When Flickr announced that users can now upload video, some news outlets hinted at a competition with YouTube, whether real or imaginary. To be sure, the Flickr-YouTube setup speaks to a larger rivalry between Yahoo and Google. But that’s beside the point. Not only is Flickr’s video sharing service crippled by some hefty limitations; it doesn’t even purport to do exactly what YouTube or Adobe Media Player does. It’s time to set the record straight: Here’s what you can (and can’t) do with these services: YouTube What you can do: Watch copyrighted content (until someone takes it down) or upload personal videos. Pros:
- Signing up is free and easy
- Users can make videos viewable to the public or up to 25 private viewers
- Users can disable commenting
- Comment voting and ratings
- Syndication on mobile phones and TV
- Users can categorize videos to make them more searchable
- Users can add a map to show viewers where the video was made.
- No selective embedding. If you can embed your video on a blog, so can anyone.
- Videos limited to ten minutes so sharing a lengthy home video with relatives is out of the question.
Flickr What you can do: Upload 90-second-or-less videos to your Photostream. Pros:
- Users can store pictures and short video (likely recorded on the same device, anyway) in one place as Photobucket users have been able to do for a while now
- Users can label videos as private, just as they can their photos.
- Only Pro users (who pay $24.95 per year) can upload videos
- 90 seconds is awfully short for a personal video (Flickr is calling them “long photos”)
- Flickr actually cares if you add copyrighted background music
- You can’t choose the thumbnail for your video
- You can’t separate photos from videos.
Adobe Media Player What you can do: Add personal videos or watch free episodes of selected television shows. Pros:
- Quick download
- Smooth video
- Accessible online and off
- Unlike with YouTube, you can drag the progress bar to a later point in a clip
- By default, the player remembers where you left off, should you close out of a clip.
- Visitors to your videos might find Flickr and YouTube more accessible, if only because they’re more familiar
- The free television isn’t a huge draw, after all, since Hulu.com offers more free, full episodes of more shows.