Verizon today officially rebranded the act of turning your smartphone sideways — and it's called Go90, as in degrees. The new mobile video app is an effort to snatch eyes away from popular mobile services chipping away at TV, and its absurd name is a way to ensure people view Verizon partner videos horizontally. Because vertical video is not chill. Go90 will feature TV shows and music clips from networks like Comedy Central, MTV, and Food Network; sports clips from ESPN and NFL Network; and a collection of web shows from sites like Vice and Elite Daily.
Verizon appears to be getting experimental to find new audiences, especially now that the existential threat of Snapchat and its slew of entertainment and news partners is growing larger by the day. Go90 is free and ad-supported like the best (and only) social networks, but it's only available in the US for iOS and Android. It also restricts some videos to Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon's mobile entertainment efforts follow close behind Comcast, which yesterday launched its Watchable mobile app that's designed to do much of the same stuff.
"Cut and share those OMGGG moments."
The Go90 app description contains some cringe-worthy feature highlights straight out of 2010, like "Cut and share those OMGGG moments with friends, like that catfight that just broke out on that MTV show you can’t get enough of." You can also start an online "crew" of content-hungry like minds to chat about your obsessions and, as Verizon says, "forget the haters." In non-marketing-speak, that means the app has a group chat function.