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Flickr Adds Video Sharing for ‘Pro’ Members

Posted by Yaser on April 9, 2008

Yahoo’s popular photo-sharing site is making the leap into video sharing, the company has announced.

Starting late Tuesday or early Wednesday, Flickr “Pro” users will be able to upload video clips to the Flickr website. Videos will appear in the users’ photostreams alongside their still photos, and users will be able to tag them, organize them into sets and share them with all of the same privacy and licensing options available for still photos. There will also be an embedable player so users can place publicly-shared videos, YouTube-style, on blogs.

This move into video has been rumored for some time, but the service that emerged is a bit different than some were anticipating.

There’s a 90-second limit for videos on Flickr. Also, while anybody will be able to watch videos posted publicly on the site, the ability to upload videos will be limited, for the time being at least, to users with a $30$ 25-per-year Flickr “Pro” account.

Given those last two points, it’s obvious that Flickr isn’t gearing up to compete with YouTube. By imposing the 90-second time limit (and 150MB file size limit) on videos, Flickr is encouraging users to keep the emphasis more on personal, “slice of life” video snapshots than the longer vlogs, lip sync videos, viral clips, re-posted television clips and other content typically found on YouTube. Yahoo also already has a sharing site for viral videos and more serious personal publishers at video.yahoo.com.

A minute and a half is also about the length of video one would typically capture with a cheap point-and-shoot camera or a camera phone. That’s really the point of the limitations — to highlight those sorts of short, emotional moments shot on the fly while on vacation, on a stroll or on the morning commute.

As a Yahoo representative told Wired.com, the Flickr team’s intention was to simply add to the way its core users are already using the site to tell stories about themselves. In its announcement, Flickr is even referring to these short clips as “long photos.” Quaint for sure, but also very smart. It seems like a natural extension for a site like Flickr, which attracts a uniquely artistic community that gives the site its distinctly precious flavor.

The upload option will only be made available to paid Pro members for now. Since those users represent the site’s core audience, Flickr is hoping they will help shape exactly which direction the video sharing services goes. There’s no official schedule for a wider rollout of upload ability according to the Yahoo representative. Certainly, though, it must be in the cards.

Look for the site to update its import tools to begin accepting raw files directly from digital cameras and camera phones soon.

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