|by Sean O'Neill||Innovations, Travel Video||0|
The photo-sharing site Flickr expanded its features today, allowing paying members to upload videos from their cameraphone, digital camera, or video camera. The service is available to "Pro" members, who pay $25 a year for enhanced site features.
Interestingly, Flickr limits the size of video uploads to 90 seconds. This limit is a blessing in disguise because it encourages people to upload videos that are meaningful to their personal lives, rather than impersonal audition pieces or comedy skits that, by nature, usually last longer than 90 seconds.
Also of note: Flickr does not superimpose any branded logo or advertisement on (or near) your video, unlike YouTube.
Travelers are clearly one of the target groups for this service. You can tag your video by the destination where you shot it. You can also search on a city name to find videos that have been shot at that destination and uploaded by other Flickr members.
Preceding today's launch, I played around with a test version of the video service...
I discovered that if you're already familiar with how to upload and share photos, then you already know how to do the same with videos because the process is the same.
The privacy options are also the same—which is terrific news. Flickr allows you to select which type of person can see your video: folks on your specified friends list, your specified family list, or the public at large. At the same time, family and friends don't have to belong to Flickr to see your videos. After you've uploaded a video to the site, you can click a link in the bottom-right-hand corner of the page that says "Send to a friend," and you'll send the addressee an email with a free "guest pass" to view your video.
Flickr members (whether they are paying Pro members or not) can see some sample videos on the site now. I recently watched "Ms. Jen" take a motorized rickshaw ride through Bangalore and "videoed" this part of the ride on her Nokia N82 cameraphone (may not be available to all Flickr users). On the more heavily produced end of the scale, "Zyrcster" created this oddball music video about pandas (May not be visible to all Flickr users).
The videos display as if they were photos on your Flickr page, with the only notable difference being a play icon in the lower, left-hand corner of the static image of the video.
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