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Anti-Video Sentiment Among Flickr Users Growing

[I'm CEO of Zooomr]

On digg here.


With less than 24 hours behind Flickr's announcement yesterday of adding video to their service, the early sentiment from existing Flickr users appears to be largely negative.


A new group started on Flickr called NO VIDEO ON FLICKR!!! has already seen over 3,000 Flickr members join the group. The group already has a petition going with over 900 users signing a petition opposing video on Flickr. The petition language is below.


"We the undersigned members of Flickr, free and pro, agree that video has no place on Flickr. Other sites on the web accept video already, but do not accept photos. We all joined Flickr because of it's dedication to photography and photographers, and we want Flickr to remain true to this dedication. It is our request that this feature and addition to Flickr be removed."


If you agree with this statement, type /signed followed by your username/full name in a reply to this thread."


While there are some advocates for video and some Flickr defenders in the official feedback forum on Flickr Video, here too the comments by many of Flickr's most active users are largely negative.


Some typical comments from the Flickr Help Forum:

Richard Carter: "It's frankly disgraceful that you have not allowed users the option of saying (by default) "I don't want to see videos". Especially in search results.


I know you've invested too much in this awful feature to turn it off, but PLEASE MAKE IT GO AWAY!! "


fofurasfelinas: "I just HATE having videos on flickr.

Flickr is a place for PHOTOS.

We pay for a photo service, if I want to see videos, I go to youtube.


I think Flickr is getting heavier everyday, and videos are going to make the connection busier." "Wow...check out all of the sentiment against this!!!! I too am opposed to video on least the Flickr that we currently know and usually love. While I acknowledge that many people use Flickr as a depository for their snapshots, many of us are here to improve our art. We are photographers! I also acknowledge that videography is an art....but give them their own space and don't muddy our waters!"


dadodedos: "Sorry, but i'm angry for this last news.......

I think this is a really bad move for Flickr, why video ??? there's a lot of sites that you can put video.......Please !! This is a photo site !!!

Put your video on youtube or others......










Fighting the criticism in the official help forum mostly seems to be being done by long-term Flickr member Striatic and Flickr Community Manager Heather Champ.


It will be interesting to see if the anti-video sentiment on Flickr continues to grow and gain momentum and if Flickr will actually take action on its community's largely negative reaction to the service thus far.


About a year ago Flickr made a decision to cap Flickr contacts at 3,000 for users. After a lot of protesting from Flickr users over this decision Flickr reversed their decision and allowed unlimited reciprocal contacts.


Personally I don't see Flickr reversing their decision on adding video to the site. Video is a fast growing service on the web and certainly Yahoo wants a piece of this pie. With the huge user base that Flickr represents, the opportunity to promote video to this group from a dollars/cents standpoint probably means more to Yahoo! than how a small but vocal group of hardcore Flickr photographers feel about the service.


What's more, prior to their Yahoo takeover announcement, Microsoft had indicated that they would be launching a photo/video combo site to compete with Flickr. If/when Microsoft takes over Flickr, I would assume that they would rather the site contain both video and photos rather than a photo only site.


Perhaps the simplest answer in the short-term for Flickr would be to offer filtering technology to filter video out of your Flickr experience. They already have filtering technology that allows users to opt out of seeing screenshot images, for instance, on Flickr. They also have filtering technology allowing people to opt out of adult content on Flickr. By creating an option to allow users to opt out of video on Flickr this would alleviate some of the concern from some of the early critics of this service.


On the other hand, if too many people opted out of the video experience on Flickr, it might lose momentum and not achieve the success that promoting it to the entire Flickrverse might have.

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Taken on April 9, 2008