Yahoo!, the parent company of Flickr has been promising for ages that they will add video on Flickr. Now it seems like they are serious about their promise and it could be a matter of just a few weeks before this actually happens. Flickr video could be launched as early as April 2008.
Flickr is a photo sharing site that was acquired by Yahoo! in March 2005. When YouTube was first launched, a lot of people thought it was similar to Flickr except for its video technology. Soon YouTube overtook Flickr in popularity, thanks to its superior video sharing capability. People started preferring YouTube to Flickr as broadband adoption increased and connection speeds improved.
Users like uploading their videos on YouTube. Yahoo! hopes the same behaviour will get users to upload their videos alongside their photographs. The company intended to introduce video to Flickr in May 2007, according to its co-founder Stewart Butterfield. This announcement was repeated in August 2007, but in typical Yahoo! fashion, they are too slow to change for the better and so far nothing has happened.
According to TechCrunch, one of the reasons for this tardiness could be that they are trying to figure out a way to make Flickr video different from other video sharing sites, such as YouTube, so that users can find some novelty in it.
Flickr video is not expected to replace Yahoo! Video. It will be a separate entity. Kakul Srivastav, director of product management at Flickr says “the audience for Flickr is different.” Flickr has always been a photo-sharing site. It has lost a lot of its clients to other video-enabled sites like YouTube and will have to provide something different to win back these customers.
Yahoo! might think they have found some solution and an announcement in this regard is expected soon. Employees at Yahoo! and Flickr are being very tight lipped about all this and are not admitting to anything in spite of the numerous rumors.
However, the general online public probably won’t care. Video on Flickr is destined to be just another feature on a popular photo-sharing site, rather than any competition to YouTube.