Flip Video Camera fans, time to say farewell. TechCrunch reported earlier today that Cisco is shutting down operations of Flip Video and laying off 550 employees.
Though sad news for those losing their jobs, it is hardly unexpected, as TechCrunch pointed out:
In a world where consumers can now record and stream video directly from their iPhone, Android or BlackBerry phone, Flip’s video camera business is no longer novel or useful.
Indeed, I’ve owned a Flip camera since 2009, and I will admit that I’ve only used it about 10 times, ditching it in favor of my digital camera’s video function (when I wanted quality) or my Android (when I wanted immediacy) While the video and built-in audio quality for Flip cameras was never so great to offer any kind of competition to higher end-camcorders, the Flip is a convenient tool for bloggers, “citizen journalists” and small businesses looking to do quick and dirty video on the fly. If nothing else, the Flip camera will have a legacy of being one of the first tools that really enabled video-based user-generated content.
I suspect we will still see the Flip camera in use for a bit longer; it was the go-to cheap video device for a lot of non-profit social media folks for a long time, and for organizations/individuals that don’t have a large video budget but still want to create video content it’s a great tool. RIP Flip; thanks for bringing video to the social media masses.