Go90, Verizon’s new video streaming service, is set to launch any day now to take on Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. We recently got an early look at the app and came away pleasantly surprised, though we’re still not sure if Verizon stands a chance against already entrenched competition.
The app’s standout feature is the option to quickly grab a few seconds of a video and share it online. Verizon calls this a “Cut,” and it can be anything from a funny joke to a great sports play. Just tap the screen to pull up options, and hit the button with scissors on it. Then you can edit exactly where the clip starts and ends before adding a comment and sharing it on Go90 or another social network.
The rest of the app is focused on finding videos to watch. The main tab, called My Feed, offers up a mix of content based on your interests and what your friends are watching. That includes short news reports, comedy sketches and viral videos, along with live events like concerts.
The second tab, Following, organizes videos in four different ways. You can view the channels you follow, specific shows you like, people you’re interested in, and “Crews.” That last one groups videos into categories like “Girl Power” and “Comic Con” based on mutual interests. There’s also a separate Profile tab where you can see your previous activity and any Cuts you’ve already made.
Any time you launch a new video the app automatically switches the view 90 degrees from portrait to landscape; that’s is where Go90’s name comes from. It’s a little jarring at first, though it’s not a big deal to flip your phone. Still, that alone might be enough to scare some people away.
The rest of the interface all seemed pretty intuitive, though all those options and tabs may be a overwhelming. If you use Go90, you’ll probably spend most of your time in the main feed unless you’re looking for a specific video. Go90 is launching with a ton of video content. A lot of that comes from AOL and The Huffington Post, which Verizon bought back in June. You’ll also find clips from Funny or Die, ESPN, TLC, Animal Planet, the Science Channel and more.
Go90 is also free and supported by ads, though we didn’t see any commercials during our quick demo. It should be available for Android and iOS very soon, though the company still isn’t saying exactly when it’s launching.