YouTube Buys Fflick for Social-Sentiment Analysis in Videos

YouTube has picked up social-sentiment analysis software provider Fflick. The technology could bolster YouTube's forthcoming movie-rental business.

Google's YouTube video-sharing division said it has acquired Fflick, which makes sentiment-analysis software to gauge what users are saying about video content on Facebook, Twitter and other social Websites.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

One of YouTube's fun features has been its ability to let users comment on and rate the millions of videos on the Website. YouTube engineers can easily monitor what people say on

However, they haven't been able to tap into the gestalt of the YouTube links included in the "more than 400 tweets per minute" or the "150 years worth of YouTube video" watched daily on Facebook, said YouTube Group Product Manager Shiva Rajaraman.

Before joining YouTube, Fflick, whose Website offers no information beyond a message that it is taking what users "love about Fflick to YouTube," was a movie recommendation engine, according to Electronista.

YouTube hinted that Fflick will gauge Twitter tweets and Facebook status updates to surface relevant video content and the discussions that pop up around it.

"As part of YouTube, the Fflick team will help us build features to connect you with the great videos talked about all over the Web, and surface the best of those conversations for you to participate in," Rajaraman said. He added that YouTube will work with the Fflick team to offer more features to help users discover new videos to watch.

However, as Electronista noted, Fflick's technology would be well-suited to support YouTube's forthcoming movie-rental project, which will include major commercial movies sometime this year.

It's quite possible Fflick's technology will be used the same way Netflix and Amazon Video on Demand rate and recommend movies based on user preferences

At a higher level, Fflick is another brick in the cobblestone street of social software Google began building last year, when it acquired Slide, Jambool, Angstro, SocialDeck and others.

Google is layering social software throughout the company's Web services to staunch Facebook's strong user-engagement flow.

The buy also comes one day after Google acquired SayNow, which provides voice-messaging, one-on-one conversations and group calls to be integrated into applications for Facebook and Twitter, as well as Android and iPhone.