As Nick reported a few weeks back, Flickr have decided to jump on the video bandwagon. As of today, Pro users will be able to showcase videos of up to 90 seconds in their photostream. The 90 second limit might sound a bit odd, but as Flickr explain on their blog, they want to remain a photo sharing site so the idea is for videos to be like ‘long photos’. According to the guidelines videos will also have to be simple and personal, so hopefully Flickr will not turn into another YouTube clone. Having Pro users only uploading videos should also ensure that they meet quality standards normally expected on the photo sharing site.
I can’t really say for now if I’m really glad or not by this new offering. Obviously, Flickr are trying to keep it to some level of quality, however I really see video as another medium. Will the 90 second limit always be around? How will you guarantee that all videos have that ‘long photo’ feel? From what I’ve seen of the videos that have already been posted on Flickr, the focus on ‘artistic content’ seems to be respected: it’s all about the beauty of the image and showcasing cool effects. The playback functions are very simple: a start/pause button, a draggable progress bar, volume control and full screen. Videos can also be of different sizes and shapes.
As Flickr do well to explain, this will also change the role Flickr moderators will have. The photo and video sharing website has also taken the opportunity to double the video size limit to 20 MB for Pro users and 10 MB for Free users. One point that is not mentioned though is how video will affect all the Flickr related apps out there like the Flickr Uploadr, Flickr Downloader or FlickrFox.