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Yahoo Video dumping user content

Users have until March 14 to download videos before they vanish

February 22, 2011 03:58 PM ET

Computerworld - Do you really like that video you posted on Yahoo Video? Well, if you want it back, you'd better hurry up and download it.

As of March 15, user videos will no longer be available on the Web site, which as of August was the third-largest video site in the United States. According to Internet tracker ComScore, video giant YouTube is the No. 1 video site and Facebook is No. 2.

Things are changing at Yahoo Videos.

In December, the company announced on its site that users were no longer allowed to upload videos. And now it's saying that users have until March 14 to download their videos. After that, the files won't be available.

The company added download functionality to users' video profiles, under the My Video tab, to give people a way to retrieve their content.

"General user upload functionality and user-generated content are being removed from Yahoo Video as focus shifts to our core businesses' future growth," the company stated on its site. "This was a difficult decision to make, but it's part of the ongoing prioritization efforts at Yahoo. We apologize if this causes you any inconvenience."

Yahoo Video isn't going away altogether, though. The site will stay up, but it will only contain content from Yahoo and its partners. User-generated content will no longer be part of the site.

Dan Olds, an analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group, said that the lack of a public outcry in response to the move shows why the company is switching things up.

"YouTube, like [its parent company] Google itself, has become ubiquitous on the Web," he added. "If someone needs to get their fix of cute kitten videos or guys doing something stupid that ends up wrong, YouTube is the first stop. I don't see this badly impacting many users."

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at Twitter @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed Gaudin RSS. Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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