A couple of recent posts on Google+ from @MrSimonWood have got me to thinking. He first highlighted that YouTube was highlighting an Import from Google+ option which raised some concerns in his mind that Google+ Photos was about to be denuded of videos which he felt would be unfortunate because of the highly granular security model of Google+ which also prevented re-shares of videos hosted on Google+ Photos. The second was a subtle change in YouTube which affected those wishing to monetize their channels.
There are obviously changes in the air at Google as I’ve been posting over the past couple of days. Are those changes going to include a separation of photos from videos? From their point of view it might just make a lot of sense. In the video-serving world there are really only two front runners – YouTube and Vimeo. The latter doesn’t do photographs, it just concentrates on producing the best streaming of videos it can, and it succeeds in that. For Google it’s hosted videos are presented differently, depending on the platform – YouTube or Photos. Note I’ve dropped the Google+, they have! If they want to concentrate on providing the best possible platforms for both photos to compete with the SmugMug, 500px, even flickr of this world, it makes sense to not complicate things by having videos on the same platform. Similarly, if they wanted to consider enhancing their video-editing capability which is currently a bit underwhelming on YouTube then they wouldn’t want videos being hosted on different platforms. So I think Simon’s right. A change is in the air. What’s to be done about it.
Well first-of-all we perhaps need to take the Import to YouTube option first announced in August 2014 a little more seriously. One could wait for the inevitable that I’ve predicted above, or wait for the migration that Google will do for us. It’s up to you but I’m reasonably confident that Google will not lessen the privacy settings in an automated move, but will you still retain the shares you’ve created?
So … I tested an Import from Google+ on YouTube and after import it retains a Privacy of Unlisted (not Public, or Private) which is correct because I’d shared the video on Google+, but no details of who I’d shared it with are transferred across, meaning the link between the video and the Google+ Circle had been broken. This therefore means that Google has some work to do if they do want to move all content off the Photos platform; or will they be tolerant of leaving some legacy videos on the Photos platform, or might they just break the Google+ service. Which way do you think they would be most likely to go?
It’s probable that Google will most likely want you to share from the YouTube Capture App on your smartphone, or from the browser. It is also sensible to assume (as suggested above) that they will enhance the video-editing capabilities linked to YouTube maybe with a standalone application somewhat similar to Picasa (or Snapseed) for Photos. They could do that by forking uploads from smartphones and cameras into the two platforms. This could be done transparently, but I would imagine there’s quite a bit of engineering to be done in achieving that to get a seamless and nice solution.
Who knows. I’m just speculating. What I do know is that following Simon’s second post highlighting the reduced level of security provided by YouTube that I need to put my thinking hat on YET AGAIN, on where to host videos.