The new Yahoo Video product is launching tonight (Wednesday) at 9 pm PST. The big change? Yahoo Video is targeting YouTube by allowing user-generated videos on the site. The biggest disappointment? The product is not being integrated (yet) into Flickr.
Yahoo Video will continue to allow major video publishers direct API access to the site, as well as crawling the web for relevant videos as well. But now, regular Internet users will have an easy way to upload videos and create their own video blog channel on Yahoo Video.
The only limit on uploads is file size – each file cannot be larger than 100 MB – but there are no time, bandwidth or total storage limitations. Videos can be set to public or private, and viewers can search and sort videos by popularity, category (pre-defined by Yahoo) or tags (user created). Like YouTube, videos can be rated by viewers, commented on, embedded into other websites, etc.
The biggest benefit to using Yahoo over other competitors may be the potential for exposure. Popular user generated videos will be periodically featured in a number of places on the new Yahoo home page when it launches.
And unlike YouTube and other video sites, Yahoo is not going entirely with Flash. They’ve built the uploader tool from scratch, and the default player is Windows Media format. For Mac users and others unable to use this format, a Flash player will be used instead and automatically.
The product is slick and will certainly be popular – partially because this is Yahoo, and partially because they’ve created an incredibly robust and complete video search tool with home grown videos and stuff crawled from the web. But what I really want is to see video upload functionality included directly into Flickr, a totally different user base. People will upload videos on Yahoo Video to get distribution and fame. People will upload videos to Flickr for sharing mostly with friends and family, and to have a safe long term place to store them. I’m much more interested in the latter.