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Users' ability to upload new video to the site was removed on December the 15th, and all user-generated content will be removed from the site on March 15, 2011. In the interim, Yahoo have provided a download tool to users, allowing them to download any videos they have uploaded in the past that they wish to keep.
Yahoo has been struggling to re-define itself as more than just a search engine and, when you consider the importance of video content, this looks like a step backwards rather than forwards.
Why has Yahoo done this?
Obviously I can only speculate, however I'd assume that it has something to do with the amount of man-hours that must go in to maintaining and policing a video site that allows users to upload content.
Paying employees to constantly follow up reports of copyrighted, pornographic and otherwise inappropriate material must take its toll - perhaps Yahoo felt it had spread itself too thinly, trying to be all things to all people, and looked for an area of the business to rein in, allowing resources to be reallocated elsewhere? Or perhaps challenging the absolute dominance of YouTube over the UGC video market became too much for them?
Or perhaps Yahoo Video will be re-branded as an advertising-led video site, hosting a library of TV shows and making them available to a worldwide audience (before Hulu makes it out of the US)?
Whatever the reason, Yahoo Video is now no longer as much of social tool - from here, it can either go down the advertising-led online TV library route or fade into insignificance, as users grow savvy to the fact that all Yahoo is doing is posting its own content. Or perhaps they have some remarkable new idea? Only time will tell.
The only thing we can be sure of is that at the moment this looks like Yahoo admitting defeat, and succumbing to the might of YouTube.