If you follow a lot of web startups, you see that many have a hard time reaching critical mass. Even more have a hard time staying in business, so “time alive” becomes an important measuring stick. Zoopy, a web video hosting site, has gone from strength-to-strength ever since they first launched in two years ago. They have done this by working very hard, and by focusing on their niche: South Africa.
A recent investment partnership by Vodacom put them in a position to announce some major new upgrades this week.
- Local South Africa hosting – This allows for much faster speeds, particularly important when dealing with video and images.
- Doubled file sizes – Users can now upload 200Mb files, as opposed to the old 100Mb limit.
- A new video player – A spiffed up and much more usable video player.
The Importance of Being Local
I’m particularly impressed with the move to local servers for their content. Besides local goodwill issues, South Africans are very patriotic and like to see stuff succeed in-country. International hosting is cheaper, but the user experience is eroded due to lag. However, as Jason mentions in a comment,
“The biggest question here for us was: how could we afford NOT to move in this direction for the South African online community at Zoopy? Our users deserve more, and weâ€™re happy to deliver.”
Right now, Jason Elk and some of the Zoopy team are in New York at the Web 2.0 Expo, measuring their product against the competition, and learning from their peers.
I’m a big fan of Zoopy, enough so that we’ve moved to Zoopy as AfriGadget’s video hosting site as of this Summer. Congrats guys, and keep up the great work!