Vodio is a new iPad app that’s somewhat along the same lines as iOS app Shelby.tv. Like Shelby, it also brings you videos being shared by your friends on social networks. But where Shelby.tv only focuses on those “socially shared” videos, Vodio instead uses its social features to bring “a dash” of personalization to its video recommendations.
In Vodio, you get to see what the crowd is watching too. To get started, you configure the app around your interests, by telling it which categories of videos you like to watch. For example, Comedy, Entertainment, Movies, Music, News, Science, Sports, Tech, etc. You can even drill down into these categories further to select the sub-categories that match your interests. So in Sports, you could choose Basketball, Football, Soccer, Tennis, etc. But you can also customize your favorite content sources. Yes to Fox Sports, perhaps, and no to the UFC.
Great idea, in theory. In practice, Vodio seemed a little buggy. You can check the content sources you want to include, but good luck un-checking them. Tapping the categories again does nothing. Apparently, that’s by design. You don’t un-check your channel selections. You go into “Edit” mode and remove them. OK then.
Maybe that seems like a minor complaint, but it’s very unintuitive to have a one-way checkbox. Try it yourself if you don’t believe me. (The company says it’s working on this).
Petty complaints aside, the rest of Vodio’s user interface is attractive and fun to use. You swipe horizontally to move between channels and vertically to scroll through the videos in those channels. In addition to the personalization and (optional) social networking connections, Vodio simply shows you what’s hot on various video sharing platforms and from top media publishers. Videos come from TV shows, networks, comedy sites like College Humor, NASA, newspapers, newswires, movie trailers, music videos, blogs, and more. But for now, the only supported players are YouTube, Vimeo, AOL Video, Facebook Video and Daily Motion.
Vodio Labs Ltd., the company behind Vodio, was founded in early 2011 by Jonathan Messika, Uri Twig and Ishay Weinstock in Tel Aviv, Israel. Last July, it raised a 200K Euro seed round led by Kima Ventures, with Jaina Capital and Orefa Investment participating.
The company is now working on simplifying the channel set up and personalization process, adding more video-driven features like HD enabling, and partnering with premium content players.