The number of Web 2.0 sites is immense. Metacafe is the largest video sharing site, although it could be argued that its competitor YouTube is better known. It specializes in short-form original entertainment, and like its competitors YouTube and Dailymotion, it allows users to upload, view, and video clips. However, unlike them, it does things a little differently. The site works to ensure the elimination of duplicate clips and filters adult content.
Metacafe was originally founded in Tel Aviv by Israel entrepreneurs Eyal Hertzog and Arik Czerniak. Traffic to the site increased exponentially, and the headquarters moved to Palo Alto, California. Then Erick Hachenburg, who had previously worked at Electronic Arts and Pogo, took over as CEO of the company. Next, Metacafe struck a deal with Internet telephony provider Skype to provide videos to Skype users that would help spice up their “mood messages,” which integrated with Skype’s new beta version 3.5 for Windows.
Other features that are unique to Metacafe include a program called VideoRank. This system assesses viewer reactions to video clips and ranks them, using the rankings to feature the most popular to other viewers. Also, something that only Metacafe offers is its Producer Rewards Program. When creators of videos have come up with original work that exceeds a given threshold of both total viewings (20,000) and VideoRank scoring (3.00 or higher), Metacafe pays them five dollars per 1,000 viewings. Finally, a third way in which Metacafe differs is that it has a reviewer panel made up of 80 thousand community members.
The top video producer, KipKay, has managed to earn over $100,000 for popular, original content that does not violate copyright. The other top 19 producers have earned at least $10,000 each.
This Web 2.0 site has a monthly average of 28 million unique visitors, 7 million of which originated in the United States, and 68,000 page views in the United States. Metacafe was ranked second behind MySpace for the number of user comments posted in response to videos viewed. User comments were equated with user engagement with the site.
Due to the site’s high rate of user traffic and user success stories, Metacafe videos have been featured on programs such as such as the Beer Launching Fridge on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and the Ron Paul Girl series by Liv Films, a series that has been featured on Fox News and the Cable News Network. The Beer Launching Fridge, a modified mini-fridge that makes use of a keyless remote system to catapult beer to the desired drinker, has also gained its creator, electrical engineer John W. Cornell, $9,400 through Metacafe’s Producer Rewards program.
Metacafe has also inspired a series of what are known as “webisodes,” an online series otherwise similar to television. The title is Café Confidential, and it has 44 episodes. The short-form videos, which are close-up shots, were compiled from interviews of over 100 people discussing various memorable moments in their lives.
As the technology on Web 2.0 continues to advance, and the relevance of video hosting sites becomes greater in modern-day society, Metacafe will have to continue to offer users more than its competitors if it wants to stay at the top.
To your Web 2.0 success!