Hulu turns one, adds social features

Posted on March 13, 2009. Filed under: Internet Market, Tech News | Tags: , |

By Brad Linder, Downloadsquad

hulu-friends

Online video site Hulu opened its doors to the public (in the US, anyway) a year ago today. Since then, Hulu says its video library has grown 333 percent from 12,000 videos to 40,000 videos. It’d take you 7,1000 hours to watch it all. The site now has 130 content partners, which is more than twice as many as it had a year go. And the number of advertising partners has nearly quintupled.

Of course, the site has also begun limiting the way users can access videos. When Hulu launched, the company was pretty hands-off with web sites and services that embedded Hulu videos. After all, unlike YouTube, Hulu doesn’t display advertising on its web site. Instead, video ads are embedded in each video and whether you’re watching videos at Hulu.com or Download Squad, you still watch the ads. But in the last few weeks Hulu’s content partners have pressured the company to shut down access to third party applications like Boxee that allow users to watch easily Hulu videos on a TV set.

In other news, Hulu has begun rolling out social features that could be either pretty cool or pretty creepy. Registered users can check a box that will allow their friends and contacts to see what they’re watching on Hulu. On the one hand, it could be a nice way to share ratings, compare notes on TV shows and movies, and engage in a discussion. On the other hand, do you really want all of your Facebook, MySpace, or email (Gmail, MSN, Yahoo!) contacts to know what you’ve been watching?

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