Uptime, YouTube

YouTube has lately been attempting to make videos a social experience. Towards the same, a Google team has come up with a brand new experimental application that allows you to watch videos with your buddies — in real time. The app is called Uptime and is available on the iOS App Store, courtesy a team from Google’s internal incubator, Area 120.

Okay, so if you think this is just another YouTube app with a few different features thrown in, think again. Uptime is actually different and the team has worked hard to ensure that watching YouTube videos on Uptime feels like a social experience. The app is far from perfect though, and it still needs a ton of work. That being said, it is a good start.

First off, you get a reactions feature that is more commonly found on Facebook Live videos. While watching a video on Uptime, your profile picture pulls a tinkerbell-like stunt and floats above the video. You can also do stuff like comment or post emojis like smiley face, surprised face, angry face and so on.

These particular emojis and comments will be visible to everyone who watches those videos later. You can also chose to leave sparkles, that are visible only to folks who are watching that particular video at that particular instance.

You can also chose your favorite video clips from YouTube and share them to Uptime, to be discovered by others. By choosing to not populate the app with the entire YouTube portfolio, the company is leaving it upon users to chose what videos would be suitable for watching with friends. You can also chose to notify your Uptime friends whenever you post a link to a new video.

The app still needs a lot of work before it can set itself up as the place to watch stuff with friends. For example, it still needs a feature wherein you can invite friends to the app by using address book sync or the social media invite feature. Also missing is the ability to find videos that have already been shared to the network using the search feature. Live streaming support could also do the app a ton of good.

However, lets not get ahead of ourselves. Uptime is a good start to a new era where video watching transcends the boundary of being a solitary activity and becomes a social one instead. The app is currently invite-only and iOS-exclusive. I can’t really help you if you aren’t on the iOS ecosystem but if you are, use invite code “SUNNY” to get in on the fun.

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