Analyzing sentiment in social content could be key to extracting maximum revenue and relevance for all video-based services, so YouTube (news, site) has gone out and bought itself an expert.

Reading Between the Frames

YouTube, the Google-owned video service, is revving up for the next generation of web engagement for content by buying Fflick, developer of a movie recommendation technology based on sentiment and emotion, to help find similar video content.

The technology behind Fflick will be used to tap into all the information that flows between YouTube and social information sites -- like Facebook and Twitter -- to find out what videos are being talked about and how people relate to them. By grasping and analysing how people feel about what they are watching, the idea seems to be that better recommendations can be made for what to watch next.

Said Shiva Rajaraman, Group Product Manager, YouTube in a blog post:

We've always believed that there are great conversations happening all the time off of, and that commentary has the potential to enrich your experience when watching and discovering video on YouTube itself. So today we're excited to announce we’ve acquired Fflick, a talented team that analyzes social media data to surface great content and the discussions around it.

Reading Your Emotions?

While Fflick's system may be a long way from actually picking up your emotions, the idea that a service would know what you're feeling and maybe recommend something to cheer you up, chill you out or help you concentrate is an intriguing step in a world where computers already know so much about us.

With YouTube rumored to be offering a video rental service soon to compete alongside Netflix and others, the new system could help pick better recommendations for rental, and encourage users to spend more. Details of the deal were not disclosed, and the Fflicks site now just shows a place holder message.

While Amazon and others have the "here's what other users brought" motif down to a fine art, picking videos that may appeal based on a more emotional theme could offer better results. We'll see how the technology is rolled into the YouTube machine soon enough.