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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

YouTube Mobile

YouTube Mobile

YouTube Mobile first debuted in November of 2006 as a deal to deliver a handful of video clips through the VCast service of Verizon Wireless. Last year it created a mobile Web site accessible on many Sprint and AT&T phones that only carried a tiny sliver of YouTube content. And it has another subset on the iPhone. That short-coming has recently been corrected with their new mobile website for cellphone users that want to view YouTube videos on the go. And it doesn't matter which carrier you use. Any carrier with a data plan will suffice.

The company has just unveiled a new mobile service at m.youtube.com that will carry MOST of YouTube’s catalog which includes tens of millions of videos. The site will also have the personalization and community features that it lacked previously, so that users will be able to log in and subscribe to certain channels or have easy access to their favourite videos. And you’ll be able to upload videos directly from your mobile device.

“The mobile experience will be much closer to the Web experience,” said Hunter Walk, a YouTube product manager.

Continued...

This is an interesting and exciting way to use YouTube since you can see, shoot and share your videos on the fly making it a speedy way to report the action happening right in front of you. Bloggers and journalists should find this feature especially handy. Look for this feature of YouTube to become the new way to report and view the news. Once cellphone data services drop in price, that is. And then there's those tiny screens but you can always add the video to your favorites and then view it later on your PC or laptop.

But before you get too excited, don't forget to upgrade your cellphone plan to an unlimited data plan. You want to avoid the whopping charges for downloading videos that you';re sure to incur when watching a lot of videos online with a regular plan.

Watching videos on mobile phones remains a niche activity at the moment. YouTube said its mobile site will be accessible from devices that are capable of streaming video and that run on 3G networks. According to the company, globally that’s about 100 million devices, a small fraction of the more than 3 billion cell phones in use around the world. What’s more, many of those devices, especially overseas, run on limited data plans, so watching videos can prove expensive, as YouTube notes on its mobile Web site: “YouTube Mobile is a data intensive application. We highly recommend that you upgrade to an unlimited data plan with your mobile service provider to avoid additional charges.”

There are 2 ways to watch videos. One is web based and the other is software based. In order to use the software you need to own a Nokia N73, N95, E65, 6110, 6120 or Sony Ericsson k800 and w880. If you use the web based version you will need to be able to have a 3gp player installed which shouldn't be an issue for most mobile phones.

For now, the new site will be free of all ads. Mr. Walk said the new site is intended to get existing users of YouTube mobile to spend more time on the site and to increase the YouTube mobile audience. “We want more and more people try mobile video for the first time,” he said.