Flickr on Monday began letting users of its free online photo-sharing service upload snippets of video to the website in a budding challenge to Google-owned YouTube.
The Yahoo-owned enterprise last year gave the video privilege to people who paid 25 dollars monthly for Pro accounts at Flickr to plant roots in terrain dominated by YouTube.
"We are continuing to evolve the video experience to make it more compelling, accessible and easy to use," Flickr general manager Kakul Srivastava wrote in a post at the firm's website.
"So grab your cameras, and capture and share 'long photos' of your own!"
Pro account members on Monday were given an added benefit of being able to upload high-definition videos to Flickr to be shared with whomever they wish.
Flickr caps video length at 90 seconds.
Short videos can be posted along with pictures on Flickr pages that let users share images photo-album style with select people, as opposed to the way videos are displayed on YouTube for the world to see.
"We are not trying to be the highest volume site, but we are trying to be the most interesting, authentic and personal," Srivastava said when the video-sharing feature launched last year.
"We want to let people share personal content like your child playing in a baseball game or a birthday party with friends."
Flickr videos can be "geo-tagged" to indicate where they were taken, with the spots marked on online maps.
An online Flickr atlas continuously updates with videos designated for public viewing, essentially giving visitors glimpses at what is happening around the world at given times of a day.
A Flickr Clock feature added Monday notes approximate times uploaded videos were made and then allows people to view collages that offer visions of "what's happening at any given minute around the world."
Flickr has long provided a public map showing photos users from around the world upload for public viewing.
Flickr claims more than 35 million registered members and a database of more than three billion photos and videos.
Approximately three million pictures and videos are reportedly uploaded daily to Flickr, which industry trackers say is visited by 73 million people worldwide monthly.
(c) 2009 AFP