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Flickr video: What's wrong with 90 seconds?

Flickr has finally launched its video feature and the reviews thus far are solid. The one hangup for people is the 90 second time limit Flickr imposes video contributions.
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Written by Larry Dignan on

Flickr has finally launched its video feature and the reviews thus far are solid. The one hangup for people is the 90 second time limit Flickr imposes video contributions.

Techmeme is abuzz with Flickr's highly anticipated video feature, but as Dan Farber notes:

Despite taking the gestation period of an elephant to appear, I like the Flickr Video experience, except for the limitation to 90 seconds of video. It's the video analog of Twitter, which limits users to 140 characters. It's a fine communications constraint, but it doesn't apply as easily to video content.

What's wrong with 90 seconds? Flickr delivers a unique video experience and the time limit allows video to be more of what the photos are: A brief snapshot in time.

Now it's unlikely that the 90 second rule was imposed for that reason. Ninety second videos mean you stay out of copyright trouble. Is a media giant going to bitch if you take 90 seconds of video? YouTube's 10 minutes can raise a ruckus, but 90 seconds isn't worth the effort.

And the broader question: Does anyone watch more than a minute and a half of video on the Web? I don't. If I can't get the goods in 60 seconds I'm gone. It's that simple. I may have the attention span of a 2 year old, but I don't think I'm alone. If you can't say it in 90 seconds maybe you need to refine things a bit.

Maybe the future of Web video is movies, long "shows" and amateurish interviews that last for months, but I'm not there yet. I've tried to watch a full shows on Hulu and wind up listening to them because I wind up doing something else. Give me my snippet and move me along. If anything Flickr may push along a much needed concept in the world of online video--a little editing.

I have to run now--my 90 seconds are up.

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