There are a couple of reports hitting the wire that Flickr Video will debut next month (April). One at CNet – Flickr Video beta due in April | Outside the Lines and one at Tech Crunch – Video Coming To Flickr Soon. Really..
I think some of the greatest sites are the ones who can focus on a single offering and make it great, be it wine, video or photography. If Yahoo were to debut a video site, that would be one thing, but integrating it into Flickr I think might be a mistake.
I have seen cased where video can be a nice compliment to photography in instances when a photographer wants to show how he achieved a particular end result, give a short documentary on his work or document a entire shoot. Even the Strobist Flickr Meetups are great fun to watch. There are a lot of discussions in Flickr groups that link to YouTube or Vimeo for that particular purpose. However, having a place to store and showcase any video like the two aforementioned sites will only dilute the creativity that has become Flickr.
Flickr has proven itself to be a viable tool for photographers; some great ones at that. Will these photographers still find value in Flickr once Video is introduced? I guess only time will tell. I suppose it’s really going to depend on how it’s integrated and how good their content filters are. What I would hate to see is a repository of tween video, like those my kid is addicted to watching on YouTube. On the other hand, if integrated in such a way as to compliment the photography that’s hosted, like the examples I’ve listed earlier, it might be a good transition.
Photography and cinematography are art-forms in their own respect and they share common principles. Let’s hope Flickr (Yahoo) doesn’t forget that and gives the respect and attention that each field deserves. I’d really hate it if Flickr became a quest for 15 minutes of fame.