ShortForm lets you curate web videos for a live audience

Anyone with dreams of hosting a web video clip show like Web Soup or Tosh.0 should take note of video curation platform ShortForm, which debuted a new Live Video Party feature today that’s capable of turning those dreams into a reality.

Previously, ShortForm’s video curation platform let you create a custom channel composed of streaming video clips from YouTube, Vimeo and other sites. The new live video feature basically brings everyone who watches your custom channel into a single room with a large monitor, and then hands you the remote control.

“ShortForm’s focus is just on curation, providing VJs (video jockeys) with awesome curation tools and turning the viewing experience into the most social and interactive experience in the world of video,” said ShortForm CEO Nader Ghaffari.

ShortForm channel pages allow everyone to watch the same video simultaneously. As the clips play, users can discuss them within a chat widget on the channel page and/or with friends on Twitter and Facebook. Probably the most interactive aspect of the new live curation is the ability to share VJing duties with another person watching the channel. To do so, the VJ in charge passes a virtual remote control to another person.

After spending some time interacting with ShortForm’s live channel pages, I found it far more functional and entertaining than similar services such as recent startups Chill and Rolling.fm. Unlike those services, ShortForm focuses on social interaction instead of a user’s avatar customization and “virtual room” environments.

Despite Google+’s new feature that allows people to watch a YouTube video clip at the same time through the Hangouts group video chat function, Ghaffari said he doesn’t view Google+ as having the same “road map” as his company’s service. ShortForm lets users grab video clips from several different sources, something Google+ doesn’t allow at the moment.

In July, the startup announced that its VJ curated channels had reached over a million unique viewers since the service launched to the public in November 2010.

Founded in 2009, the San Francisco, California-based startup has raised a total of $1.3 million in funding from NetService Ventures, Individuals’ Venture Funds, Seraph Group and others.


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