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Vimeo vs. YouTube: Which Video Sharing Site Is Better?

The Pros and Cons of Each Video Sharing Site


Vimeo vs YouTube
Vimeo / Google Inc.

The web would not be the same without video.

Although there are a number of different sites and services that allow you to watch TV, stream movies or upload your own content online, it seems that two major sites tend to receive most of the attention on the web. Those sites are YouTube and Vimeo.

About YouTube

YouTube is the king of the web when it comes to video. The term "online video" is almost a synonym for "YouTube." From business channels to personal video blogs to television, YouTube practically has it all.

Despite being such a young website (founded in February of 2004), YouTube now receives more than 48 hours of user-generated video uploaded every minute and over three billion views per day. YouTube was acquired by Google in 2006 for USD $1.65 billion.

About Vimeo

Vimeo is a popular video sharing website that is largely characterized by content created and uploaded by artists, musicians and indie filmmakers who would like to share their creative work. Although the variety of video content is slightly more limited compared to the wide range available on YouTube, the popular video sharing site has over 16,000 videos uploaded daily.

Vimeo vs. YouTube

Both sites are video sharing networks that allow users to sign up, upload videos for free, and participate in the community. In terms of viewing choice and connection speeds, these two sites are superior to any other competing services on the web.

Of course, both sites have different strengths and weaknesses. If you're a creative filmmaker, you might get better feedback and engagement from the community on Vimeo or better access with their premium business account option. On the other hand, if you're just a casual video blogger, uploading convenience or longer videos might be more of a priority. In that case, YouTube may be a better choice.

Whatever it is that you're looking for in a video sharing network, weighing the pros and cons might help you decide which site you should focus on.

YouTube: The Pros

Audience range: YouTube is the number one video-sharing site on the web. The site popularity alone and ability to have videos ranking well in Google search results or discovered through related videos and search terms give it a superior reputation. The sheer fact that you can be discovered by such an enormous amount of viewers just from uploading a video on YouTube plays a very important role in content promotion.

Channel customization: You can select a background image and colors for your channel box when sign-up for a YouTube account. Change the font style, select a layout and organize your videos into playlists.

Revenue sharing: If your videos get enough views or your channel attracts enough subscribers, YouTube will invite you to a revenue sharing partnership. Ads are placed at the bottom of your videos and in the sidebar, giving you the opportunity to earn an income from the popularity of your videos. Although it can take a lot of time and effort to start earning a significant amount, some people are able to make a full-time living from their channels.

Unlimited uploads: There is no limit to the number of videos you can upload to YouTube, which is an attractive option for people who like to upload often. Depending on the views, subscribers, number of videos and other statistics of your account, YouTube will also slowly start allowing you to upload longer videos.

YouTube: The Cons

Competition: Although the massive audience and viewing potential can be considered a huge strength on Youtube, it can also be a huge downside. Your videos may be prone to getting lost in hundreds upon thousands of other videos. Even if your video is considered to be very creative and worth watching, it may be difficult for others to discover it amongst so many other videos.

Flagging: YouTube relies on its community to report and flag videos for copyrighted content, pornography, violence or any other inappropriate subject matter. If your video gets flagged, YouTube may remove it from the site without warning.

Profane comments: As your videos grow more popular and attract more viewers, you have a higher chance of receiving more inappropriate comments, profanity and spam. Bad comments can potentially lead to a bad reputation. For this reason, some users prefer to disable comments on their videos.

Vimeo: The Pros

Priority uploading: Uploading videos to Vimeo is already just as convenient as it is with YouTube, but you can get even better quality when you upgrade to a paid Vimeo Pro account. With a Pro account, videos are much cleaner and require much less bandwidth for viewing.

Video player branding: One thing YouTube doesn't have that Vimeo has is the ability to embed your own logo or image into the video player. On Youtube, the YouTube logo is always in the lower right corner of the video player, potentially harming branding ability.

Analytics: Between YouTube and a paid Vimeo Pro account, the analytics platform on Vimeo is far superior. Some users feel that YouTube's analytics system is much too basic.

Community engagement: Vimeo tends to have more audience engagement due to the focus on creative artistry, filmmaking and music. You're more likely to receive friendlier comments and make stronger relationships with users on Vimeo in comparison to YouTube.

Vimeo: The Cons

Lower traffic: Due to the simple fact that Vimeo is significantly smaller in comparison to YouTube, you're video views may be extremely limited.

Paid access: Although the Vimeo Pro features are outstanding, a Pro account still requires a fee to be paid. Not everyone is will to pay for premium features. If you decide against a Pro account, you'll be missing out on a lot of what Vimeo has to offer.

Commercial restrictions: If you plan on promoting a product or service through a video on Vimeo, you are required to pay for a Pro account. If you go ahead and upload a commercial video on a free account, you risk having your video taken down.

Cap restrictions: Believe it or not, a Vimeo Pro account limits you to upload a maximum of 50 GB per year, with each video limited to a maximum of 5 GB. Even with a free YouTube account, you are allowed to upload an unlimited amount of videos, as long as they do not exceed 2 GB per video.

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