Our good friend Mike Arrington of TechCrunch has news on the impending launch of Flickr Video. While it’s a little hard to take an announcement seriously when it’s done via video blogger Loren Feldman playing Shel Israel as a puppet (embedded below), the details of the post seem legitimate.
Whereas market leader YouTube exploded in popularity thanks at least in part to its ease in distribution of copyrighted material, Flickr Video will look to cater to a different audience by limiting videos to 90-seconds in length and/or 150 MB in size (this could change in the future according to Yahoo). Perhaps more notable is that only Flickr ‘Pro’ (paying) account holders will be able to upload videos, though anyone will be able to view them.
The decision not to create yet another direct YouTube online video competitor is a smart play, especially given the predicament Yahoo is currently in with Microsoft (our latest coverage). Yahoo simply did not need to enter another war it could not win.
The amateur photographer and hobbyist audience that enjoy Flickr should appreciate that many of the features such as tagging will be available for videos as well.
Since the aforementioned Microsoft proposal, Yahoo has been releasing new products at a blistering pace. Flickr Video follows Yahoo Live (our coverage), Yahoo Buzz (our coverage), Shine (our coverage) and FireEagle (our coverage), among others. One would hope Yahoo isn’t simply shoving these projects out the door to try and showcase its potential strength to investors going forward — after all, Yahoo Live did have a lot of uptime problems following its launch.
As Arrington notes, the embed player looks very clean and should flow nicely on Flickr pages where these videos will reside next to images.
The new functionality does not appear to be live yet, so we’ll update with more when we see it.
update: While I don’t see the feature on my Flickr account yet, based on the embed code, this video does indeed come from Flickr.
Of note: This has to be one of the worst embed processes I’ve ever seen for a video. There is no option to copy until the video plays all the way through and when you copy it from the player, it does so in a way that makes it nearly impossible to embed correctly in something like WordPress without first copying it to a text editor. You might want to work on that Yahoo.
update: Flickr now has its own silly video quasi-announcement of Flickr Video on its blog as well.