Written by Gang Lu and edited by Richard MacManus
Mojiti.com, launched in November 2006. What makes Mojiti special in this market is that it offers users a fresh experience: videos are not just available to watch and share, you can annotate them too! In other words, with Mojiti you can add text and graphics to existing videos. In this post we review Mojiti and also tell you about a few new features which haven't yet been released: a Media Center plugin, Flash Spots, and SubRip/SubViewer.There are many so-called Chinese YouTubes fighting it out on the Chinese web2.0 battleground, but one that caught our attention is
With Mojiti, you can tell your own stories inside online videos. You can add text, hyperlinks, shapes, thought and speech bubbles, images and more - anywhere on the video screen. You can narrate your own video, subtitle videos with any language, or just comment on any scene. Mojiti's technology works by adding an overlay on top of video from all major video sharing websites (such as YouTube, Metacafe, Google Video and more). It also works on all major online video formats (Flash, Windows Media, QuickTime). Users annotate on this overlay and Mojiti synchronizes their annotations to the underlying video. Since each annotation is linked to a specific moment, users can now search inside the video and even jump to specific scenes, which makes it much easier to find out the video, or parts of it, that you're really interested with.
And of course, the personalized videos are also for sharing. Mojiti gives you different options to share your video creation - such as emailing, embedding, or even watching on your Media Center PC (using its new Media Center plug-in).
We spoke to Eric Feng, the founder of Mojiti.com. He has a few years experience in Microsoft's Seattle headquarters and he has also been a lecturer teaching on entrepreneurship at one of the best universities in China, Tsignhua University. Eric told us that unlike most Chinese startups, Mojiti.com is targeting the international market by offering an English version since launch. After only 3 months of operation, Mojiti has videos with subtitles in nearly 20 languages and it was also mentioned as a representative of web 2.0 startups in China by BusinessWeek.
A nice demo of what Mojiti can do can be found in the video below:
We were also invited to give its upcoming new version a go (see screenshot below). It features more formatting tools for annotation and a new funny annotation type called Flash Spots is introduced. The new version even supports SubViewer and SubRip files, which allows users to create subtitles in bulk.
The video-based internet market is quite crowded, but the only real competitor of Mojiti.com that we have found so far is Bubbleply.com. [Ed: Gotuit Scenemaker also lets users overlay a video, but they do it mostly for searching purposes] So what is next after YouTube? What we can say for sure is that it is definitely not just sharing!