October 12, 2010

"Private Video Sharing" Service "VidMe" Pulls the Plug After Less Than Four Months

Greetings. Late last June, in "VidMe" Announces Private Video Sharing -- But Fails Big Time, I expressed concerns regarding the privacy technology claims and business model of the "VidMe" video sharing service (announced at that time with great fanfare in the New York Times and other venues).

After my posting, the CEO of VidMe contacted me and we had a pleasant chat, he said that they'd be modifying their privacy claims, and that he'd keep me up to date on developments.

So I was somewhat surprised to receive an email from VidMe just now announcing the termination of the service, less than four months after it went live:

Thank you for being an early user of VidMe's beta video sharing service. Unfortunately, the consumer-facing site has not generated enough use to continue the service. As a result, we've made the difficult decision to discontinue this part of our business and focus on other applications of the technology. As of today, we are disabling the ability to upload, share, and view videos.

If you would like to download transcoded copies of videos you have previously uploaded, please email us at support at vidme dot com by 5 pm EST on Tuesday, October 12.

Good thing I didn't have any videos to download from VidMe -- the date of the notification message was already after 5 pm EST today! (What's this? A new email just popped into my inbox from VidMe, changing the deadline to obtain previously uploaded videos to October 19. At least now you don't need a time machine to ask for copies of your vids!)

I'm sorry to see any genuinely innovative project fail, but VidMe's model just didn't seem practical from the word go, and their privacy claims (initially at least) simply didn't make sense.

Promising more than you can deliver with these technologies is always very risky.

Something to remember ...


Posted by Lauren at October 12, 2010 08:38 PM | Permalink
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