Google and video-sharing – something in the air?

YouTube LogoA 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.

How do you solve the problem called “This video is currently unavailable”

Perhaps the one thing that annoys me more about technology than any other thing is when something that should obviously just work – just like that … doesn’t!!!

A case in point is the Google Capture app on iOS. Of course there should be no problem with it working with Google+, or that it should integrate seamlessly with YouTube … think again! Time and time again you get the message “This video is currently unavailable” when you click on the Play button in your Google+ post – unless you’re looking at it on a Desktop, using most probably Chrome. That makes sense doesn’t it? NOT!

So many of my valuable “little grey cells” have been destroyed trying to find out just what’s going wrong; trying to find a workaround to something that there shouldn’t need to be a workaround for. Quelle domage. This stuff’s supposed to be easy, isn’t it?

Finally, I have a workaround. It’s not ideal, but it works. It’s not logical, but it works. It allows me to continue to use technology I like, but which is letting me down. Let me share my solution with you.

1. You start by taking the video clip with Capture, do what edits you want to in the app and then Upload to YouTube. Do not Share at this time. I know you want to, but don’t.

2. Check using the YouTube app that that the video has been Uploaded successfully, return to the Capture app and then Share to Google+. Yes, I said this wasn’t logical, you want to know why you don’t just share from the YouTube app, don’t you? Well you don’t, because you stand a good chance of getting a Red screen thumbnail on your Google+ post, it might be a smiley (sort of) face, or it might be a clock – but the thing is … you don’t want it!

3. So you’re back in the Capture app. Click on Share, choose Google+ and with a fair wind and a slice of luck (and presuming you haven’t jumped the gun and tried to share too quickly, see 2 above) you’ll be able to get a share away and write a post to accompany the video on Google+.

See I told you it wasn’t logical. Come on Google, solve this idiotic problem.