Metacafe.com is an online video sharing site where users upload, view and share video clips. The site features a review process and a unique ranking algorithm that ensures that the site’s content is high in quality. Users can choose to search or browse a number of different categories of videos. In addition, the home page, called the Today section, displays a list of the most popular videos of the current day. Other areas of the site include Videos, where users can browse by category, Channels where users can view groups of videos by the same producer, and Review, where users can choose to become part of the review team that initially determines which videos make it onto the site.
There is also a Producer Central section on the site, which offers training in video techniques and the ability to participate in the site’s Producer Rewards program, which pays producers for the most highly-viewed videos. Viewing videos on the site is a seamless process, with a browser-based player that loads when you click on a video link. At the bottom of the player, users have the option to share, download, bookmark, or embed the video in their own site.
The site also has available a downloadable desktop application, Metacafe Pro, which allows users to have videos pushed directly to their PCs, watch high definition content and download and save videos.
Metacafe.com was founded in July 2003 by entrepreneurs Eyal Hertzog and Arik Czerniak. Originally located in Tel Aviv, Israel, the company moved to Palo Alto, California in 2006. The CEO of the company is Erick Hachenburg, previously of Electronic Arts.
The site has 10’s of millions of monthly visitors, and is one of the most popular video sites on the web. The site’s Alexa page rank is consistently near 100. Financial backers include Accel Partners and Benchmark Capital.
Metacafe’s main competitors are YouTube, DailyMotion and Veoh. The main difference between Metacafe and the other sites is the manual review process that Metacafe uses to determine which videos are added to the main site. In addition, their ranking algorithm tends to offer a consistently higher quality of video content than the other sites. The manual review process also makes certain that objectionable material is removed before it makes it onto the main site.
The site has a clean look and feel, however some of the pages are a bit cluttered. The site displays no direct advertising, but displays ads at the bottom of the video player while a user is watching a video. Navigation is intuitive, with a top menu bar that is shown on all pages on the site. The menu bar items include Today, Videos, Channel and Review.
Pages load quickly and the site is responsive. Videos load and start quickly as well using a Flash-based player that is quite handsome.
Registration is not required to view videos on the site, but is required to submit videos. The registration process asks for email address, nickname, password, date of birth, gender, country and postal code. Validation of the email address is required.
There is no cost for membership on Metacafe, and there is no premium membership available. You must sign up separately for the Producer Rewards Program or to become a Reviewer.
Metacafe is recommended to anyone looking for a good site to view quality video content. The ability to share the content with others and participate in the rating process is also attractive to most users. The content on Metacafe is consistently higher than that of the other video sites on the web, so the site should appeal to the more demanding user. The video quality is good and videos load and start quickly. The Producer Rewards program should appeal to anyone who produces video content, and the ability to participate in the Review process is also a plus. All in all, Metacafe is an excellent site for viewing and sharing video content.