Zync with Me: Synchronized Sharing of Video through Instant Messaging

Zync with Me: Synchronized Sharing of Video through Instant Messaging

David A. Shamma (Yahoo! Research, USA) and Yiming Liu (Yahoo! Research, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-656-3.ch016
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This chapter details a real world case study of a synchronized video-sharing tool, Zync. Zync was integrated into a popular instant messenger program that enables a virtual co-present “watch together” and “on-the-couch” viewing experience. Users can watch videos together in sync with each others, while they chat via text messages. Using logged data from 2,814 users, three types of people who share videos via IM are identified, as well as the different kinds of videos commonly shared and how users shared these videos with their IM friends. The authors follow up on these trends with user studies and interviews, which further explains how and why people are motivated to share videos. Based on their findings, the authors identify and define future design areas for synchronized sharing of video; to help keep people connected through media.
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The growth of online video has lead people to share videos. In some cases, the video is sent via a link (like an email or an instant message). Online chatting along with a live stream or broadcast has also recently become popular. In a study, Weisz, Kiesler, Zhang, Ren, Kraut, and Konstan (2007) showed people feel closer to each other and will enjoy the media more when they can chat with others at the same time, even though they found the chat distracting.

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