Launched last April as both a web site and a mobile site (mobile.kyte.tv), San Francisco based startup Kyte.tv combines video with social networking. With Kyte you create a homepage, which Kyte calls a channel, and add video, images, text and music from your PC or phone. Anyone can visit your channel, and view the content you have shared. Registered users can leave comments, live chat with you and other users and participate in polls. Channels can be embedded on a MySpace page or blog and there’s a Facebook app too.
Kyte was designed for mobile from the start, giving it a advantage over sites like YouTube, MySpace and Facbook which have had to graft a mobile web front end on to something that was created with no awareness of the mobile web. I’ve blogged about Facebook, MySpace and Friendster’s mobile sites and they all have have a raft of usability issues most of which are related to their initial implementation as a web only services.
For example, imagine a new user coming to any of those social networking sites mobile site from a link or search engine. A login is required but there’s no way to register on the mobile site. That’s a potential user lost. The mobile experience isn’t very rewarding for existing users of these sites either. They have to login with an email addresses, which is hard to type on phone keypad and once past that hurdle, there’s a very limited subset of what’s available from a PC. Direct Kyte competitor YouTube’s mobile site is also very limited in features and content and uses email addresses as logins.
Kyte gets it right, new users can register on the mobile site and they create an alphanumeric login as part of the registration process. The mobile site is full featured, the content, chat and polls are all available on the mobile website. Mobile publishing is accomplished by sending an MMS to a personalized Kyte.tv email address. Kyte also offers a mobile Java app that lets you capture and upload pictures, sounds and video directly. And if you just want to view the videos and other content on Kyte you don’t even need to sign up.
Features like being able to register from the mobile, a login that’s easy to enter with T9 or triple-tap, and the ability to get a feel for a site without the commitment of registration are key components of mobile usability and popularity. Kyte.tv has all of those and is a fun site that seems to be growing fast.
Kyte.tv (xhtml-mp) Content: Usability: