This article was published 15 years ago

Review: Fliggo

Editor’s note: this service is no longer available as the company was acquired by Vidly in 2012.

Ever wanted to start your own online video site but don’t have the resources – like servers and bandwidth to start one and don’t want to deal with upset copyright holders?  Fliggo may be your answer.

From the same startup that launched, Fliggo allows users to create their own YouTube-like environment.  Perfect for family videos or companies that want to launch their own channel.

What Fliggo has over the competition: no length restrictions but they do have a 1GB file limit as well as the same file formats that YouTube and the others accept, including weird MPEG2 formats like .m2t.  They also allow Google Analytics submissions so users can track visitors that visit their sites.

The above clip was taken from my site on Fliggo.  Video streaming is fast.  This could be because Fliggo has significantly smaller traffic problems to deal with than YouTube.  Fliggo is almost like YouTube, except there are some limitations, like a widescreen player or a higher quality version.  Videos made in widescreen will be automatically formatted with black bars at the top and bottom of the clip.  A paid version will offer the ability for higher quality (HD?) in the near future.

But before you ditch YouTube or Vimeo, there are a couple of items to keep in mind.

One major item I have is that you can’t customize the design of the site, meaning I can’t take the design from my website and apply to the Fliggo site.  The paid version will also allow customized domains, but not change the design.  I would love if Fliggo would release their source code and allow users to create their video portals on their own web sites with their design, but I guess dreaming.

The big reason I won’t be using the service is the terms of service.  Ever since the Facebook TOS disaster, I’ve been reading the Terms of Service agreements on almost every web site I conduct business on, especially dealing with this on.  While users retain ownership of the videos they upload:

you hereby grant Fliggo a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the Fliggo Website and Fliggo’s (and its successors’ and affiliates’) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Fliggo Website (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels. You also hereby grant each user of the Fliggo Website a non-exclusive license to access your User Submissions through the Website, and to use, reproduce, distribute, display and perform such User Submissions as permitted through the functionality of the Website and under these Terms of Service.

In short, Fliggo can use your works to promote Fliggo and they can make money off of your works.  While this doesn’t surprise me, since most online websites have similar agreements, this might be a turnoff for potential content makers to upload videos to your site.

While Fliggo has everything many users would be looking for in starting a YouTube clone; no widescreen player, higher quality, customization, and especially the terms of agreement, might be a turnoff for some users.

I guess I’ll stick to YouTube, however I thinking of going to Vimeo instead.

UPDATE: Chrys Bader from Fliggo responds to my column in the comments.  He tells me that a widescreen player is in the works and that I can indeed customize the site to me likening.  He got me there, I did forget to mention that you can customize the site to your liken by fiddling with the CSS.  However, I would like to see a feature that you can upload a theme to the site, especially for those that use Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, etc; mainly because it takes a long time to customize a site by coding through CSS (change CSS coding, loading in the browser.  If it works, move on; if no, repeat beginning).  The terms of service is still a turn off for me, especially if I’m using the paid version.