Flickr video and Twitter: Is ultra-short media the new black?

While it’s easier to brush off disjointed arguments like how Flickr video will ruin the state of photography, there also seems to be a mindset that Flickr video is competing in the same space as regular video sharing sites (e.g. Youtube , Google Video).

If that’s the case, then we might as well say that Twitter is a blog competitor.

What’s wrong is exactly this…
flickr video = 90 seconds = short Youtube
twitter = 140 character = short blog

As a native user Twitter and Flickr, they are not like their longer counterparts. Rather, these could be considered mutations, or entirely new species of media altogether.

In contrast, consider how Google Video has almost unlimited video length, the content in there tend work better for documentaries and lectures. That renders Google Video a different beast from the 10 minute Youtube, which ends up making Youtube more conversational and meme-ready.

Yes, we do see an “ultra-short” trend emerging, but that in itself changes the communicative patterns of how we attend to these media. The production and interactions differ, although there’s nothing to stop us from approaching these ultra short spaces using regular media practices (i.e. deliberative productions performs via blogging, Youtub-ing).

Originally intended to be only 60 seconds, they’re defining 90 second videos as a “long photo”. Flickr developers even dub this as “a photo, but it moves” on the first screen after you log in.

That renders the first Flickr video I uploaded as a somewhat “less intended use” since it was a more deliberative “performance” piece than a photo made meaningful through motion. For instance, The YipYips @ Flickr333 certainly became more meaningful as a moving image rather than a still, and the point isn’t to produce a deliberate high quality piece that stood alone, but rather to add more context to a pool of similarly situated photographs.

As I’ve blogged before, I believe these ultra short videos are a new variation of images online. I know it’s mincing words / semantics, but flickr video trying to be a new medium. Give it time and we’ll see how users take to it, just as Twitter created new user behaviors and adaptations. There’s still a lot to video as a medium which we haven’t explored, and this is one of them.

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