Flickr Video Is Coming, But Where is it Going?

SMS Text

Internet video has obviously been a hot property for quite some time now and while it might not be sustainable, we continue to see new entrants into the field. The latest soon-to-be entrant will be a big one, Yahoo’s photo site Flickr.
Before it even launches, the problem with Flickr Video is what you should use it for and how the service should be used. Most of us already have our videos on YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, or any of the other dozen or so web video sites, which makes us wonder, if Flickr Video will really be able to differentiate itself enough to necessitate another upload? Here’s how I personally see people using the different video sites going forward.
Because of Google’s lack of social prowess, YouTube is a good outlet for semi-professional/web related videos. From video blogs and how-to guides to excursion into amateur film making, these are clips that you want to share with the general public but not necessarily something your socially networked friends would enjoy.
Facebook and MySpace, on the other hand, are a good medium for the personal videos containing yourself and your friends – as well as quick video messages to users’ walls (which can be recorded right from within Facebook now if you have a webcam on your computer). The fact that you can mark your friends who are in the videos works well with the younger demographic of Facebook.
Though Flickr is a household name, it will find itself on the losing end of tough competition if it launches just another video-sharing site. If Flickr Video is to succeed in this environment, it has to sufficiently differentiate itself and carve out a niche that is currently not being served. The site should take cues from its photo-sharing cousin, and market itself as the place to go for videos of landscapes, tourist destinations, and family vacations.

Neil Patel
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at... Read Full Bio
Subscribe to SEJ!
Get our weekly newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!
  • Pierre

    I think Flickr video will be a success because today’s point and shoot cameras have video capacities. So when you go to holidays you bring back on your memory card pictures and videos all mixed together. So what is more logical than uploading both media at the same time on the same place?? As you said why would we “necessitate another upload”? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • MG Siegler

    @Pierre – yes I’ve heard a lot of people echoing your sentiments that they would like one place to upload both their pictures and videos – i know I certainly would for storage purposes at least (for the videos)
    @Sunny – I agree, if Flickr allows for full quality video uploads that would be huge…both literally and figuratively ๐Ÿ™‚ – I would imagine they’d have to put some kind of cap on this (just like they initially did with photos), but here’s to hoping they take this path.

  • Karl Lingenfelder

    flickr has a strong brand and they need to maintain the quality of that brand and maintain their differentiation.
    It is their’s to lose.

  • RustyS

    From the way I understood it, it sounded like they wanted to roll out new video services not only on Flickr, but also on Yahoo Videos proper (by completely retooling that service.)
    As a Flickr user and fanboy (it’s the only ‘social’ site I personally use heavily) my biggest concern is that I don’t want Flickr to become another me-too YouTube clone where a lot of the most popular content is non-user-generated, copyrighted stuff. There’s enough of those services out there already. And if they can roll out a renewed Yahoo video with a new Flickr video at the same time, hopefully they can figure out a way to direct the copyrighted/mainstream stuff out on the main Yahoo video. How you battle the copyright monster and keep it from overwhelimg the service is the biggest challenge IMO. Flickr has enough brand recognition that people will be tempted to use it that way. Picasa has been allowing videos for awhile, but because Google already has two other major video channels Picasa hasn’t had to sweat that.
    I think Flickr clearly needs to aim towards keeping it personal just like their photos. And they know that. Vimeo has quickly emerged as the video alternative for many Flickr users based on the similar style and goal. But I have little doubts that if Flickr offered video functionality many of the Vimeo users would quickly abandon it to jump back to Flickr since it already has a much more well-established network.
    @Pierre – I totally agree. We have a nice dedicated camcorder, but I rarely use it and instead take most of our videos on my P&S. The quality’s only 640×480@30fps, but for the little moments I want to capture it’s fine.
    @Sunny – I think that would be an ideal angle and would mesh perfectly with what they’re doing already. You’d naturally have to have default video views as something more manageable in size (just like they do with photos.) But also give the option of viewing/downloading other sizes, much like the photos.

  • Son Nguyen

    It’s a good move for Flickr to support video, little work on their part yet make many happy, just don’t overdo it and lose their focus. But for the quality, I find it pretty bad, don’t know why