Online videos have been a challenge on so many fronts – Not only do they consume more bandwidth (and cost more to maintain), they do not monetize well and are not search engine friendly. While there have been reports of companies such as Google working on scanning online videos to understand the context (and thus be able to rank them more appropriately), AOL seems to have an interesting alternate solution.
In a recently filed patent application, AOL describes a way to “study” the instant messages shared by people viewing a video and scanning this text for keywords that may be added as a metadata. This includes splitting the video itself into frames and assigning particular frame IDs. The algorithm will then study the instances of instant messages shared within a particular time since a frame of the video is displayed.
For instance, if several users watching a baseball game video type in praising a “homerun” 25 seconds into the video, the system immediately recognizes that an event associated with a keyword “homerun” has occured at a frame near the 25 second mark and associates this keyword to the video – thus helping in future searches as well as helping it index its videos better on search engines.