YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley -- that's the one who doesn't look like a resident of Trollzopolis -- said this weekend at the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos that YouTube "is going to move in [the] direction" of rewarding users for their creativity.
In the announcement, which was posted to YouTube (natch, below), Hurley says YouTube decided to pay users only after it had built a community around video sharing.
YouTube's decision essentially validates the business model of sites that already pay their users -- Metacafe, Revver, Break.com -- but also changes the competitive landscape, and probably not in those sites' favor.
Once several large sites are paying users, the trick may be to diversify the types of communities that are being fostered. Metacafe, for example, is known for stupid human tricks and amateur stripteases, whereas Revver is known for more artsy fare. By playing up those angles, the smaller sites may be able to thrive even in the shadow of a $1.65 billion behemoth.