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Kyte Listens to Users in Creating 2.0 Console

If your product has an active community of users, you don't need to waste time wondering what your next improvements should be. Just listen closely, and your customers will be glad to tell you.

That lesson was taken to heart by the team at video platform Kyte when it came time to refine their content management console. Unveiled last week, the 2.0 console should be far easier to use than the previous version, and more capable, too.

If you're new to Kyte, know that it's an end-to-end video platform that's just as comfortable with mobile video as online video. It offers social features that turn video viewing into a group experience, and provides useful analytic features. Kyte will also have you making money with the integration of third-party monetization services.

The developers at Kyte watched how the company's tier-one customers used the previous console, and discovered that the tool needed to work well in a multi-account environment. Some customers, for example, held smaller subsidiary companies around the globe, while others ran several different sites from within one company. In either case, the customer wanted an easy way to share video content between the different sites.

Kyte also found that customers wanted an easier way to merge all the various types of content they could show on their site. They wanted user-generated content, live streams, and mobile video to all be accessible from the same console.

By listening to one customer in particular—ABC, which is owned by Disney—Kyte developed a much stronger comment moderation system. Disney is especially strict about the need for a multi-stage moderation workflow for comments, and so Kyte created it for them. The result was so good, however, that Kyte's team decided to add it to this release and share it with all of their customers.


Customers are also getting improved programming power with the addition of playlists. Now, they can organize their videos into playlists and add their playlists to various channels. It's a quick way to add content to sites without the need to fine-tune each one.

Workflows aren't new to this release, but they did get a major overhaul. Workflows are much more flexible with the 2.0 console, and they let teams organize themselves by key tasks, so that each member is able to focus on his or her specific core area.

One new feature of the console lets customers publish slideshows with audio. This is a great way to create an engaging video when you only have an audio track. Illustrate your track with several still photos and you've got a slideshow.

"For me, the biggest thing is ease of use and making it very easy to use in what can be a sophisticated video implementation," says Gannon Hall, Kyte's chief operating officer.

Kyte is still a young company, having formed in 2006 and launched its platform in April, 2007. Based in San Francisco, it's grown to a 45-person company with sales offices around the globe. It's no wonder, with a customer list that includes Universal Music, Sony Music Entertainment, MTV, VH1, and Armani Exchange.

Version 2.0 may have just launched, but the people at Kyte are thinking about the 3.0 version already. Look for that one to focus on the server-side issues of scalability and performance.

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