Viki.com gives users another way to watch international television programming. The website hosts television and movie clips that are translated into more than 150 languages by the user community. This gives users in other countries a chance to experience new entertainment and programming that they otherwise might have missed due to language barriers. Users can also socialize by commenting on videos and share their favorite clips on Facebook, Twitter or by embedding them into a website, forum or blog. The site provides four areas that the user can browse, including TV, movies, artists and V. scoop. A built in search bar is also available so users can find specific titles quickly. Along with video clips, related news is also listed on the website.
Viki was founded in 2008 by Changseong Ho, Razmig Hovaghimian and Jiwon Moon. The goal was to create a website that presented television and movie clips that did not recognize international borders. The current version seems to work relatively well; although some users note that there are technical issues noticed when subtitles do not appear on the videos as they are supposed to. In some cases, this happens with videos that previously had subtitles (indicating it may be an issue with the site rather than the video’s translator). So far, Viki has raised $25 million from SK Planet, BBC Worldwide, Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz and others.
There are many places to watch videos on the web however sites like YouTube generally stick with anything and everything. Viki is one of the few that is geared toward international cinema and television programming. Users can participate by sharing their subtitled versions of their favorite shows and movies or explore those added by others. This presents viewers with a rare opportunity to enjoy international entertainment regardless of what language it was made in.
A new user might be a little off put by the Viki homepage, which includes clusters and rows of images all over the page. The light color scheme prevents the site from becoming too busy. After a few moments of orientation, the user will be able to find the search bar, categories and other navigation tools. Video pages provide the user with information such as number of episodes, language, title and broadcast network. Users who are interested in foreign film and television can appreciate Viki’s content once they learn how to navigate the website.
All users are invited to create a Viki account for free. Those who register can upload videos, bookmark videos, build a profile and participate in other community related activities. There is no subscription required to view Viki content. Users are not limited either and can watch videos as often as they like. Free access is a good choice for Viki because the site relies on its users to produce and upload subtitled video clips to share with others.
Viki.com is appealing to anyone who enjoys international film or television programming. The site can also act as a supplemental learning tool for anyone who is dabbling in foreign languages. The application is easy to use (once the user becomes accustomed to the overall layout) and offers users a wide range of international videos to choose from. Users who know multiple languages can offer their skills (and show off their knowledge) by providing subtitled versions of foreign videos.