so it really does feel like a TV channel).
When I tested out the new Showyou app, finding and watching videos just felt more seamless. You can select video topics within the new feed view, which can easily send you down a rabbit hole of interesting videos. There are also more ways to share videos with your friends, and you can now multitask while using Airplay on the iPad to push videos to an Apple TV.
San Francisco-based Remixation has raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a first round from True Ventures and other investors.