Update: 02-Dec-2006: TinyTube is back online with from Google Video, mostly movie trailers.
I’m saddened but can hardly say I’m surprised. If you visit TinyTube, the site that offered mobile formatted content from YouTube, you will be greeted by an empty page with the message, ” More videos tomorrow, please visit the forum.” On the forum is this post dated 11/30/2006:
“We want to maintain a good working relationship with YouTube, so when a Senior Manager at YouTube contacted us about Terms of Service violations we took the YouTube content offline. This happened at 10am GMT-8 today.
YouTube also expressed enthusiasm for the work we’re doing here to deliver their content to mobile devices, so we’re currently working together to find a solution to bring the content back online in a way that does not violate the YouTube Terms of Service.
There is no established timeline, and no certainty the YouTube content will continue to be available via TinyTube. I’ll continue to post updates here as the situation develops. In the meantime, please use the forum to give feedback on the site as it recently was (and hopefully will return to being), rant about problems with phone compatibility, or request new features.”
I can understand why Google, having just bought YouTube for 1.65 billion dollars, felt they had to do this. Google answers to their stockholders – and investors understandably get very nervous about anything that might possibly dilute the value of their holdings. TinyTube was pretty blantant with the “Tube” moniker and singe sourced content.
I do hope the TinyTube folks can work something out with Google to put the site back up. There’s a lot of interest in mobile video right now due to it’s novelty. YouTube could have taken advantage of that buzz and achieved the same sort of dominance in mobile that they have on the web. Instead they went for carrier alliances – opening the door for off portal sites like TinyTube. The door is still open, and there are a number of new mobile video upstarts filling that vacuum with content that is NOT from YouTube and thus is real competion that Google can’t shut down. Examples include MocoSpace, Treemo, ZooVision and MoveDigital. Will one of these become the YouTube of Mobile?.