Google targets video “user empowerment”

"We're coming to get you, but don't get your knickers in a twist" seemed to be Google's message to an audience of broadcasters eager to find out more about the company's plans for its newly launched video service.

Yet despite firmly stating that Google's goal is to "have all of the world's information", Google vice-president, search products and user experience, Marissa Mayer, said: "What is happening online won't replace what is happening offline."

Last month Google launched its video service, which allows users to upload video clips to Google's web servers and to make their own media available free of charge or commercially through the Google Video Store.

While Google Video is competing primarily with other video-sharing sites such as YouTube and Grouper, it is still part of an overall trend of growth in such sites.

The huge amount of "video expression" available online means more and more people can take part in the process of communication, which Mayer described as "user empowerment".

But she said it was essential to treat the online forum as very different. Whereas television was a one-to-many pastime, the internet was more a one-to-one experience, which meant the format of content for the internet had to be different.

Mayer said a recent study showed 93 per cent of information was now generated digitally and the growth of the internet was having a similar impact to the printing press when it first appeared. This left us to question how to express ourselves in the digital age in which everyone is a celebrity, she said.

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