Hulu Improves Navigation, Adds Social Networking Features

Sep 23rd, 2008 | By | Category: Featured Story, Internet TV, Video

Popular Internet television site Hulu today introduced two new features. The first, Channels, aims to simplify navigation, while the second, Discussion Boards, introduces a social media aspect to the site. 

Here’s what Hulu has to say about the two new features:

Our new, genre-based channels let you explore Hulu videos in a whole new way. Choose your favorite subject and discover all the videos Hulu has to offer. You can get a look at the new channels from our home page — just hover your mouse over the new “Channels” menu near the top of our home page, and an interactive channel list will pop up — or click through to the Channels Page, where you’ll find categories like Anime, featuring the ninjas from Naruto, the deadly notebook from Death Note, and the primeval Mushi-Shi; and Food and Leisure, with recipes from such Food Network shows as Everyday Italian with Giada De Laurentiis and 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray. You can browse by video or by show or movie title, and use the filters on the right to sort by most popular, recently added or title.

Hulu fans have a lot to say about their favorite shows and movies. To make it easier to share ideas, discuss storylines and get the scoop on your favorite stars, we’ve introduced Hulu discussion boards. You can get started on any show page — a new “Discussions” tab now appears underneath the video player — and start a new thread about Dr. Greene’s upcoming appearance on ER, join in on the discussion about the pseudoscience on Fringe, or debate which Heroes villain has best superpower. 

While these are welcome additions, they seem like baby steps to enhance the site functionality. 

Hulu is the leading Internet television site, but it’s focused on the television part of that equation at the expense of the Internet side.

They need to extend their functionality by including additional social networking features, live discussions about the show, Mystery Science Theater style end user overdubs and other features that would turn the site into more than just a tool for watching TV shows. 

Internet television is still brand new and there’s plenty of room for experimentation and innovation.

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