If Yahoo! Video is part of your current online publishing strategy, you better be prepared to change. This morning Yahoo! Video announced it’s eliminating the user-generated video component of their online video product. While I’ve personally never invested much time in uploading videos to Yahoo! Video, I would still consider it one of the better places to distribute your video assets. You have approximately 90 days to download videos from the Yahoo! service and upload them somewhere else. Yahoo! is recommending Flickr, presumably because they own the service, but that’s hardly a viable alternative for most of us who publish video. Flickr limits video uploads to 90 seconds, which means any video with substance won’t fit on the service.

Here’s the official notice I received from Yahoo! this morning:

After careful consideration, we will be removing all general user-generated content upload capability and user-uploaded video from Yahoo! Video. As a result, your videos, user profiles, ratings, favorites, and playlists will no longer be available after March 14, 2011. User video content from Yahoo! Video that remains embedded on third party sites will no longer be playable after March 14, 2011.

Available on your profile page is a software utility that will allow you to download the videos you have uploaded to Yahoo! Video to your computer through March 14, 2011. You can find your profile by clicking on the ‘My Video’ tab or going to http://video.yahoo.com/mypage.

Once you download your videos, you may choose to upload them to another site such as Flickr, which now allows video uploads. You can find out more here: http://www.flickr.com/explore/video.

Thanks for your understanding and thanks for being a part of Yahoo! Video.

It’s possible this move is part of a bigger change at Yahoo! to refocus on being a content destination for commercially produced content, my guess it’s just another sign of the coming Yahoo! apocalypse.

What do you think? Yahoo! Video minus UGC a change for the better, or is Yahoo! breaking a pact with the people who helped build it?