StubHub founder Jeff Fluhr has launched a new social video broadcasting website called Spreecast. The site allows up to four people to video chat simultaneously in either a public or private environment covering a number of different topics.
Spreecast came to fruition when Fluhr realized that the majority of his online interaction with others was text-based only – think Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. He wanted deeper and more personal interaction with others, even something more than popular lifecasting sites justin.tv and ustream.tv currently offer.
Any user can set up a Spreecast and start broadcasting publically or privately. Up to three others can join the conversation as co-producers if granted access by the original producer. Video feeds are displayed in a four-corner square box à la The Brady Bunch and each person can talk freely which could become overwhelming during a heated debate, for example. Public feeds are viewable by anyone on the site and those not using a video stream can interact via chat box with the producers.
Although only four people can be “live” at once, users can leave the live broadcast and others can join. Admin controls allow the original producer or co-producers with admin rights to screen new users before adding their broadcast to the live chat.
Producers can invite others to the Spreecast through social networking sites and Gmail using imported contacts. All public broadcasts are recorded and can be shared over social networks. The company takes every step possible to keep private broadcasts between invited members, but they do point out that private Spreecasts are monitored to ensure they adhere to community guidelines.
Spreecast isn’t the first social video broadcasting site around but it does bring some unique twists. Where other sites like Google+ Hangouts tend to lean more towards interacting with friends, Spreecast is designed to introduce users to new friends and engage in potentially meaningful public conversation.