When your friends are sharing the latest Lady Gaga music videos, Harlem Shake remixes, and Onion news clips to 10 different social networks, it can be hard to keep track of the best stuff. Shelby, a new app for iPhone launching today, hopes to help you cut through the noise by creating one feed composed of the videos friends are posting, whether it's on Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, or YouTube. The app has next to no user interface chrome, offering up a refreshingly minimal stream of videos to flick through. Next to the name of each video is the picture of who posted it, a nice cue that makes the app feel a bit more personable than tapping through YouTube's "Related Videos" endlessly.
As with selfie app Frontback, swiping through content is pretty effortless, with very little of the buffering you'd expect from most video apps, since Shelby loads clips as you scroll. You can almost swipe through the app's feed as if it were Instagram, only stopping on stuff that looks interesting. If you swipe while a video is playing, the next video autoplays without you having to do anything. And since the app automatically pulls in videos that your Facebook and Twitter friends post or like, there are no friends to add inside the app or people to follow. It works right out of the box.
Shelby is an admittedly simple app, content with doing one thing well: helping the 89 million Americans who watch web videos every day find the best stuff. Except since the app narrows down the web's billion videos to those already curated by your friends, you quickly realize that you aren't always looking for the best video in the world to watch. You're only looking to stay up to date on what viral video friends will be buzzing about at happy hour. And that one thing, Shelby does very well.