On Wednesday, Alireza Yavari, who works at +Interactive New York, observed that he could no longer embed Vimeo videos on Google+.
On G+, I had always been annoyed by the low quality of image previews when videos were shared from vimeo.com, my favorite video website. Now you cannot even embed any videos from Vimeo anymore! I noticed it yesterday and I don’t know if something has been changed by G+, Vimeo or it is my computer acting funny.
A quick search did not reveal any tech headlines. So I decided to run a quick test.
Earlier in the evening, I embedded at YouTube TEDTalk from Larry Lessig about corruption. I did not use the G+ “video” function; I simply pasted the link in the regular URL sharing box.
I then did the same thing with a Vimeo video. As with Yavari, I found that there was no embedded video. Just a still and abstract. (No I did not use the “share” feature at Vimeo – I did this by hand.)
The video was a staff pick:
As he notes, this could be a decision made by Vimeo, not Google. But that seems odd, given that I can embed the video here as well as on Facebook.
I wrote earlier this week about Google’s core business, which is selling ads alongside a service that people need/like -> search.
Google has benefited from a culture of sharing — one personified by RSS — but it is quickly reversing course, which leads me to believe that this nixing of embeds is a deliberate move.
- Google+ has never had RSS feeds.
- Google recently killed GoogleReader, which had wiped out every other RSS reader. Go download Reeder for your iPad, iPhone or Mac right now; it’s free until Google Reader is dead and buried, and it’s excellent. Better than Reader, in fact.
- In 2007, Google bought Feedburner, which helped publishers to manage their RSS feeds. Partners included upstarts like Flickr. There were competing services at the time, but they were quickly shuttered. Last fall, Google pulled the plug on Feedburner, which has “virtually no alternatives.”
Google – just like most Internet users – is now betting that people are getting their news from personalized news readers like Zite and Flipboard (both of which at least partly rely on RSS, of course), or from social networks like Twitter, Facebook and its own Google+.
I don’t want my search results influenced by the people I know, and I don’t want my news filtered that way, either. I want rich, rounded experiences that I shape.
Where do you think the people who share that info the first time discover it? Hint: probably from their RSS readers, which are much more efficient than Twitter (despite how much I love Twitter).