I wanted to write this post simply because I’ve just come across a service called Howcast for the first time and I’m quite excited about what they’re doing. It’s also a good opportunity to rave a little more about Foursquare, a check-in service that I happen to be quite partial to.
Rather than just providing another video sharing service that would stand very little chance of competing against the big boys (namely YouTube and, to a lesser extent, Vimeo) the people behind Howcast have created a video sharing service that provides quite a bit of extra functionality.
For a long time, YouTube have allowed people to link to a specific time within a video by allowing you to link to a video’s timestamp.
However, Howcast have taken that a good few steps further by providing simple title sections or chapters that you can very quickly jump to. Just hover over the dots in the grey bar above the timeline to view the chapters.
Publishers that use this service properly can display ‘steps’ under their video with the information that is relevant for each chapter or section.
As an example, check out this video from the people behind Foursquare that explains a little more about what Foursquare is.
You can also click on a green arrow icon in the video’s top right corner to view text versions of the steps.
If you watch the video on Howcast, you can see a heap more information and tools, like a simple ‘What you will need’ section plus detailed steps and tips.
There are already heaps of videos within a range of categories. Many of which have been created by Howcast to show off their service but it looks like their are plenty of other users as well. Check out this video on ‘How to Handle Awkward Facebook Friend Requests’:
And how about this useful and informative video on how to survive a cougar attack?
When creating your video, you can add tips (green) and facts (blue) that also appear as coloured dots on the timeline.
Pretty cool huh? Hopefully Howcast really picks up and we’ll see more and more businesses using this unique service.