Video search firm blinkx updated its Website this morning, adding new functionality that will (hopefully) increase viewer engagement.
New features include the addition of "Inform Me" and "Entertain Me" buttons on the blinkx page that provide users with automated news and entertainment streams.
The "Entertain Me" stream hunts down videos based on the number of times a video has been viewed or shared by users, providing users with a cross-section of the most popular viral videos being watched and circulated on any given day. Meanwhile, the "Inform Me" stream aggregates the top news of the day, taking into account which stories have been covered most often by blinkx's news partners.
blinkx's goal is to go beyond its search roots and to provide users with more of a lean-back experience, according to CEO Suranga Chandratillake. He likens the "Inform Me" experience, for instance, to "watching the 5:00 news."
"We did this for users that might not necessarily know what they want to watch," Chandratillake says.
blinkx has also added some of its audio and visual search technology front and center, allowing users to take advantage of speech tags, facial recognition, and scene change analysis that is baked into its platform.
By clicking on "More Information," users can see speech tags that are automatically generated and put alongside text metadata. These speech tags can then be used to navigate within the video -- enabling users to jump to where certain words are spoken -- or to check out related videos with the same speech tags.
Users can also take advantage of blinkx's facial recognition and scene change analysis in much the same way, allowing them to jump to see specific scenes or people that are included in a video.
With the launch of the new site, blinkx is suspending advertising on the site -- in particular the "Inform Me" and "Entertain Me" streams -- until it has gotten some real-world usage and the company is able to make a round or two of technical adjustments. Once that is done, however, the new channels should give blinkx some valuable new ways to target its users with advertising.