Former Facebook exec backs BlipSnips social video service

BlipSnips TutorialDespite the hoopla about how everything on the Web is becoming increasingly social, BlipSnips chief executive John Bliss said that online video remains a remarkably un-social experience — and that’s a problem BlipSnips is trying to solve.

This will probably resonate if you’ve ever been sent a link to a video that you or a friend appears in, or if you’ve been tagged in a video on Facebook. In fact, Bliss said the idea for the company came from his own experience of being sent a video of a bike race. He shows up briefly in the video, but he said it was “very frustrating” that had to watch minutes of semi-related video to find the relevant portion, since there was no easy way for him to figure out where he actually appeared. (At best, you can include awkward comments when you send a video, like, “Skip to 1:30″.)

The BlipSnips solution: You can tag people, or anything else, at any point in the footage. If your friend appears three minutes into a video, you can tag the spot where they actually show up. Or if the real highlight of the video begins 30 seconds in, you can add a tag to communicate that. The tags also create searchable data, so you can look for all the videos featuring a certain person or location.

The Boulder, Colo. startup’s tagging tools were already available on its website, but today it’s launching an iPhone application (so you can film and tag videos from your phone) and a Facebook app as well (so that you can tag and share videos on the social networking site).

Apparently, Bliss wasn’t the only one who felt there was a need here. Chris Kelly, Facebook’s former chief privacy officer (who launched an unsuccessful bid to win the Democratic Party’s nomination for California Attorney General last year), was the lead investor in BlipSnips’ angel funding, and he’s also an advisor to the company’s board of directors.

“The idea of social photography has existed for many years, but as video grows into such a dominant medium on the web, BlipSnips has brought much of that same social functionality to video for the first time,” Kelly said in a press release.

Bliss said he plans to keep BlipSnips free for consumers and to explore other revenue options like advertising and selling a customized service to businesses. BlipSnips was incubated by TechStars.


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