Joost, the online video service, is finally out of beta–kind of–with the release of its 1.0 software to anyone who cares to download it and a redesign of both its Web page and search on the service.
The broadband peer-to-peer Internet service, which is trying to popularize a television experience on the Web by providing professionally produced content–complete with network television shows–will remain in beta, although you no longer have to be invited to join.
Presumably, kazillions will now sign up. Or not!
Those who were invited and already using it now get a better interface and a way to find shows that seems more intuitive (the old carousel approach was plainly confusing, so let’s just forget it ever happened).
It will also open its API for third-party apps–in other words, widgetmania continues unabated!
We are no Walt Mossberg, but found the pre-beta version a bit buggy and often annoying, so this is an improvement. Now, bring us more programming we like (and, um, not more of investor CBS’s gross-me-out “CSI”)!
Joost, founded by the founders of the Skype online phone service, is backed by some big players–such as Sequoia Capital and Index Ventures–to the tune of $45 million in funding.
And it also nabbed a popular Silicon Valley player, Mike Volpi, as its CEO.
Here’s a video interview with Volpi, in two parts (Part 1 and Part 2), which I did on a recent trip to Los Angeles, where he was visiting in the vain hope that Hollywood types might suddenly realize the kids love this crazy Internet thing.
Also included is a video I made at Joost’s party in Burbank in June for those same ungrateful entertainment folks.