Private Video Sharing With VidMe

By June 24, 2010

A new user-created content site gives people a place to share their videos with complete control over sharing. VidMe's introduction video sketches a scenario where a couple shares videos on YouTube, but after they break up, one m

ember is dismayed to discover their "private" videos have become not so private.

If the couple had used the newly-launched VidMe, this would not have happened. As the narrator explains, "Videos expire when you say they do. One day, one week, or even after one viewing. And you can take them back anytime. Just in case you ever need to." Like YouTube only in the sense that users upload and invite viewers, on VidMe the recipient list can be edited at any time, and the video cannot be downloaded or shared without being approved by the content owner. These settings can be set for each video that the account member uploads.

Along with security, VidMe provides input flexibility - users can upload straight from a Web cam or their iPhone app, as well as privately reply to content. Since privacy is the focus of the service, VidMe assures users that they take only the minimum amount of rights that allow account members to use the site. This should assuage the fears of those accustomed to the rampant social networking rights-usurpers so ubiquitously cached in user terms of service agreements.

In fact, VidMe's documentation is the least opaque of any this writer has previously encountered. The privacy statement and the terms of service can both be skimmed in a few minutes, rather than in an afternoon for the likes of a Google service.

Since VidMe is eschewing view numbers in favor of privacy and customization, the standard solution of advertising monetization cannot apply. Instead of relying on hits and pageviews, the site has adopted a freemium model - the first several videos are free to upload, and members are charged for additional content.

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