Although YouTube and other video upload sites have brought about a cultural revolution, allowing anyone and everyone to create content, there’s so much of it out there that it’s often hard to find it all. Often times you’ll hear of a really cool video by way of a friend’s recommendation, or a “must see” link on Twitter or Facebook—but it’s tough to really dig down and find interesting content on your own.
I’ve been using 5by for some time now, and I have to say it really does a great job of fixing that problem. So what is it? Well it’s a curation station that finds tons of videos based on your personal preferences, and allows you to select from fine-tuned categories beyond your choices.
The intro consists of a rudimentary (but effective) series of questions, like “what’s your perfect vacation,” or “what do you do in your spare time.” From there, 5by will create a home page for you built on these selections. So for instance, if you chose “I like to geek out,” there would be a whole category with videogame videos in tow.
But where 5by really nails it is the ability to customize your experience. If you don’t like the categories the initial questions chose for you, you can re-do them, or just change up any channel you want to your liking. After actually choosing a category, it’ll shoot videos at you sequentially with a proprietary video player, complete with social features and a few bells and whistles.
In short, it’s the perfect app for when you get home from work tired and don’t feel like doing anything at all. You just load it up, select from a bunch of categories, and let it rip. It helps that 5by has a Pandora Radio-like “feedback” section where you can give things a thumbs up or down to help curate better content, and you can just switch to the next video with a quick swipe. A lot of video apps are really hard to navigate, but 5by is built specifically for delivering quick content, and it works.
5by can also randomly recommend videos for “cheering you up,” or “killing time.” Usually the former will direct you to categories involving animals and comedy, but it also delves into the inspirational and musical arenas. It never gets too creative, but for a free app, I was surprised at how many different styles of video it was able to present me.
If you’re looking to broaden your horizons and discover new music or maybe just laugh a little when you need a break, 5by is a great way to find the droves of videos that have been dumped onto the ‘net. Although I didn’t go in expecting to use it as much as I have, I’m still going back to it on occasion just to discover something new.
5by is a free Android and iOS app that can be downloaded on Google Play and the App Store.