Flickr Video: Thoughts from a Beta Tester

The cat's out of the bag and Flickr has officially launched their foray into the video world. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the "super secret" beta test along with ~260 users a few weeks ago (Thanks Richard!). In that group we were given info about the video feature and asked to provide our feedback and report issues.

Flickr Video: Super Secret

One of those issues revolved around the limitations of Flickr Video. Initially, clips were limited to a restrictive 60 seconds. Flickr wanted to ensure that their video feature was unlike any other offering and by placing such limitations, ensure that only user-created, non-copyrighted content gets uploaded. But 60 seconds, really? Many people suggested something around the 3 minute mark as a limit. This was how Flickr (Heather Champ) responded:

We've been listening feedback both within the team and all you fabulous super secret beta Flickr beta testers and after much (tortured) discussion, decided to extend the playback limit to 90 seconds.

Well you have to give Flickr some credit; 90 second video clips definitely won't draw the type of crowd privy to posting TV episodes and movie clips. Instead, much like Twitter people will be forced to be more creative to work with the limitations. Alongside a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge, a user may pan across it with a quick video clip. Flickr just wants to add to the photo experience, not dilute it. I think they've done just that. Flickr has never been an ordinary company so don't expect to compare Flickr Video to other video sharing services.

More on Flickr's thoughts about limiting video clips come from the general manager of Flickr:

"Digital media has led to a new behavior emerging in the market and people are much more likely to shoot short video clips, essentially "long photos," with their digital still cameras and mobile phones. There is a great resonance between this new category of content and with the kind of authentic, personal moments already being shared on Flickr." -Kakul Srivastava

However, if I had to nitpick about one thing it would be the lack of HD. At the moment, HD video can't played back through Flickr Video. Here was how I posed my concerns on the beta tester's group:

Flickr Beta Test: Regarding HD

I can only hope that Flickr Video one day gains HD support, especially as I know I will have some nice footage of Drift Atlanta coming up soon and pictures can't really capture the experience of cars sliding around and burning up tires.

To get started and put your own clips on Flickr you need to a Flickr Pro account, which runs at 25/year. In addition to the 90 second video clip limitation, the uploaded file must not exceed 150 MB.

And now an embedded Flickr video. This is my roommate's dog, Katie Morrell.

90 seconds: too cold, too hot or just right?