Bad news for Flip video camera users that used its FlipShare video hosting service: You’ve got 30 days to move your files, or risk losing them. According to The New York Times , videos uploaded to the Cisco-owned web video service will expire after 30 days, beginning May 12. So any videos loaded before that date must be manually downloaded within the next month.
The deadline to remove videos comes as Cisco is in the midst of reorganizing, shuttering consumer-facing businesses and returning its focus to the enterprise networking segment. The Flip video camera business was just one unit that fell victim to the cuts, as Cisco announced it would shut down the popular consumer video camera manufacturer last month.
Even though Cisco is hastily moving to wind down the business, 30 days isn’t a very long time for consumers to move files from a service like this. Last month, for instance, Google announced it would finally be shutting down its Google Video site to focus on its wildly more popular YouTube service. On April 13, the search giant announced that it would end playback of Google Video files by the end of the month, and gave users 30 days to manually download those files. But despite Google Video lying mostly dormant for several years, users protested the sudden shutdown. Google eventually backpedaled, eliminating the April 29 shutdown date and urging users to transfer their files to YouTube instead.
One of the key advantages of the FlipShare service was semi-private sharing of videos; users that uploaded to FlipShare primarily did so because they could share within a small group of friends and family without posting them for all the world to see. For users that still want their files hosted on the web but don’t necessarily want them viewable by everyone, YouTube offers private viewing controls so that videos can go unlisted on the main site, or will only be available with those who have a shareable link. Shutterfly and Vimeo also enable viewers to upload videos and privately share them.
While users will have just 30 days to download files from the FlipShare website, Cisco will continue to support the Flip camera hardware and software for another 18 months. On the Flip website, the company reports it will continue to offer technical support for Flip cameras until Dec. 31, 2013, and the cameras themselves will continue to be available while supplies last. It also said that the FlipShare software will continue to be supported until the end of 2013 as well.