Recently I’ve heard a lot about this cool video sharing website called Nico Nico Douga (Smiley Videos). It’s the 6th most visited website in Japan and sports an award winning design. Furthermore it’s been called Japan’s Youtube killer and when at first the site was using Youtube videos it was banned by Youtube because the site became so popular. So I just had to see what all the fuzz was about. Using Google Translator I finally managed to sign up. What I found on the other side of the login screen was something I’d love to use if it was available in English.
What sets Nico Nico Douga apart from the competition is that the users have the ability to overlay their comments directly onto the videos. So let’s say you’re watching a video and about 30 seconds in there’s a certain scene you’d love to comment on, so you simply do that using the comment form beneath the video and within seconds your message will scroll from right to left over the video. With a popular video that has several hundred comments that can get a bit confusing, but fortunately you can just turn off comments with a single click if you just want to enjoy the video. I didn’t find it that confusing though, instead I simply fell in love with this way of doing a social video website. Youtube, community-wise, seems incredibly dull now.
Nico Nico Douga creates an entirely different feeling compared to Youtube where comments are simply added beneath the videos, because with Nico Nico Douga it feels like you’re watching the video live with other people.
Here’s to hoping that we will soon see someone do something like this, and properly, in English. While I’m not a big commenter, a concept like this could make me change my mind.