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Amazon “Video Shorts” picks fight with YouTube?

Not content with taking on iTunes and Netflix with its Prime Instant Video service, the perennially competitive Amazon also appears willing to tackle the mighty YouTube.

As TechCrunch noticed yesterday, Amazon Prime Instant Video has recently – and relatively quietly – seen a “Video Shorts” section added for short-form content. The emphasis seems to be music videos, how-tos, and the kind of vlogging that has reaped billions of views on YouTube.

Since yesterday however the addition has already stirred criticism, with Bill Niemeyer critiquing “Video Shorts” in a tdg blog post:

“Video Shorts seems incomplete and shows signs of being rushed to market. As previously noted, the content library is neither deep nor wide. The UI is the same as Prime Instant Video — a first page of thumbnails followed by the now-ubiquitous UI Amazon uses for everything it sells. This may work for moving a lot of products but it fails horribly when it comes to searching for and discovering video entertainment.

“And in an astonishing omission for a short-video service, I could not find any way to share a video with others…and I looked hard. I couldn’t find a way to email a link, much less embed or share on Facebook or Twitter. It doesn’t help that the video URLs are Russian-novel long. This might be a (big) concern for short-video production companies looking to build audience. Do the folks at Amazon understand that the term “viral video” does not refer to videos about transmissible diseases?”

Ouch!

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