Verizon's ad-supported Go90 mobile video service launches

Verizon has launched its new video streaming service, Go90. The name alludes to the fact that when you watch video on your phone, you turn it 90 degrees and hold it horizontally to watch.

The name is significant because this is a mobile-only service. You can get it on iOS and certain Android devices, and that's it. There's no web player. I installed the Android version on my phone (an LG G3) but was told the app was not compatible with my Nexus 7 tablet. I was able to install the app on an iPad, but it crashed the tablet when I tried to watch anything. I'm not sure if that's because it's not intended to run on an iPad or if it's a problem with my (old and not up-to-date) device. It will of course run on an iPhone.

There's no fee; the service is ad-supported. You create an account, go through an on-boarding system that has you indicating what kinds of content you like (Comedy, News, etc) and it builds you a starter playlist, which you can then modify by following or unfollowing sources individually.

It has a built in social feature called "Crews" that lets you and some friends create a persistent group for chatting, and you can share clips that you find interesting.

I'm certainly not the intended audience for this service; it's clearly aimed at younger people who primarily consume content on their phone. But to me at least, it feels like a service designed for young people by out-of-touch old people. From the 'clever' name, to the verbiage on the website ("Follow your favorites. Like that ... actor you want to stalk, but legally shouldn’t."), to naming the group feature "Crews," the whole service is just trying too hard to be hip. But the bigger issue is that most of the content I ran into is stuff I can already get in other places.

Nerdist News is here because Nerdist News is everywhere. I saw a lot of suggestions from The Huffington Post, The Dan Cave, the Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, IGN News. All of this is stuff I can find on YouTube, so I don't know why I need Go90 unless it's so I can form a Crew and send clips to my bros. That to me seems like something an old guy would think young people would want to do, but I'm not convinced that young people really want to do that.

And for me personally, when I finally found something I wanted to watch, all I could think about was how much nicer it'd be to watch it on a PC monitor or my TV. Again, I'm not the intended audience.

I also had problems with getting my email address validated when I set up my account (I never got the validation email) and videos took a long time to start playing, even on WiFi, but I'm willing to give them a 'launch day crunch' pass on those issues.

In my opinion, Go90 is a big disappointment, but since it's free there's no reason not to check it out if you have supported hardware. Download it to your Android or iOS device and give it a whirl.

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