Although Joost was among first companies to offer broadcast-style video capabilities through the web, the service always suffered from a couple of major limitations: lack of unique, noteworthy content and the fact that users had to download a separate Joost player to watch videos, which is more than what a lot of people is willing to do.
The company had inadvertently worked itself into a strategic hole, whereas rival video sites such as YouTube.com and Hulu.com were thriving in terms of viewership. Now, taking a different approach, Joost has re-launched as a Flash-based video streaming service available to anyone with a web browser.
The revamped site now includes more than 46,000 professionally produced videos, including content from partners such as CBS, Sony Pictures, Viacom, Warner Bros and others. Looking to distinguish itself from Hulu.com, Joost is unsurprisingly focusing its efforts on enhancing the site's social networking features, hoping that users will be more engaged than at other video portals.
But while Joostís revamp is perhaps a step in the right direction, it really doesnít bring anything new to the table and the majority of its material can be found elsewhere on the web. I wonder if itís too late for the once most promising Internet TV service or if Joost will manage to carve a niche for itself.