Area 120, Google’s in-house start-up incubator, launched on the Apple app store on March 14th its latest project Uptime, which “brings friends together to watch, chat and have fun.” Uptime allows users to watch and share YouTube videos, meet friends, and add stickers, emojis, and comments in real time.
In addition, the video-sharing app also allows users to curate YouTube videos, as well as get daily video recommendations from other users whom they follow. Uptime is, however, not as fully functional as YouTube and lacks basic features including the ability to upload a video to the app and to message other users privately.
While it is currently only available to iOS devices, Uptime is a bid to give YouTube users a more social experience following a report released by eMarketer earlier this year that digital video audience will grow 8.2% this year. True enough, statistics reveal that an increasing number of American Internet users watch live video on Facebook than on any other platform.
Area 120 was launched last year to house Google’s internal teams to venture into personal projects where they can do their research and perfect their ideation on a full time basis, an ingenious move by the multinational technology company to inhibit talented employees from moving to other companies.