Yahoo Intros Improved Video Service

Yahoo on Thursday launched a new site designed to make it easier for Web users to find and share videos.

The site builds on Yahoo’s existing video search capability and will compete with video search services from Google, AOL, Microsoft’s MSN, and other video-sharing sites like YouTube.com and MySpace.com.

Visitors to video.yahoo.com can store their favorite videos, browse based on category and upload their own videos to the site. Site visitors can review and rate videos and also embed the Yahoo Video player in their own websites or blogs to share videos.

When searching, users will access a Yahoo database that combines the music, news, sports and other videos Yahoo hosts with content produced elsewhere on the Web.

Yahoo also aims to support larger video publishers. Publishers can create a profile and channel, upload video to the site and track reviews and ratings through a Yahoo tool. Yahoo will feature videos on the Yahoo homepage and other Yahoo pages, potentially increasing the exposure of such video creators.

The popularity of online video is increasing, and while all of the major search engines are active in the space, other sites are doing a better job of attracting users. YouTube.com attracted almost 43 percent, and MySpace garnered 24 percent of visits to video websites during a week in May surveyed by Hitwise.  Yahoo, MSN, Google and AOL drew less than 10 percent each, according to the research.

-Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service

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