You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Vevo Releases New iPhone App That’s A Lot More Like Tinder Than YouTube

Music video service Vevo released a completely revamped iPhone app to its U.S. users Thursday, introducing a bold new design direction that the company eventually wants to bring to other platforms and markets as well. The release of the app happens to coincide with the release of YouTube Music for mobile, but Vevo’s new iOS app took a lot more cues from social apps like Tinder and Snapchat than from existing video services.

The Tinder influence is immediately obvious upon launching the Vevo app for the first time. As part of the onboarding process, users have to tell Vevo about their favorite artists. Vevo’s new app does so by presenting full-bleed pictures of those artists, letting users swipe left or right — just like they would on Tinder to find a potential match.

Big imagery continue to dominate the app experience after the onboarding. The main screen consists of a seemingly endless stream of videos, each presented with a full-screen image that’s been optimized for the app. Vevo’s team has been working nonstop for eight weeks to prepare the imagery for the app, explained product manager Jose Gonzales during a recent interview.

The home screen feed presents the latest videos from artists that users have selected as their favorites, Tinder-style, and mixes them with recommended videos from related artists. Vevo is using its huge treasure trove of music data for these recommendations, and the app will refine its recommendations based on user behavior, explained Gonzales: “The app will definitely get a lot smarter over time.”

In addition to the main video feed, there’s also a feed of favorites that offers direct access to a user’s favorite artists, videos and playlists. “People watch a lot of the same content over and over again,” said Gonzales. Vevo’s app wants to cater to that behavior by making it easier to go back to the most popular videos of Beyonce, Bieber and the likes. Said Gonzales: “There is a reason that they have so many views.”

The most striking thing about the new Vevo app is that there are little to no menu items to chose from. The service’s previous iOS app offered a multitude  categories like “top videos” and “featured videos,” musical genres and more. All of this is gone, as the Vevo team was looking to “let the UI get out of the way,” as Gonzales said. He added that early tests of the new app showed users spending a lot less time searching, but a lot more time actually watching videos.

This kind of invisible IU approach is again something that’s very familiar to anyone who has ever used Snapchat or Tinder — but it’s very different from YouTube’s approach. YouTube, of course, has been a long-time frenemy of Vevo. The Google-owned video site is Vevo’s biggest distribution partner, but the two also directly compete with each other in the mobile space. And with Vevo’s new app, that competition just got a little more interesting.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Motiv: Max ConzeFoto: © ProSiebenSat.1/Martin SaumweberDieses

    ProSiebenSat.1 Boss Max Conze Unfazed By the Invasion of the Digital Streaming Giants

    Max Conze, CEO of German broadcast company ProSiebenSat.1 since June last year, appeared relatively relaxed about the prospect of the coming invasion of new digital players like Disney Plus into his territory when speaking to journalists at TV market and conference Mipcom in Cannes Tuesday. “Disney Plus will not lock away all their content,” he [...]

  • Illustration of the video streaming company

    Netflix Q3 Preview: The Calm Before the Streaming-Wars Storm?

    Wall Street is expecting Netflix to hit or slightly beat subscriber and financial targets when it reports third quarter 2019 results on Wednesday after market close. But then what? Debate among analysts continues to rage about what will happen to Netflix’s market-leading position once it’s facing big new rivals in Disney Plus and Apple TV [...]

  • countdown

    Apple Takes Down Viral 'Countdown' Horror App, STX Brings It to Android Instead

    An app that can predict the date and time of your death may have been too much for Apple to stomach: The iPhone maker removed a viral app inspired by the upcoming horror movie “Countdown” a few days ago, putting an end to its meteoric rise. Before its removal, “Countdown” had surpassed TikTok, YouTube and [...]

  • daydream view

    Google Ships Pixel 4 Without Daydream VR Support, Stops Selling Daydream Viewer

    Google is effectively phasing out its Daydream virtual reality (VR) platform: The company’s latest flagship Pixel 4 flagship phone, which Google unveiled at a press event in New York Tuesday, won’t support Google’s Daydream mobile VR platform anymore, a spokesperson confirmed to Variety. The company will also stop selling the Daydream viewer, but continue to [...]

  • Google Wifi

    The New Google Wifi Ships in Three Colors Because Good-Looking Routers Work Better

    When Google revamped its Wifi router product, it extended the devices reach and doubled their speed, while also adding a full-blown smart speaker with Google Assistant. But the company paid just as much attention to Google Wifi’s design, down to the decision to ship the product in three colors. The surprising reason for this: Google [...]

  • Nest Mini

    Google Introduces New $49 Nest Mini Speaker With On-Board Machine Learning, Stereo Pairing

    Google introduced a revamped version of its entry-level smart speaker at a press event in New York Tuesday: The new $49 Nest Mini speaker effectively replaces its Home Mini predecessor with bigger sound, a built-in machine learning chip for faster responses, ultrasound for proximity detection and the ability to pair 2 speakers for inexpensive stereo [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content