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Tue 19 Feb 2008 04:27 PM

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Yahoo refreshes video site

Yahoo! revamps video service with uploads, community features and enhanced flash-based player

In a bid to compete with video king Youtube, Yahoo has revamped its Yahoo! Video service with new updates, including a fresh layout, support for larger files and much more.

The service now supports files up to 150Mbytes and boasts a separate ‘My video' section where users can upload, store and share self-created content, similar to Youtube. Filmmakers can also use this space to create playlists that can be shared with other users. Each clip in the playlist is displayed as a small thumbnail and users can swap clips by clicking and dragging these up or down.

Meanwhile, the service's flash-based video player has been given a facelift and includes a new 16:9 wide-screen display, which can be embedded into a website or blog.

To expand its online community, the firm has added detailed profiles, letting users add nicknames, along with their favourite videos and playlists. Users can also add contacts and exchange comments.

The relaunch is hot on the heels of Yahoo's recent US $160 million acquisition of Maven Networks - an online video advertising firm. However, at present Yahoo's updates to its video service do not signal its new purchase.

A number of industry experts see the revamp as a way for Yahoo to effectively compete with current video king Youtube. According to research firm comScore, Youtube boasts a 32.6% share of the online video market, in contrast to Yahoo, which boasts a 3.4% share as of December 2007.

Just last week Yahoo rejected a $44.6 billion takeover bidfrom Microsoft, however analyst company IDC reckons a merger is still likely.

To view a full list of the updates made to Yahoo! Video, click on the firm's official video blog.

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