Visiting YouTube to Talk About Mobile Video
I swung by YouTube's offices yesterday to get a quick peak of what they're working on these days. I had good timing--YouTube was in the process of making an announcement about its mobile video platform.
Cellphone users will now be able to access YouTube's entire library of videos on their mobile devices, as long as they're using 3G technology and support streaming video. That includes hundreds of models, the company said.
Sure, people have been watching YouTube videos on their phones for some time now. Apple's iPhone made the application a must-have for online video junkies, as it was the only phone that offered more than a few hundred pre-selected clips. Yesterday's announcement means that a variety of phones will now have access to tens of millions of videos--even more than what iPhone users have been able to access. And if you take a video with your mobile phone and upload it wirelessly, it is immediately available for others to watch and rate. Until now, it has taken some time to show up on the company's library.
YouTube unveiled a stripped-down version of its mobile application last summer and has had an agreement with Verizon to offer select video clips on its Vcast service. And of course, it struck a deal with Apple to put a more complete set of videos on the iPhone.
The new service works with AT&T and Sprint 3G phones as well as some Verizon smartphones. T-Mobile, however, does not yet support 3G technology, so its customers won't be able to use YouTube's mobile platform, the company said. YouTube says it expects the mobile application, which consumers have to download, to work on about 100 million devices.
Hunter Walk, a product manager at YouTube, said carriers are always looking for applications that will help sell new phones and compel customers to use more bandwidth-intensive data services--a huge source of revenue for wireless companies these days.
Right now, there will be no advertising on the site. In fact, YouTube said it isn't focusing on monetizing the mobile site at all.
You can download the application here.
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