It’s a bit much for Friction to claim it’s ahead of YouTube, on the basis of user registration numbers at equivalent stages of development (as in this Times piece from June). YouTube was revolutionary, doing something completely original, and starting from zero. But to its credit, Friction does have decent-looking audience numbers, and a decent-looking site to boot.
Its YouTube-with-a-purpose concept could have mileage, and the Five tie-up gives it some mainstream credibility… although in truth, I’m not sure what credibility Five News has to give. I don’t think I’ve ever consciously tuned into a Five news bulletin: why should I? If I wanted the latest from the Sky News studios, I’d switch to Sky News. Plus, I’m told the staircase and balcony which is the Five studio’s defining feature aren’t actually too stable… which is why you never see presenters going more than half-way up.