What is Qlipso? A quick tutorial on social video sharing

We don't go to movies alone, we don't watch our favorite teams alone and most of us don't even watch Lost alone; so why do we continue to watch our online videos alone? That's an issue that Qlipso, a new social-focused web company, wants to fix.

Qlipso made news recently by buying popular video-sharing website Veoh just before it was closed down; but what makes the company so interesting is that its software lets you create an instant viewing party around almost any Flash content by pasting a link to the page or the video's embed code into your browser.

Qlipso is different from emailing a YouTube link because instead of listening to your friend describe his uncontrollable laughter, you can see and hear him while you both watch the video. There's no special equipment needed to use the service, just a browser and a free Qlipso account. If you have a webcam and microphone, like most laptops do, you can video chat with each other; but if not. you'll still be able to interact with a 3D videogame-like character.

After you sign into Qlipso and add a video clip to watch, you can connect to Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and other social networks to automatically invite friends; or share a direct link with the individual you want to watch with. The entire process from signing up to sharing a YouTube clip takes about 30 seconds thanks to Facebook Connect.

"People like to socialize around media," Jon Goldman CEO of Qlipso, told WalletPop in a phone interview explaining why Qlipso purchased Veoh and why he feels that shared viewing will be an increasingly important part of how we experience video.

There are plenty of ways to use Qlipso, including the following scenarios we thought of.
  • Hosting a Lost viewing party on Hulu.
  • Watching your friend laugh out loud to John Stewart's Glen Beck impersonation.
  • See your old college roommate cringe as you share a Dirty Job's clip from YouTube.
  • Being able to see the reaction of family members when sharing a Flickr Slideshow or YouTube clip of your kid.
After trying it out, you'll appreciate the ability to chat with and see the reactions of your friends without the need to load up any extra software.

What sets Qlipso apart from past attempts to create shared viewing experiences is it's open nature and wide breadth of content, thanks to the fact that it works with pretty much any Flash based video. This means that all those great sites you can't access on the iPad, like Hulu, you can share with friends on Qlipso. Sharing a clip with friends is as simple as copying the video's link or embed code and pasting it into Qlipso.

Qlipso is free to use and you can invite friends from Facebook as well as individually to join you in a viewing party. My only regret is that I didn't know about Qlipso sooner. Imagine if we had all been able to see our friend's expressions the first time they were RickRolled!
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