Live Video Broadcasting Powered by Cell Phones

When I received this review request in my mailbox, I thought the name of the website sounded very familiar. Doing a quick search through Google, I found that I had already written about it before. The difference is that back then, the site wasn’t ready for primetime. Now, Next2Friends has launched (in beta) and we can actually know what the social networking site is all about.

Video is the Next Big Thing

It used to be that just having your own place on the Internet was cool enough. Soon afterwards, it became important to share your experiences through a series of pictures. These days, it has quickly become apparent that video is the future of blogging and it is also the future of social networking.

Whereas other social networks may include videos as part of their package, Next2Friends puts online videos at the forefront of what the site is all about. The first thing that you’ll notice when you hit the homepage is one of the featured videos. Scrolling down the page, you’ll see a list of the latest videos and the number of votes each one has received.

As you can imagine, each user is given his or her own profile page as well. Shown below is the profile page for evilstar. The profile is broken down into several collapsible sections, including About Me, My Embedded Content, Photo Galleries, Friends, and Videos. Just like Facebook, each user also has a wall for public conversations.

Live Video Broadcasting from Your Mobile Phone

What truly sets Next2Friends apart from other social networking sites is your ability to create a live video broadcast from your mobile phone. All you have to do is download the Next2Friends application onto your phone, go through the usual configuration stuff, and then you can effectively do the lifecasting thing through your phone.

Live mobile broadcasting sounds like it could be a pretty neat feature, especially since Next2Friends Live lets you use the data connection on your mobile phone. There are other video streaming sites out there, but — to my knowledge — they’re designed more for webcams than they are for cell phones.

Because Next2Friends is still in beta, the mobile application is not yet available for all cell phones. If you’re rocking a BlackBerry or an HTC smartphone, for example, you’re out of luck. As it stands, mobile phone support is limited to certain models from LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson.

The Evolution of Community and Blogging

Along with the live video broadcasting and the ability to save your video broadcasts for future viewing (you can embed them on external sites), Next2Friends also comes with a few other community features. As I mentioned earlier, each user is given his or her own profile page. These profiles, found through the Community tab, can be sorted based on first name, last name, or nickname.

Strangely, regardless of which sorting method you use, the list ends after the 50th page, even if you haven’t reached the end of all the profiles. If your name is Zach Yurechko and your nickname is Yuri, this means that you will never be seen through the Community pages. This is a simple glitch in the code that has to be fixed.

Further to the community aspect is the Ask function. Here, you can post a picture or a video and then ask the Next2Friends community for some sort of response. Maybe you’re out shopping for some new clothes and want to gather the opinion of your friends. The Next2Friends Ask feature allows you to do that.

To keep up with the latest developments in the world of Next2Friends, you’ll want to keep an eye on the Next2Friends Blog. The design of the blog has been much improved since the last time I saw it and it seems to get updated quite frequently. Strangely, the main page of Next2Friends is still highlighting an old contest. The developers should really update the front page of Next2Friends as often as they update the blog.

Who’s Going to Pay My Data Charges?

Despite having a few quirky elements and some minor design issues, Next2Friends really offers a rather interesting concept. It’s still in beta, so I’m sure they’ll welcome any feedback they can get. Now if only I could figure out who is going to pay the massive data bill that will result from a few days’ worth of live video broadcasting…

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP WITH NEXT2FRIENDS


30 thoughts on “Live Video Broadcasting Powered by Cell Phones”

  1. Looks interesting especially that live broadcast feature 😛

    1. Yeah -Seems to me a great idea -lets see where it lands.

    2. Thiago Prado says:

      Live broadcast for cellphone is the best, specially after the companies like ericsson released this nice cellphone capable of doing very clear videos.

      1. Abdul says:

        By clear you mean quality better than youtube?
        Because I hate youtube’s quality

  2. Paul says:

    Actually Friendster has this same feature too!

    1. But do they use Mobile Camera for this purpose- I doubt not.

      1. Paul says:

        Yep, tehy are using the mobile phones on this prupose.

        I would blog about it and then I will post the URL here so you can all see the new features.

  3. Noobpreneur says:

    John,

    That’s pretty innovative concept – will it be the next big thing?

    1. I doubt it.

      I don’t think it is receiving enough promotion to get it to a level where it is able to become “the next big thing” – although the concept of the idea is good – i can see larger rivals implementing it into their communities if it does take off.

  4. El Loco says:

    Thanks, you give me new knowledge 🙂

  5. AT&T offers unlimited data transfer.

  6. Geiger says:

    So it’s basically a video splash blog type of service?

  7. Unless you have an unlimited data plan on your cell phone, this isn’t really that good.

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      As data rates continue to drop, I can see the popularity of Next2Friends improving. That said, wireless data is still too expensive, especially in Canada.

      1. Did you see the data plans Rogers came out with today for the iPhone? 400MB/month… brutal!!

        1. Yes Configration in Mobile RE: next2friend woun’t be so easy.

  8. I could really use that for my blog. Unfortunately, I am also a crackberry user, so I will have to wait a little while. I do see this doing very well if it works like it says it does. I can’t wait to give it a try!

    1. What’s a “crackberry” 😉

  9. Man! There are just too many websites to keep up with these days. I must put off checking this one out right now. If I do I’ll end up side tracking and not doing what I need to do. Sounds interesting though.

  10. Gdad says:

    I love Next2Friends, I have been using thier streaming and other real time mobile apps (on my N95) for a few months and it does rock. I had tried other RT streaming sites but the delay was poor and the quality not so good for when I keep in touch with my family ( I trave lots in Asia and the Middle East)

    I have an eat as much as you want data plan for $30 per month which I also use for my email and corp comms when on the road and I have never had an large one off items for the streams I send. 😛

  11. Jonas says:

    😛
    Looks great, easy to down load and use and cool looking site with a few minor clitches (far less that FB) Good look to the innovators.

  12. make150aday says:

    Mr Kwan…
    Video is not the next big thing. It is not the future.
    It is the thing and it is happening right now.

    And this website you are talking about is not unique…There are other websites that does the same stuff and has been around for a while…Even the live broadcast form mobile exists.
    For newbies it is a good information however there are many sites that is alreday doing much more–I m talking about some major sites.
    Good Luck.

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      You’re right. Video is the thing, not the next big thing. It is still growing in popularity too… Perhaps it would be more apt to say that HD video online is the next big thing.

  13. ideasr says:

    An innovative idea, it will certainly find its place on the net ! I’m wondering if it can beats bigger websites as dailymotion and youtube… ? ➡

  14. Mike Saf says:

    It’s all still scattered at this point. However, it seems like we are slowly approaching the point where cell phone plans will be unlimited and ready for larger data intake.

  15. Earnblogger says:

    Good service. Video is the future of social media. To use it, you will need to get a good data plan for your cell phone. Thanks for the info.

  16. Ngage says:

    Looks very cool im a member im olibs on it send me a message on my wall just to see if i am a ghost on this blog hope not 🙂

  17. jatt says:

    very interesting stuffF!!!I realize that video have powerful value in the internet arena

  18. fas says:

    This surely looks cool, but they should fix the issue with the name searching.

  19. Well it’s been a while since you’ve done a review! I don’t use my camera much on my phone, I don’t think I’ve ever even tried the video camera on it. Maybe it will take somewhat decent quality videos…

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