Please don't do this, Flickr!

According to TechCrunch Flickr is about to extend its feature list with support for video probably in order to be able to compete with services like YouTube …

… and as Michael wrote:

Too often I return from a trip, upload pictures to Flickr and then just store the videos on my hard drive. I want those videos right next to the photos, with the same tags and in the same sets (albums).

The right service for the right audience

Sure, this would be nice, but is it really worth destroying what Flickr is right now? From my point of view it is a great place for photographers of all skill-levels to exchange photos and knowledge. But I have a feeling, that adding video functionality will turn the upper skill levels away and open the site even more to casual photographers.

As Fred Oliveira already said, sites like YouTube and Flickr are popular because of their simple interface and because they do only one thing and that exceptionally well. I somehow doubt that any site with a combination of these respective ideas could have become as successful and popular as any of these two.

A better way?

The idea of having one place to store (or at least view) all your holiday content is definitely intriguing, but in my opinion the best way to do something like this would be to create a mash-up and Yahoo! would be in quite a good position to do something like this with Flickr as their photo service and Jumpcut for videos … I guess they also have a service for hosting podcasts.

Sure, they could just put everything they have into Flickr and make it the one-service-tries-to-fit-all thing, but in this process they will probably lose quite a few customers whereas with a mashup-approach they wouldn’t have to face this risk. Also if competing with YouTube is really all they want, then perhaps they should just do a better job at promoting Jumpcut.

So please Yahoo!, stop messing around with what Flickr is and simply try to integrate it into your overall service and not the other way around!