December 11, 2007 |
Floobs is a Web 2.0 application focusing on community live television channels. It is a finalist at Le Web 3 in Paris this week. Currently, it is running a Finnish beta, with the English version slated to be online soon.
Floobs has done a great job with site design. The colors and concept are interesting and easy on the eyes. Not only that, the navigation is so simple I was even able to find my way around their Finnish beta without speaking the language.
In the beta, there is a list of user generated video channels to the left of the screen. Clicking on any of these takes you to the video. Their player is an efficient one – no bandwidth hang ups like some video content sites experience. I'm not sure that won't change when they grow and open the official Floobs site, though.
Each video has standard options for embedding the file and a place for channel watchers to leave comments. One of the things I liked most about Floobs was the default window size for the video playback. It's nice and large – no need to resize to enjoy the content, although you are offered full screen and fit to window options for playback if you wish.
The one thing I did not see while surfing their site was a way to subscribe to the user created channels you like best. I'm wondering if this is a site wide oversight, or just a feature disabled in beta? I'm hoping it's an oversight, otherwise how would you keep up with user content that you enjoy?
I also did not see much in the way of social contact options on the site. That's fine with me – not every site needs to have the ability to create networks of people. I can see it being considered a drawback in the social world of Web 2.0 though. At first I thought I was missing something with the language barrier, but was unable to see profile or contact capabilities for any of the profile names I visited. This says to me that social networking is currently not being offered.
One thing I was unable to test was the ease of uploading video or find out what video formats Floobs accepts. Because I am not Finnish, and thus not a member of the beta, I did not have video upload capabilities at the time of writing this article. If I get a chance to find out the upload interface, I'll come back and update this piece.
I can see how Floobs made it into Le Web 3 on the strength of design and quality alone. I'm not sure it has enough features to set it apart from other user generated video channel sites that do offer the full Web 2.0 functionality that web users have come to expect. If looks and ease of use alone is enough, that may give them the edge they are looking for.