Joost, an Internet television website from the inventors of Skype, has received a technical facelift after failing to live up to the buzz surrounding its launch a year ago.
Joost.com, launched its new Flash-based, download-free global web video service at www.joost.com. In addition, Joost features a number of social tools which are designed to help people navigate through the largest online library of legal video programming and to integrate user expression directly into the service.
Joost had been lagging behind rival video sites such as YouTube.com and Hulu.com in large part because users had to download Joost software to watch.
The new Flash-based service is download-free and videos open in Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari browsers.
The new website features a number of ways that people can interact with video and with other people on Joost: they can voice their opinions about video through comments, "shouts" or tags; they can find out what their friends are watching by adding friends through most major online webmail services via the Friends section; or they may interact with others in the Joost community through groups around their favorite shows, characters or artists.
Also new is the JoostFeed, which aggregates all of the activities that are happening on Joost. The JoostFeed is viewable on Joost or can be exported to any online social tool or website. In addition, Joost will implement Facebook Connect, which allows people to enjoy Joost within the context of their real identity and friendships on Facebook.
Joost claims that it has more than 46,000 professionally-produced videos for a total of more than 8,000 hours of video entertainment from partners such as CBS, Sony Pictures, Viacom, Warner Bros and others.
In addition to the new social tools, Joost has implemented a new programming guide which organizes content into three main categories: Shows, Music and Film. Shows are divided into nine main genres ? action and sports; animation; comedy; culture and style; drama, docs and reality TV; news and gossip; science fiction and horror; sexy; and tech and gaming ? and then further classified into subgenres, like anime in the case of animation.