Mobile video sharing service Socialcam unveiled a new desktop web presence today, providing a destination for its users beyond the mobile space that’s also completely separate from Facebook. It’s a sign that the company is committed to staking out its own territory, and not just following in the footsteps of Instagram, according to Socialcam CEO Michael Seibel.
“The entire interface has been redone. We basically wanted to give users the ability to get most of the information they can get on the app, on the website,” he told us in an interview. “Basically, as we’re attracting more and more people to the website, we just wanted to give them a significant amount of functionality.” Users can now see activity on the site around who’s followed them and who’s viewed videos, as well as just seeing a stream of videos posted by their friends, and also follow users, view top charts of the most popular Socialcam members, and more.
Recently, Socialcam had come under fire for its practices on Facebook, including how it handles YouTube videos shared through its site. The network made changes to how YouTube videos are handled in response, and now creating its own web-based presence that takes sharing away from Facebook and its often fickle sharing and engagement habits is a good way to further ensure that its growth is dependent on its own success and appeal, and less subject to changes in how the social network does business and presents content.
With a social activity feed, user suggestions and leaderboards, Socialcam on the web now feels much more like its own network and less like a feature of someone else’s product. The company is clearly now committed to trying to build lasting growth into its platform, and looks to be trying to dispel any notions that it was taking shortcuts to amplify its progress. Social video apps still have a long way to go to prove they have the staying power of other social online tools, but seeing Socialcam iterate this quickly in response to feedback from users and the community at least indicates some of the players in this space are thinking about long-term viability, rather than resting on the value of short-term gains.