Back in mid-March this year, we wrote about a rumor that Flickr Video would be here sometime in April. Well, it’s April and as it turns out, the rumor was true. Flickr Video has finally launched. It launched yesterday, and so far it’s received some mixed reviews from people disappointed about some of the limitations that have been put in place for the new service.
The first limitation is simply the fact that it’s available only for Pro members. These are the members who pay $24.95 for an account for unlimited uploads and storage as well as unlimited sets and collections. Why just the Pro users? The Yahoo Blog explains a little bit by saying “Pro members are the most active, dedicated members of the Flickr community and are the foundation to all we do at Flickr.” Fair enough, if people want to use videos, they’ll have to pay a very reasonable yearly fee.
Next on the list of limitations is the length of videos. This is where people are starting to complain because videos can only be 90 seconds long. Flickr says, “we’re not trying to limit your artistic freedom, we’re trying something new.” Something new it is because other video services out there, even Photobucket which is somewhat comparable to Flickr doesn’t have a 90 second limitation and it’s open to all of their users. Flickr’s big thing is that they want to be sure that the videos people are uploading are actually theirs and not a video owned by someone else, maybe one with copyrights. What this limit does is helps prevent material that’s copyrighted from being uploaded.
Below is an example of what a Flickr Video looks like embedded into a site:
Another point that the Flickr team made is if they were to increase the limit, well, who really wants to sit through and watch 30 minutes of your best friend’s wedding? People are more likely to view the shorter clips than sit through a long video. On the Flickr blog, they say “if you’ve memorized the Community Guidelines, you know that Flickr is all about sharing photos that you yourself have taken. Video will be no different and so what quickly bubbled up was the idea of “long photos,” of capturing slices of life to share.”
Aside from the 90 second limitation, they also say that videos can’t be any larger than 150 MB. Here’s the thing. 150 MB is actually a pretty decent size for a video that’s only 90 seconds long. I went and looked at a couple of video clips I’ve taken with my camera and one was 32 MB and was 1 minute and 33 seconds long while another video was 95 MB and lasted 4 minutes and 35 seconds. Maybe Flickr could change their limitation rule a bit so that videos can either be 90 seconds long or up to 150 MB in size?
All in all, we’re a bit disappointed with the limitation on the length of videos. One and a half minutes really doesn’t give anybody much time to share something with friends and family. Maybe a 3 minute or 5 minute limit would be more satisfying? What is nice about Flickr Video though, is their player (shown above). They kept it clean, and left a watermark off of it. It really does look nice. Perhaps after Flickr has reviewed some of the feedback they’ve received over the last few days, they’ll consider upping the length just a little to better accommodate more of their Pro users that want to share videos longer than 90 seconds in length.
Even though we’re a little disappointed with the limitations, Flickr Video is here!
Thanks for the tip Omar and Change!