Webshots and Vizrea Both Add Video, Vimeo Does Video Right

Interesting. CNET’s Webshots photo sharing property announced yesterday that they were adding video to Webshots. Webshots has recently been under a lot of pressure with a dramatic decline in traffic. Michael Arrington reported over at TechCrunch in October that CNET’s Webshots property had declined in traffic 69% over the course of the past year.

By adding video Webshots might be hoping to cash in on the recent success of some of the video players like YouTube. Videos will be limited to 5 minutes for free accounts and 10 minutes for paid accounts.

My own view is that this is likely too little too late still. Content driven traffic for video will be dominated by YouTube and Google Video and a host of other minor players out there. Although personal video (family video type stuff) might make some sense for Webshots, my guess is that it will not drive much new traffic.

Webshots would be better served trying to better develop and build a layer of social networking to sit on top of Webshots than try to add new features at this point.

From an email I got from Webshots yesterday:

“Roll out the red carpet because video on Webshots has arrived! Now you can share your personal videos and photos in the same album, keeping all your memories in one place.

We bet you have a bunch of awesome videos that you just can’t wait to share, so get started right now by uploading them to Webshots. While we’re open to any type of content—such as silly pet tricks or an awesome sports moment—we ask that your videos be less than five minutes as a free member (upgrade to premium, and each video can be up to 10 minutes!) and follow our guidelines.”

Speaking of video and social networking. I’m much more excited about what I’ve seen coming from Vimeo. Vimeo was created by the College Humor team of Jakob Lodwick and Zach Klein and is building some powerful social networking tools on top of their video site. I met with Jake recently at Web 2.0 and he showed me some of the stuff that Vimeo does and it’s the type of stuff that could potentially take video sharing to a much bigger place via social networking.

As an aside, photo sharing startup Vizrea coincidentally also launched video on their site yesterday as well. From an email that I got from Vizrea yesterday:

“Video. Are you making cool video? Share it on Vizrea. You can use Vizrea’s new video player on other web sites as well. (Just copy and paste the embed code, and your video will play just about everywhere).”

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  1. leahpeah says:

    i wrote an email to jakob last week asking about copyright.

    my question: “someone told me that vimeo is like youtube in that it owns any video that is uploaded and can use it anyway they see fit.”

    his very succinct answer was ‘That is not true. Vimeo and YouTube do not own your video when you upload it.’

    i have read through the agreements on vimeo, youtube, google and most recently revver. am i wrong or do they all say that whatever is uploaded, they then own? maybe it’s co-ownership, but that is still ownership, yes? and if i’m going to upload video of me interviewing someone, i want to be sure that no one else can use it ‘how they see fit.’

    or possibly i’m just confusing myself and making it way harder than it needs to be.

  2. Thomas Hawk says:

    Leah, that’s an interesting point about Vimeo’s licensing model. The short answer is I’m not sure how they are doing this. I’ll try to see if I can get a clarification from Jake on this.

  3. Hi Thomas,

    Thanks for mentioning Vizrea. We’ve had video for a couple of months (but only just sent the email). In fact, we do a lot more with video than we talked about in the email. For example, with both Vizrea for PCs and Vizrea for Camera Phones installed, you can use your phone to watch video that’s on your PC (eg, recorded TV from a media center).

    We knew from the start that we wanted a full video experience as part of our focus on sharing across multiple devices. We’ll be adding more to it, but it’s nice to finally be able to unwrap the video part of the service.


    Steve Toutonghi