Photobucket Videos Blocked On MySpace

My Review: 5

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Lots of blogs are writing about Photobucket’s user generated videos being blocked on MySpace. Techcrunch wrote it up, and Om Malik did a great write up on Giga OM here. I think this whole thing is quite a big deal for the guys at Photobucket, though their CEO Alex Welch denies this.

Photobucket has 40 million plus users, and hosts billions of images (with a “b”) on sites all over the internet. Their foundation is in hosting photos, and they got their foot in the door with MySpace. Lots of sites have made a business hosting photos for MySpace users, but Photobucket is the biggest, largely (in my opinion) because they were the first.

An interesting theory was posited to me by a friend that this might be a bid/clamor for acquisition. Maybe Photobucket wants to be acquired, and maybe MySpace (Fox) is thinking about paying, but they don’t want to shell out all the money PB is likely to require/demand. This might be MySpace’s way of putting them in their place and quelling the price.

Video is a fast growing space, and PB has created a really cool Flash tool for user editing and generation. I think they ought to continue pursuing that course, but they should separate their products. Put the video tools under a different brand, a sub-brand operated by but separate from the Photobucket label. I think that a certain level of buffer, while transparent, would help them isolate their products, their users, and their business models.

There’s a lot of meat here, a lot of big ideas being discussed. Business models and revenue plans, social networking and personal customization, advertising, photos, videos and the world wide web. I think that this is a fascinating development in the technology world. I don’t think the fallout will be that bad though – call it a 5 of 10.

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