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Social Video Discovery Tools

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Watching online video just got easier thanks to a handful of video discovery and sharing platforms. Whether you're using your computer or a mobile device to watch video online, these apps let you browse premium and free video content, and share it with family and friends. This article reviews the biggest names in social video discovery so that you can choose the one that's right for you.

1. Squrl

Squrl is a free mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. It's got a great user interface and a search function that gets better the more you use it. By tracking your taste preferences based on what you've searched, Squrl brings you personalized video recommendations from the latest and greatest of online media. Squrl pulls video from a wide range of sources including YouTube, Hulu, Netflix and Vimeo, and also lets you link your premium video subscriptions. The latest addition of Squrl boasts live streaming video access to sites like HuffPost Live, Bloomberg TV and Al Jazeera. If you're using this app with an iPad, Airplay capability makes it easy watch your Squrl discoveries on TV.

2. Vodio Video Magazine

Another app for the iPhone and iPad, Vodio helps you curate a personalized video magazine. Like Squrl, Vodio's search function charts your taste preferences to bring you personalized results. Vodio emphasizes video discovery, and its a great app to use if you want to browse online video by category to find something new. Vodio searches yield a variety of channels, and also include recent video posts from your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Vodio also supports Airplay so you can watch videos using your Apple TV.

3. Fanhattan

Fanhattan is a social video discovery app that not only lets you find new and exciting content, it wants to be your go-to app for all things entertainment. It's an iOS app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, and is free to download from the App Store. In addition to streaming video sites such as the major streaming video sites like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, Fanhattan adds cable TV networks including HBO, Cinemax, the CW, and NBC to the roster. Tired of online video? The app includes a list of movies in theaters near you, and a newsfeed with all the latest headlines in entertainment.

4. Shelby.tv

The Shelby.tv platform offers two different services: a website that lets you browse video and curate your own video channel, and a free Genius app for iOS devices. The website works like a blog, letting users follow each other to get the latest from their favorite channels and social media friends. The app is one of the most simple included in this list, drawing only from the free video sharing sites YouTube, Vimeo and Dailymotion. The app bases its results on what other users are searching and what's currently popular on the web, so your search is highly likely to bring you fresh and interesting video. The Shelby Genius app is free to download from the app store.

5. Plizy

Both a website and free iPad app, Plizy wants to be "Your Media Center in the Cloud". By linking all your premium subscriptions to the Plizy app, it compiles a database of all of your digital content, kind of like a virtual DVD collection. The app's user interface displays results as a grid of poster icons with the date of release, running time, and includes pop-up ratings from the Rotten Tomatoes movie review site. Plizy is great to use when you've got a specific show or movie in mind, but aren't sure which streaming video service to use to watch it.

All of these video discovery platforms make it easy to share your finds with friends, and narrow your search time for watching online video. So, next time you're in a video pinch, give one of these apps a try!

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