launched new video functionality this week that enables customers and vendors to post their own videos on every product page or link to existing videos on YouTube.

The new video option makes the first specialty outdoor gear e-tailer to provide this capability. said the feature “further empowers customers to be the voice of gear truth and authenticity while building on their vision to be The Center of Gear Knowledge.

We have no idea where this thing will go, said Joel Brazle, Backcountry.coms director of software development. We know that we have passionate customers. We believe that video can provide an amazing means of describing product. The hunch is that putting tools like this in our customers hands will be a huge win. This is part of what we do…we facilitate gear purchases and information. We dont control it. We take risks and let ‘er rip.

The gear videos capability was developed in-house and leverages the YouTube platform, making the upload and embed technology easy to access and easy to use. The YouTube platform means that community members and vendors can link up their previously existing video to the appropriate product page without having to start from scratch. Backcountry.coms video functionality also allows community members to upload video directly from the computer, if they prefer. Each video will also have its own dedicated URL for easy search and sharing.

YouTube is a great way to dip our toe in the world of video but its by no means a complete solution, said Brazle. There are lots of things we can do with this and we expect to learn a ton with this first release.

Videos will contribute to community members Leaderboard status. In addition to the other types of content and interactions that determine rankings, such as written reviews, peer-to-peer questions and answers, still images, and the ability to give a thumbs up or down to a customers contribution.

Video functionality will be implemented on at first, added later to the other retail sites under the Backcountry umbrella,,, and