Seesmic, a startup that lets users post short video comments and snippets, has raised $6 million in a second round of funding. The new round was led by Omidyar Network, the firm created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, and Wellington Partners.
The San Francisco company has been dubbed the “Twitter of video” — through its platform, users can easily record and post short video segments to their blogs, social networks or to the Seesmic site itself. You can also post video comments on blogs (like VentureBeat) whose discussions are powered by Disqus.
We’ve been a bit skeptical about whether this will take off, because it’s not clear that videos are as effective and easy a way to communicate quick thoughts as, say, a one-line text comment on a blog or a short post on Twitter. In comment threads, if people aren’t willing to take the time to watch your video, a commenter can become cut out of the conversation. I haven’t seen a lot of use in VentureBeat’s comments either, although that may be because we haven’t done much to promote it.
Seesmic says the platform provides video to 1,500 sites and blogs.
The company also just released a promising new feature — an embeddable video that can include threaded comments. That means an entire conversational thread can be viewed by playing a single video. This idea has some problems too, because sites may not want to see too many user comments disappearing into one video. But at least Seesmic is trying out different ways to make the commenting process more organic.
The new round brings Seesmic’s total funding to $12 million.
Update: Seesmic founder Loic Le Meur offers his account of how the deal fell into place here. I love the fact that after Seesmic’s first round, Omidyar wrote a comment on Twitter asking, “How come I didn’t get to invest?”
Update 2: To help counter some of our skepticism, Seesmic has sent along some other numbers to show their traction: The site gets 120,000 unique visitors per month, 69,000 video posts per month and around 3,600 new users.
VB’s research team is studying mobile user acquisition: Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.