With Vodio’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube integration announced just days ago, we decided to dig a little deeper into what many are calling Flipboard for video — and based on our experience, it certainly earns itself a spot among apps like Zite, Pulse, and Flipboard, and the myriad other content aggregators out there. Let’s jump in and see what Vodio is all about.
When you first open Vodio, you have the option to add up to five different topics (Vodio calls these “Channels”) including Tech, Entertainment, Viral, and others that will determine the types of video content that’s delivered to you. But if you’re a heavy consumer of content and five categories won’t suffice, additional channels and subchannels can be added via the + button on the app’s navigation bar at the bottom of the page. If you’re a fan of comedy and enjoy content of the America’s Funniest Home Videos variety, the subchannel “Fail” (no further explanation needed) might be right up your alley. Or you might want to watch videos exclusively from certain publications, YouTube channels, or celebrities.
Vodio’s newest update deeply integrates the app with Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Based on our experience, when you connect these three social networks to the app, you’ll begin to see videos shared by friends and brands that you’re following. But Vodio works behind the scenes, using your social graph and video viewing habits to recommend content that its algorithm thinks you’ll find valuable.
You’re missing out on a lot of shared content that gets buried on your Facebook News Feed, Twitter dash, and YouTube subscriptions, and it’s impressive how much of this Vodio surfaces. After all, these platforms are constantly flooded with new videos, and there’s simply no way for you to get eyeballs on everything posted because of their respective filters.
I found myself sitting and watching all the videos pulled from my Facebook News Feed until there were no more left to watch. With the way it’s designed, and because videos are played in immediate succession, it’s encouraging to watch multiple videos in just one sitting – something I wouldn’t normally do on Twitter or Facebook.
If you’re in the mood for a different subject altogether, the newly introduced search button (accessible from the navigation bar) makes it easy to find other types of content. Based on your search, Vodio will recommend channels from four different outlets: Vodio’s “Recommended Channels,” Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Essentially you’re able to watch any type of video from specific YouTube channels, Twitter accounts, and Facebook Pages without clicking on “Subscribe,” “Follow,” and “Like.”
On the iPhone, swiping horizontally scrolls through the different topics that you’ve elected to add to your Vodio dashboard, while scrolling vertically shows all relevant content related to the topic. And all features are, for the most part, accessible in just one or two clicks.
Selecting a video on the Vodio dashboard immediately opens and begins playing the video. At the bottom of the same page, you’ll see buttons for sharing the video, watching it later, and liking or disliking. The latter feature helps Vodio better recommend more relevant content to its users. The user experience couldn’t be more intuitive, and the videos play keep on rolling without a hitch. Video quality hasn’t suffered either, and we rarely encountered any buffering even on a 3G data plan.
Overall, Vodio is a robust service for keeping up with the latest news, viral videos, or random tidbits that the app thinks you need to know, or that your friends are sharing. Video apps of many varieties are a hot commodity these days, and the competition is thick — everyone wants to either bank on video aggregation or earn the prestigious “Instagram for video” label. Jury’s still out on how exactly users want to consume and create videos via mobile devices, but Vodio is certainly an interesting and compelling strike in the market.
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