Flickr Adds Video, Users Up In Arms

Flickr Adds Video, Users Up In Arms

(Header image by Rita Kravchuk, Creative Commons)

Wow, I don't think I've ever seen the addition of a feature cause so much grief. It's not like Flickr has taken away something everyone loved, or perhaps they have. When is the last time a website you use, without taking anything away, added a new feature and made you mad? Flickr added video support a few days ago if you didn't already know.

Personally I thought the news deserved a footnote - something only of interest to Flickr users, so I didn't really mention it here. Youtube as you know has dominated the online video market. In fact when you consider the 90 second limit that Flickr places on videos, you'll realize the service is not designed to compete with Youtube. I'm not 100 clear why Flickr would 'compete' with them, but when you consider a long term view, most consumer digital camera's have supported taking video clips for years. It's only natural that they would expand to support their existing user base's hardware.

That's where the problem comes in. Flickr started by choosing to cater directly to the semi-pro photographers. Most serious photogs wouldn't be caught dead toting a camera around that was capable of taking video. I have a Fuji s5200 DSLR-Like that takes nice video, but I no longer use it for photography.

This has been highlighted by the quantity of photo pools that have appeared in the last few days with names like 'NO VIDEO ON FLICKR!!!!', 'WE SAY NO TO VIDEO ON FLICKR!' and even 'EVERYTHING NEW IS BAD'.

Other reviews of the Flickr service are bashing them for placing the 90 second limit and calling it 'useless'. Really this is the key feature that will help Flickr succeed with the videos. If they allowed longer video you'll suddenly see all the stupid videos of skateboarders crashing or idiotic practical jokes that are the Youtube domain. As an aspiring semi-pro photographer, I see it as a great way to produce a short 'set-up' video of certain shots, so that others could see the lighting arrangement. Videos that complement your photo stream are a natural.

And for those 'consumer grade' users with their Canon Powershots that really have become the bread and butter of Flickr, they can let their family keep up with not only family photos now, but short videos of the kids crashing on their skateboards as well.

Posted by Tony on Apr 11, 2008 | Photography