Vodpod.com acquired by Lockerz, service continues

We’re pleased to announce that Lockerz, the leader in rewarded social expression, has acquired Vodpod from Remixation, Inc (the company behind Vodpod and Showyou). Details are available in the press release issued by Lockerz today.

The Vodpod site will remain unchanged for the time being, and eventually the service will be integrated with Lockerz.  Regardless, you will continue to enjoy the same experience you’ve come to know and love from Vodpod, and in time, will benefit from more innovation as Lockerz develops the product further.  Lockerz is committed to making any transition smooth and seamless for customers.

Going forward, the Remixation team will continue to focus and work on Showyou, its video sharing application for iPhone and iPad.

The Remixation team would like to thank all of our users for their support and use of Vodpod over the past five years.  We’re excited to see Vodpod continue on as the leading video curation service on the Web, and excited to see the site grow and thrive as part of Lockerz.

The Team(s) Behind Showyou

When we started thinking about making a product for tablets, phones and even the TV last fall, we confronted a tricky and risky choice: do we dive in and build something new, or stay the course and focus on our existing web service? After all, Vodpod is a thriving site with over 1M registered members and is visited by millions of people every month.

We decided to take the risk and build an entirely new Showyou, an app we launched on Wednesday, while also maintaining and continuing to run Vodpod. And that couldn’t have been done without a great team, and without collaboration with lots of other people.

Let’s start with the team at Remixation who have been nothing short of marvelous. Scott and Spencer — co-founders of Remixation and crack Ruby coders — became crafty iOS developers in 45 days, building most of the Showyou client. Phil delved into iOS to whip out the iPhone version of the app, while mastering Node.js for our video importer. Kyle  built most of the back-end services and infrastructure, including setting up a noSQL DB for the first time (Riak) and falling a little too much in love with Erlang. And Justin, who joined us as the lead UI designer in just mid-January and did not one, but two full passes on the UI for both the iPad and the iPhone /iPod Touch apps in just 60 days. Remarkable.

We were extremely lucky to collaborate with the team at Moving Brands. They pushed us to think hard about what our app stood for, to make that the core of the identity of the app, and to apply that throughout every element of Showyou. With them, we were able to make something fun, simple, usable and yet very visually distinctive.

We had a fantastic group of about 60 beta testers who used the app and sent us lots of great feedback. We made dozens of changes to the app based on their notes and ideas, and we can’t thank them enough.

Marisa Lam of Techmarket and her friend Marjaneh Ravai helped us to launch Showyou and get it in front of more people than we could have done on our own.

Finally, none of this would have been possible without the fantastic support of TrueVentures. If you are an entrepreneur interested in making a great product and a real business, there is no better early stage investor. Phil, Jon, John, Puneet, Tony, Toni, Om, Shea, Adam and Christiaan — the whole team is world class and they truly do love entrepreneurs.

We send a particular shout out to Toni Schneider, who has a big day job, but has found time to be a fantastic board member. He was there at literally every critical juncture, gave us awesome product and strategic feedback throughout, and Showyou would not have gotten made without him.

We Have a New App. Let’s Showyou.

You may have noticed, things have been quiet around here the past few months. We tried to provide some clues about what we’ve been doing without spilling the beans entirely.

Today, finally, we can tell you. We’re proud to launch our second product, the first social video app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. It’s called Showyou. And it’s simple, and extremely fun, to use.

Showyou let’s you see all the videos shared by your friends on Facebook and people you follow on Twitter — and indeed Vodpod — in one place, on your iPad or iPhone or iPod Touch. You can share and talk videos with your friends, without worrying about cluttering up your Facebook or Twitter feeds. And, if you have an Apple TV (version 2.0) you can use Showyou with your television — it’s the ultimate remote control.

Given we run Vodpod, why did we build a second product? Why not make Vodpod for the iPad? Because as much as we think Swiss Army knives are nifty, we’re think it’s best to use the right tool for the job. And Vodpod is, first and foremost, a tool for making your own video channel — with any video from any video-sharing site, that you can share with anyone, anywhere. It’s a tool for curation, for publishing. And where we’ve gotten into trouble with Vodpod historically is when we tried to make it into something other than that.

When we starting thinking about building this product last fall, we wanted to build an app that made it fun and easy to watch videos from your friends. We felt the iPad, in particular, was an awesome device for watching videos but that there were no good, let alone great, apps for finding and discovering videos on the iPad (or iPhone, or iPod Touch). Or for talking the videos you love with your friends. And so we decided to build a second product; to make the right tool for the job — Showyou.

The beauty of this approach is that Showyou and Vodpod are almost perfect complements. You can use either one independently of the other. But connect them and you get that chocolate + peanut butter goodness (we’ll make sure we say “synergy” in our powerpoint slide).

Connect your Vodpod account on Showyou, and you’ll see videos from the purposefully-curated you follow on Vodpod alongside videos your friends have shared via Facebook, or that people you follow have shared on Twitter. Showyou gives our Vodpod members a whole new outlet and potential audience for their hand-crafted video channels.

Finally, this: Vodpod and Showyou are made from the startup DNA. At their core is this belief — that the best way to find videos is through people who share your tastes and interests.

So, loyal friends and Vodpod members, say hello to a new app from the team that made Vodpod. We hope — and think — you’ll love it.

Vodpod News Feed Up and Active

We fixed the problems we were encountering with the Vodpod news feed (that shows you what videos are being added by people you follow on Vodpod) on Monday evening and everything should be running smoothly now.

Let us know if you encounter any difficulties.

Vodpod Feed on Bed Rest

We’ve seen extremely high load on our Vodpod feed last 24 hours which has affected the site generally, and caused intermittent downtime on the site today.

We’ve been working to fix today, but it’s become clear that it’s going to take a bit longer to put a fix in place.

As a proactive measure, we’ve turned the feed “off” for the weekend. So, you won’t see new updates on your Vodpod home page over the weekend.

We should have things back up and running on Monday; apologies in advance for the inconvenience.

Vodpod Status

No, this isn’t a post about Wikileaks.

But some of  you might have noticed that very little has changed on Vodpod.com over the last two months. And as those of you who have used the service regularly for a while know, that’s very unusual.

So we thought we should come clean.

We haven’t worked on Vodpod in nearly two months.

No, we’ve not been lying on a beach somewhere in the South Pacific. We’re working on something new. A new product altogether and cousin to Vodpod, if you will.

It should be ready in early 2011. Can’t wait to show you.

Vodpod Wants You

Hey, we’re hiring!

And if you dream of doing work that has an impact, that is seen and used by tens of millions of people — but in a small and lean startup instead of a bloated, bureaucratic big company — we have the perfect job for you.

What are we looking for? Someone who can create elegant and simple-to-use interfaces and execute them with HTML, CSS and Javascript, JJQuery, etc. Someone who is deeply interested in social networks and social media (you blog and you Tweet and you Facebook); and who is fascinated by new gadgets and new types of user experiences.

We’re a hungry, lean startup, but let’s be clear — this is a real job, at a real company, with big ambitions and aspirations. We’re funded (by TrueVentures, backers of WordPress, Gigaom, Makerbot, TypeKit, Bandcamp, About.me and others), stable and growing.

Our website is visited by over 10M people every month, and we’re about to make a big splash on the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android platforms. So this is an opportunity to make a real impact on how millions of people find and watch videos — on the web, on their phones, on tablets and on TV.

Check out the job description (or send it to a friend) and be in touch if you think you’re the one.