Video streaming Web site Hulu.com is the latest website to catch on the social networking trend online. The site celebrated its one-year anniversary on Thursday by launching a new social networking feature on its site that makes it easier for users to interact with the site and shares videos with their friends.
“Hulu Friends” integrates functions from social networking sites MySpace and Facebook, as well as e-mail providers Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail, and allows users to see what their friends are watching, share new videos and leave notes for each other.
Through the features, users can now invite friends through Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail MySpace or Facebook and share the movies and episodes users liked. Using a newsfeed similar to Facebook's, Hulu Friends can broadcast what you and your friends have been watching and who you've befriended. This feature can also be turned off.
Along with this new feature, Hulu plans on rolling out a bunch of new content including; new shows, more seasons of user favorites, and more classic cartoons and movies.
Hulu, which streams television shows and movies for free, still has a long way to go if it hopes to catch up to Google-owned YouTube.com. According to Internet tracking site comScore, YouTube accounted for about 43 percent of all videos viewed over the Internet in January. By comparison, Hulu.com had only a 1.7 percent share of all videos viewed.
Hulu streamed more than 250.4 million videos in the month of January, nearly tripling the 88.2 million video streams the firm reported in May 2008 when comScore first began tracking Hulu.
Hulu is a joint venture between General Electric Co.-owned NBC Universal and News Corp.