Watchlists - Small gifts maintain friendship
The title is true for two reasons. On the one hand, your viewers are happy that you put together a watchlist with videos for them, on the other hand, it's a small "very big" update, which has been available on alugha for a few days. Another step to connect video producers and consumers!
Our video producers are as happy about this update as we are. So much so that our marketing department turned on the partybox when our developers Margarita and Christian were ready to release this new feature to the world. But let's start from the beginning...
Most of the time users watched a video on alugha and then left the page again. Why is that? The answer is quite simple... On YouTube, this function is certainly one of the most important ones. Suggesting another video to the viewers, so that they don't have to or want to leave the platform. This function can be very handy if I want to run music videos in the background, for example. They should keep playing after the first video is over. On alugha, so far you had to search for and play a new video after your current video was over... WHO DOES THAT? Right, hardly anyone! And that's the crux of the matter. We were able to bring users to our platform thanks to our very good and valid content, but after watching only one video they left the website.
This was also a problem for our producers on alugha. We could have just put something together to quickly provide you with playlists like on YouTube or Vimeo. But since we are a stickler for details and design (no, that's not a bad thing!), we thought long and hard about how it should look and work on our platform. We also wanted everyone to be able to create their own playlists and make them available on their producer page. Also the name... wasn't exactly what we had in mind.
People "watch" videos. Playlists was somehow too "videoplatformyoutubevimeodailymotion-like" for us. Watchlists was more in the direction of Netflix (they are really good at some things...) and for us the suitable expression, although we also fall into old patterns here and there and occasionally use the word "playlist".
First, we integrated the watchlists into the producer pages, somewhat detached from the videos themselves, but in a prominent position.
Then we thought about how to easily add videos to an existing watchlist. The challenge here was that this should be possible wherever videos are listed on alugha, i.e. in the video overview, on the producer pages and also on the actual video page (the SVP - Single Video Page). To make it even more complex, we also thought about a solution in case you don't have a watchlist yet or even several.
The status/visibility of a watchlist was also important to us. Should it first be "Private", or "Not Listed", or "Public"? Since we offer this setting for all our media on alugha, the logical consequence was to implement it the same way. Consistency is the magic word. Nevertheless, why should you make a watchlist that others can't see? That is easily answered: Sometimes I work on projects for which I sort videos in advance and put them into a watchlist. This is just for me and I don't want others to use this watchlist. So this feature is very useful for me.
And speaking of consistency and continuity: What about the categories? Yes, here too it makes sense to assign a watchlist to one or up to three categories. You will understand very well the reason for this in one of the upcoming updates in the coming months. But the better you want your watchlists to be found, the more consideration you should put into such details.
To enable navigation within the watchlist, we have added forward and backward buttons to our player, which play the previous/next video of the watchlist at the push of a button. In addition, a thumbnail of the respective video is displayed if you hover with the mouse over the button.
It was also important to us that the entire watchlist is displayed directly in the player and that the current video is obviously highlighted. And if we are already in this view, the viewer must also be able to decide whether autoplay should be switched on or off.
Ok, ok, here we also briefly thought about whether we should do this in the same way as others. But... why does YouTube pause for 10 seconds and why should I press the play button to play the video directly? We think that a video should start right after another and the user shouldn't have to actively skip the 10-second pause. So autoplay means: video 1 is over, video 2 starts directly.
If I now have several watchlists, I would of course also like to easily browse inside them with a "swipe gesture". Moreover, we also want them to look at least as good on your smartphone or tablet as on your laptop/desktop computer. Oh man! What demands do these guys at alugha still have?
Depending on which alugha account you have, you can create more or fewer watchlists with more or fewer videos in them. Just check out our Plans page to see if you are interested in upgrading, or contact us - we will be happy to advise you.
Every watchlist should have a thumbnail, so that it looks really appealing and you can immediately tell what it's actually about. You can choose a thumbnail from any video in the watchlist. Let me tell you: the right picture, with relevant information, can be a so-called "eyecatcher" and increase your views and range!
Oh, and by the way... We are a really busy group, which prefers to concentrate on useful functions instead of half-heartedly adding 1.000 features... It is important that all functions make sense AND - as the word implies - function. So rest assured that this is just the beginning of an exciting journey. We already have several functions on the to-do list! And if you are not happy with our functions or if you have another idea, leave a comment! We are looking forward to your feedback!