Uptime is the new app from Area 120—Google’s own start-up incubator for their employees’ indie ventures. It aims at fun, and has the potential to go further.
Upping the social element of video viewing
Uptime does group video messaging. It lets users share and watch YouTube videos with friends.
Users react to what they see, with either typed comments or touch-screen responses that show up in real time.
As they watch a video, the user’s profile picture traverses the progress bar. If friends are watching at the same time, their icons are also visible, along with their reactions.
Locked to Google & YouTube
Two important things to note:
1) Users need to login to Uptime using a Google account.
2) Videos are limited to YouTube content.
Of course, given the ubiquity of YouTube, these might not really be seen as limitations at all.
Given it’s targeting a social video market, it’s no surprise that Uptime seems to borrow heavily from Facebook Live. For example, the way friends’ reactions float on the video screen is strongly reminiscent.
Not yet full uptime
For all it’s potential, Uptime is still a bit half-baked. There are issues with users finding friends to connect with and the ability to react taken away when the device is used in landscape mode. Teething issues like this might be why it’s currently on a limited release.
Uptime is currently only available for the iPhone, and even then it is invite-only. Of course, all of these obstacles are likely to be removed if and when the Area 120 team decide to unveil Uptime more broadly.
Copy Transmission is a Melbourne-based agency :: Better Brands. Loud & Clear.