I got first wind of Flickr’s impending launch of video from TechCrunch’s Twitter stream and puppet show announcement (followed by more puppet buzz from Flickr themselves). Matt confirmed to me that he had indeed been in on the private beta, shortly before Flickr announced it officially.
When I first heard the rumors of an upcoming Flickr video feature last year, I had mixed feelings: would it be yet another service to choose from an ever-widening field of web video offerings? My own videos were already scattered across YouTube and Google Video, defeating my own neat-freak desire to consolidate content in one spot. (This is why it was something of a relief to me when Google acquired YouTube.) But moreover, I dreaded the Youtubization of the Flickr community.
The manner in which Flickr has launched video content has quelled my fears; they have combined video into the photostream such that it smoothly integrates with the photo management interface. Videos are subject to a 90 second time limit, and are uploaded, titled, captioned, and tagged in much the same way that photos are. The expectation is that these will be “moving pictures”; individual clips of subjects, minimally edited, rather than full narrative productions or interminable talking heads. (Not that such videos are disallowed from the site or impossible to squeeze into 90 seconds.)
In conclusion, me likey.