Two platforms clearly stand out when it comes to hosting online videos: YouTube and Vimeo.
YouTube's clearly the big dog. At 800 million unique visitors per month, with roughly 72 hours of content being uploaded each minute, it's by far the most used video-sharing platform on the web. (It doesn't hurt that it's owned by Google, either.)
But upload statistics alone don't necessarily make it the best platform out there. Vimeo, while on a smaller audience scale, has plenty of advantages over the streaming giant — especially for someone who's looking to receive helpful feedback or showcase their work to a community of fellow filmmakers.
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Not to knock on YouTube. It's a great platform as well, and it overall depends on what type of video you're uploading and what sort of audience you're trying to reach. But, if you're struggling to decide between the two, check out our list below of reasons why Vimeo — not YouTube — might be your best fit.
1. The Community of Professionals
Unlike YouTube's massive audience, Vimeo's is a more small, niche community of film enthusiasts. It's not nearly as large — it gets roughly 70 million unique visitors each month — but its modest size creates an intimate and fully engaged community. It's a network of people who are genuinely interested in film quality, too, so you know your work is being seen by people who will appreciate it.
Plus, you're more likely to get constructive criticism in the comments section. (On YouTube, even a video of a baby owl stretching its wings for the first time is guaranteed to launch a string of off-topic, mean and flat-out racist comments.)
2. There's Less ... Fluff
Don't get us wrong — there are plenty of gems on YouTube. But the problem with a site where more than 70 hours of video are uploaded every minute is that not every hour is going to be something you'd like to watch. Haters may hate, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a 30-second clip of a man dancing in a penguin costume on Vimeo.
3. The Cleaner Layout
Aside from the difference in video genres, Vimeo offers a cleaner aesthetic than YouTube. Videos are larger and there's limited clutter around the frame, so it really feels like the primary focus of the website is on the video, and nothing else.
4. No Advertisements
No distracting banners or 30-second commercials before your video starts — a huge perk for the viewer.
5. Password Protection
Lastly, Vimeo allows you to password-protect your videos, so you can share them with friends before setting them as public. It differs from creating a "private" video on YouTube in that you don't need to be logged into the video's account to view it — you just forward the video to your recipient and make sure they know which password to type in.
Give Vimeo a look for yourself if you haven't done so already. It's free to sign up for a basic membership; Vimeo Plus is $9.95 per month; and Vimeo PRO is $199 per year.
Do you have a preference between the two video streaming services? Or, better yet, do you prefer a different uploading site? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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