SAN FRANCISCO: Yahoo took its quest for online video-sharing popularity to Europe on Wednesday, launching local Yahoo Video websites in France, Spain, Germany and Italy.
Each website was customised to the individual country's language, culture and trends, said Yahoo manager of social media Jason Zajak.
"You always want a social product to be relevant to the community using it," Zajak said.
"You want people to be able to chat online and read instructions in the local language."
The English-language version of Yahoo Video was launched May 31 and more than half the users were from outside the United States, particularly Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
"The ultimate goal is to provide it to as much of the market as possible," Yahoo spokesman Stephen Davis said when asked about plans to localize Yahoo Video for Asia and other places.
"We'll be nimble and we'll be quick. We are excited about video."
Yahoo's tailoring of a social networking video-sharing service complete with editing tools for creating clips came in the wake of Google's purchase of video website YouTube for 1.65 billion dollars in stock.
At the time of the YouTube purchase, Google's founders and chief executive predicted video sharing and streaming would be driving forces in the evolution of the Internet.
Yahoo bought online video editing website Jumpcut recently and added its tools to Yahoo Video to enable users to craft productions.
Viewers get to critique each others' works and "leave love" for videos they adore by clicking on heart icons. Yahoo video editors showcase contributions that prove to be favorites with visitors and orchestrate website page layouts into themes based on events, trends or even holidays.
The Yahoo Video main page on Tuesday had a playfully spooky theme because it was Halloween.
"France probably won't have a Halloween site, but they will likely have a FIFA page during the World Cup," Zajak said.
Advertisers have tapped into Yahoo Video to catch people's eyes as well as get them to offer suggestions or criticisms regarding the productions.
Doritos had a "Crash the Super Bowl" Yahoo page created a few weeks ago and invited people to make a 30-second ad for the snack chips.
The winning ad will air at the US football season-climaxing Super Bowl at a cost of approximately two million dollars.
"If you are either the biggest fan of Doritos, or a film maker looking for a break, or an ad agency that didn't get a Super Bowl account -- you could get in there," Zajak said.
By getting people involved in the creation of video ads brands such as Doritos make deeper impressions with consumers than possible with passive advertising, according to Zajak.
Editors on Yahoo Video try to offset the unpredictability that comes with not knowing which will be the most popular videos on a given day.
"There are risks," Zajak said. "We try to make sure a car ad isn't next to a car crash video."
Yahoo Video features submissions by users and searches the Internet for content available from YouTube and other sites.
"We are constantly balancing the collaborative and competitive aspects of video sharing on the Internet," Zajak said.
"We are a search engine, so we are going to find what people are looking for even if it comes from someplace else."
Yahoo said it hosts and serves hundreds of millions of music, news, sports, movies, and television videos per month.