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Millions of people use it every month to watch and share videos online, but YouTube isn't the only game in town. What are the strengths of YouTube compared to Vimeo and other platforms, and how do you get started with online video in the first place? Jason Osder answers these questions and more, as he explores the fundamental concepts of online video services and options that will impact your decision when choosing the service that is right for you.
Continue learning with Jason's other courses on online video, YouTube Essential Training and Vimeo Essential Training.
I want to start comparing some of the qualities of these different platforms and options to help you make a decision about which platform is right for you for online video. Let's take the technical aspects first, and just go through pro con lists of each common platform. I'm going to deal both with traditional online video platforms but also with some of the social platforms in the way that they technically deal with the video. So YouTube has a lot of pros including that it works for nearly everyone, the Youtube technology is just fantastic across different bandwidths, mobile devices, when you post a video to Youtube one of the things you are doing is ensuring that it works for the the biggest possible audience YouTube scales to handle HD.
What that means is you can post high definition video, but users can still watch a smaller version, if it works better for them. YouTube is highly extensible, and if you're not familiar with that word, it means it plays well with others. Once you have your video on YouTube, it's extremely easy to embed it in other social networks to put it out for mobile, to put it on your own website or blog. That's what extensibility means. So what are some of the cons of YouTube technology? You often see advertising on the YouTube site or on your videos.
You can take certain steps to avoid this and I've gone over those in YouTube essential training but if the end of the day on the YouTube platform, it's a little bit hard to totally avoid advertising. You also don't have quite as much control over the appearance of your video as you do on a platform like Vimeo. To be clear, I'm talking about some real details here, such as the color of the controls and the text elements that display with your video. A YouTube video always is going to look like that branded YouTube package, and Vimeo in particular lets you get away from that a little bit, speaking of Vimeo let's see the pros and cons of that technology. Vimeo has always been about HD quality and to this day I think for the most part the Vimeo videos look really fantastic, you get more control over that appearance, again I am talking about customizations like your channel and also how your embedded video appears.
I go over all of this in Vimeo essential training. Like YouTube, Vimeo is also highly extensible. It plays well with others. Once your Vimeo video is posted, it's fairly easy to embed it in your site, your blog, or on your other social networks. Vimeo has only minimal advertising. To completely avoid it you do have to upgrade to the plus version, but you can eliminate advertising entirely from your pages and videos on Vimeo. So, what are the cons of Vimeo? I think it's not quite as dependable as YouTube, that is to say, from experience, I think that people have trouble playing back Vimeo videos, possibly because they're more high definition. Than YouTube which seems to work everywhere.
To be fair this has gotten better and better and I think we can expect it to continue get better as Vimeo improves its technology and as more people have faster connection speeds. Another con of Vimeo is that alot of the services are at the pro and plus level, so if you want to get to some of the best services on Vimeo, you will have to pay. When looking at professional level technologies, such as Brightcove, there are some pros and cons, but in a way we've moved to a different arena. I just want to see how this compares.
These professional level platforms are very robust, you're going to have a lot of quality and a lot of options. They tend to deal with media management in a much more sophisticated way, than the consumer platforms. So if you're working at a professional level, and you have a lot of video that needs to stay organized, you might consider investing in one of these professional level platforms. Being at the professional level in general is a pro the money you spend on a service like a Brightcove means that you're now getting professional level services. So what are some of the cons these are not free platforms they cost and depending on which one you choose and how much video you want to host they may cost substantially and I'll list professional level as a con, as well as a pro. If you're not at a professional level, and you don't want the complexity that comes with that kind of professional control, then, having this robust professional platform is not actually an advantage to you.
You'd probably be better off, with Youtube or Vimeo, consumer oriented products. So what about Facebook as a video platform? As we discussed, you can post your video to Facebook with no other technology. Some of the pros are, it's really easy if you're already familiar with Facebook. It's an all-in-one service. You don't need to have accounts in YouTube, as well as Facebook, to do social video integration. You can just stay on Facebook. And both have video services and social services.
It's really pretty easy. If you're already familiar with posting photos on Facebook, you can just post videos with really no problem. So what are some of the cons? First of all, we're not extensible on Facebook. Your Facebook videos will basically only appear on Facebook. Unlike the video platforms which allow you to post once and then embed and post in other places Facebook just stays on Facebook. There's not really a focus on quality here. Which is not to say that your videos will look bad on Facebook.
It's just to say that as a platform, it's concerned with a lot of other things, and is compared, to say, Vimeo. The focus is not on the best looking video all the time. Twitter technology for video is fairly limited. The mobile integration is quite good with the service called Vine. But remember, Vine is limited to six second videos. So the cons are more numerous. You only get six seconds on Vine. For anything longer than six seconds, you do need to work with a plugin like TwitVid or post your videos to YouTube or Vimeo and then secondarily post them to Twitter.
As you can see Twitter's video technology is fairly limited, but that's okay, it's not really its purpose. Okay. There's an overview of some of the strengths of weaknesses of video technologies associated with common online video platforms. As well as common social platforms. This should help you make a decision about your video platform but we also need to consider the social aspects of each one of these platforms.
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