Flickr users rebelling over new video feature

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flickr_video_protest.jpgConsidering that the internet is supposed to be a bold new technology frontier taking society to exciting, un-thought-of destinations and opening up a myriad of possibilities for interaction, exploration and experimentation, its users can a right old load of luddites from time to time.

Scarce days have passed since Flickr upgraded its service to include a new video feature, and already thousands upon thousands of users are up in arms, demanding that the feature be removed again. One of the main groups – “We say NO to Videos on Flickr” – has gathered over 23,000 members already.

Their main complaint is that the introduction of video content is slowing the site down, which, if true, is probably not a bad gripe. Their other whinge is that they believe introducing video is leading Flickr down the road to social networking and turning it into a YouTube knock-off.

Flickr’s creators claim to have put a lot of thought into how video can be used to enhance the photographic heart of the website. For example, clips are limited to 90 seconds in length – nowhere near long enough to really incur too much YouTube like nonsense. Second, only Pro users paying their $25 per year subscription can upload video.

I admit that I wouldn’t be that thrilled if as a Pro users I thought my money was going to add features I didn’t want, but are we really so narrow minded to think that every video sharing website HAS to end up like YouTube. I’d say YouTube’s got its niche very well covered, it’s about time we see what other angles can come up with.

Flcikr’s staff aren’t really bothered though – they’re sticking to their guns. A statement posted in the forums read: “”We’re sorry, but video is here to stay. We’d love for everyone to give it a shot. We’re very familiar with the passionate response of our members. We can’t be afraid of that. We need to continue to improve, release new features and iterate.”

Flickr (via afterdawn)

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3 comments

  • Flickr is now hiding the amount of photos tagged with ”novideo” it started as a form of protest to become an all time tag in the explore page.

    some users are now deleting their accounts because of the response by Flickr team.

    in one of the videos from the manager of Flickr everyone from the Flickr Headquarter’s office posted in one of the most difficult times for us members they where shouting loud all together and at the same time we are getting computer generated replies only to our emails concerning what is happening.

    Flickr will never be as good as youtube why don’t they keep it for photos only, over 25,000 members agree with it.

  • Well said Mike Licht.

    Last night I did a search of the videos posted thus far. Lots of cute babies, watch my kids see-saw and a fair amount of listen to my parrot say a**hole (real title), several x rated videos – Ad nauseam.
    Erudite content to say the least – Flickrtube has arrived.
    Nothing wrong with any of the above and obviously it is popular but I have now lost a unique place to share my photography. My photos are not labeled as photos anymore. Photos are now called things or items.

  • The “No Video on flickr” movement is not (well, not entirely) a bunch of Luddites whining about moving pictures. The flickr corporate strategy is a desperate short-term attempt by parent company Yahoo to add value before an impending corporate take-over.

    Adding video to flickr is a horrible move for the brand, for the long-term health of flickr, and for the user community. flickr management is diluting the brand identity, introducing “New Coke” at the expense of “Classic Coke.” This wil not help the Yahoo bargaining position, and even foolishly endangers Yahoo employee stock options.

    Nothing keeps flickr from introducing a separate video service except the desire to exploit flickr community user numbers for short-term gain in the corporate wars.

    flickr community members have a strong interest in a strong flickr brand identity. This move weakens it.

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