Hoping to make Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube site even stickier, the top video-sharing destination is starting to offer free clip-editing tools that don't require users to leave the site. The platform is powered by Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE), the publishing software giant behind the Flash format that many video sites like YouTube use to display their clips.

TechCrunch profiled some of the features over the weekend. I tried to kick the tires last night -- and again this morning -- but was greeted with connectivity errors once I got past the initial screen.

There are several good reasons for the new feature.

  • User-generated content often comes from a cell phone camera or a rudimentary webcam with limited functionality in terms of adding titles and transitions. In other words, there is a need for personalization.
  • Better clips make for better content, especially with the crummy and grainy resolution of entry-level cell phone video cameras.
  • Encouraging users to provide more text will make it easier for YouTube to serve up contextually relevant ads later.
  • Photobucket is already offering a similar Adobe-powered online editing tool, and that site is being acquired by News Corp. (NYSE:NWS), whose MySpace social networking site is becoming a very popular video-sharing site as well.
  • Keeping the fan base close is sweet, especially if a popular video titling option is the Windows Movie Maker included in rival Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) operating system.

Google's YouTube isn't going to chance its poll position in the clip-culture revolution. It saw Revver make waves with its revenue-sharing model last year, so it announced plans to follow suit later this year. There is no shame in tracking Photobucket here, either. You don't need to build a better mousetrap to stay on top. You just need to make sure that the competition doesn't do it, unchecked.

So hopefully I'll get a chance to kick those tires later today. Either way, it's a fresh sheet of sticky flypaper being laid out on the YouTube doorstep.

Microsoft is a pick in the Inside Value research service for value-minded investors. You don't need to fire up Windows Movie Maker to grab a free 30-day trial subscription.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is ready to officially classify himself as a clip-culture junkie. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.