Flickr Adds Video Snippets

Yahoo rolled out a limited video-sharing service for its online photo-sharing service, Flickr, which will allow its members to upload short videos and integrate them with photo sets and slide shows.

The new service isn’t a competitor to the likes of YouTube or other video sites that specialize in the storage — and delivery — of large videos. Instead, the Video on Flickr service sets Yahoo on target to compete with Fox Interactive Media for the small, personalized video market.

‘Long Photos’

The Video on Flickr service allows people to upload and store videos that are either 90 seconds in length or 150 MB in size. Flickr Pro members then have the option to geo-tag photos, set privacy restrictions for viewing, upload videos directly from a mobile phone or other Internet-connected device and embed video and photo streams on other Web sites.

“Digital media has led to a new behavior emerging in the market, and people are much more likely to shoot short video clips, essentially ‘long photos,’ with their digital still cameras and mobile phones,” said Flickr General Manager Kakul Srivastava.

Catching Up

Video is the hot trend these days. More than 139 million U.S. Internet users watched, on average, 209 minutes of online video in January 2008, according to the latest figures from comScore, a market research firm. Google dominated the landscape, serving 3.4 billion videos in January. YouTube alone served 3.25 billion videos to 78 million viewers.

Fox Interactive Media came in a distant second in the video market. However, its service, Photobucket, has dominated the small, personalized video market space. Photobucket began offering video storage to its members two years ago. A regular Photobucket account provides 1 GB of free video storage, and with a paid account, 5 GB of storage that holds approximately 5,000 three-minute videos shot with a mobile handheld.

“What we’ve realized early on that users want to share and self-express through many digital mediums,” Photobucket President Alex Welch told TechNewsWorld. “It could be photos, images, videos. What we’ve seen is that people like having their media in one place.”

While Photobucket has a big head start in the personalized video market, the company has limited exposure to its developer kits, which has hampered its use with social media technologies. Flickr, on the other hand, has already opened up its application programming interface (API) to third-party developers, allowing aggregation services such as FriendFeed and Social Thing to syndicate an individual’s photo and video content in one place.

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