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Apps create video playlists to suit mood and personality

By Natasha Baker

TORONTO (Reuters) - Looking for some great videos to watch but not sure where to start? New apps aim to make the decision easier by selecting clips to suit a person's personality and mood.

An app called 5by helps users sort through content online by selecting videos from YouTube and the video-sharing website Vimeo to suit what they are doing, and how much time they have.

"When you go to YouTube you see a sea of content and recommendations, but sometimes it's hard to figure out what to watch," said Greg Isenberg, chief executive officer of 5by, a Canadian company now based in San Francisco after being acquired by the website StumbleUpon in 2013.

"Entertainment needs to be easy. We're like a video concierge that is continually asking questions to get you to the right playlist," he added.

The app, for iPads and iPhones in English, asks users questions about topics such as their activities, what their friends are like, and their dream vacation to understand the kind of video they would enjoy.

It also recommends video playlists based on the day of the week and time. On a Friday afternoon, it might suggest playlists for commuting or to show to their friends. The app then asks how much time they have, and cues up videos based on that.

An editorial team selects the videos for the app. The company designed the technology to predict what a user is most likely to enjoy based on their personality and the types of videos they watch.

Another app called Rabt, for iPads and iPhones, curates 60 minutes of videos each day based on a user's personality and preferences. After downloading the app, users are asked to select photos that most resemble their personality, which the app uses to learn about them.

Users can also rate videos with both apps.

For music lovers, Songza, a free app for iPhones and iPads, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry and other devices, curates playlists based on time of day and a user's activity and mood.

Last year, Google revealed that 40 percent of its YouTube traffic was from mobile devices, up 25 percent from the previous year, showing that more consumers want to watch videos while on the go.

Isenberg of 5by said the humorous videos are the most popular category in the app.

(Editing by Patricia Reaney and Jonathan Oatis)

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