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Telly, formerly TwitVid, wants to be the Pinterest of video

June 13, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • Telly, a new video-sharing service, looks and feels a lot like Pinterest.
Telly, a new video-sharing service, looks and feels a lot like Pinterest. (Telly )

Forget pinning photos. Telly wants you to pin videos.

Well not exactly "pin," but Telly is definitely designed to look and feel like a Pinterest for video. The new site lets you add videos from around the Web and keep them organized in various collections that resemble Pinterest's pinboards.

"This is more of a television experience," said Chief Executive Mo Al Adham, who wasn't a fan of the Pinterest comparison, in a phone interview. 

"We're solving the problem of helping watch video online in a much more cohesive way," he said, declaring that watching video online is currently too fragmented and discovering videos is difficult.

Telly launched Wednesday as a way for TwitVid, the company behind it, to reinvent itself and continue growing.

TwitVid has been a video-sharing service for Twitter users since 2009. It has 15 million unique visitors and streams 60 million views each month, but now TwitVid wants to be something else.

Though the company says its vision has changed because the landscape of online video has changed, the Verge speculates that TwitVid may be worried that Twitter could launch its own video-uploading service just as it did with photos, which hurt other third-party apps like yFrog.

And perhaps pinning itself (excuse the pun) to the latest craze is the way to avoid that fate.

As for the actual service, anyone can join Telly immediately. Just go to the site, and log in, which you can do through Facebook, Twitter and email. Also, if you notice the similarity in the font Telly uses for its name and the typeface Pinterest uses, you are not alone.

Next up, Telly has you choose topics you are interested in. I went with football, tech and movies. Then, Telly will suggest people and collections for you to follow. For me, that was four of my Facebook friends and two of the site's collections.

Before you can finally use the site, Telly will ask if you want to add its button to your browser for quicker adding. And, yes, it does seem a lot like Pinterest's own button.

Once on the site, I saw that none of my friends had any videos yet, which is not surprising. But there were already a large amount of notable people and brands adding videos that I found through Telly's Popular section -- among them were the NBA, ESPN, singer Carrie Underwood and model Bar Rafaeli.

"We have content coming in from really interesting people and really interesting brands in a way that has significant volume too," said Ryan Gembala, vice president of business development at Telly.

As for TwitVid, Al Adham said that brand will slowly be phased out over the next couple of weeks in a "graceful" way. TwitVid users already have already been assigned Telly accounts, and the only difference between the two sites at this point seems to be the name at the top of the page.

As for mobile, TwitVid's apps will actually continue to be supported, but the company will be releasing Telly-branded apps for both iOS and Android later this summer.

The design of the site looks nice and the fact that Telly already has an established base by virtue of TwitVid really helps it, but we'll see how this Pinterest for video does in a pinning and collecting market that is quickly becoming crowded.

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