Video is a powerful tool that connects people who are geographically separated from one another. It is also a great aggregator of people; whether we are a random group of people who support the same cause, find the same kind of thing funny, or simply because we all love J-Lo, video groups us together. This is the socializing effect of video.
Think of the movie theatre experience, where people in the community group together around an item of entertainment. The same thing happens virtually online, but around shared video content. It’s just that online it’s a looser, more amorphous, displaced kind of cluster.
Video is meant to be shared. No matter where you find it, video connects us together. Let’s take a look at the top video sharing sites online…
TOP VIDEO SHARING SITES
Not sure where to share videos you create? Maybe you’re not a budding videographer and would prefer to watch videos shared online in hopes of finding the latest viral video. Either way this list of top video sharing sites is a great place to start.
Owned by Google, YouTube is the “big daddy” of all video-sharing sites online. YouTube is everywhere, almost omnipresent in the way that it integrates into websites, blogs, Facebook, and even e-mail. While the best part about YouTube may be that you can watch any video without being forced into becoming a member of the site, the real strength of YouTube lies in the large communities that are formed around special interest videos.
YouTube has become such a video sharing powerhouse that it has created overnight sensations like LonelyGirl15, a video series that takes place in the fictional LG15 universe, and Star Wars Kid, a guy who shows off his light saber moves. The United States presidential candidates used YouTube to stream their debates and speeches to a wider and younger audience. Most recently, the video sharing site has been instrumental in bringing the “Gangnam Style” video to the masses.
If YouTube is the big daddy of video sharing sites then Metacafe is the strict mommy. Metacafe goes to great lengths to ensure its library of shared videos are of the highest quality and that there are no multiple copies of the same content. By comparison, you may find 23 different versions of the same event on YouTube. With a dedicated content review system, you can be sure that there is a lot less clutter on Metacafe since a panel of 80,000 members reviews each video. Talk about videos being social.
Interestingly, one of the main reasons for Metacafe’s popularity is that it was one of the first video sharing sites to pay people for posting videos. The site created a Producer Rewards program that essentially stated that once 20,000 people have viewed your video, Metacafe would give you $5 (reduced to $2) for every 1,000 views after that. Imagine your video went viral and was viewed 20 million times? That video would earn you just under $100K! Unfortunately, the company ended that program in 2009. That said, it is still a top video-sharing site with tons of great content.
This is an international video sharing site with a worldwide audience. Dailymotion flag markers interface pinpoints exactly where in the world a video originated, which is a super slick and unique feature. Most of the videos on this site tend to be professional in nature, with newscasts, commercials, and short films that are extremely popular. It has an “audience first platform” so it offers a number of viewer related features such as picture previews of videos and the ability to easily share videos on Facebook or Twitter.
Catering to professional video makers, Vimeo assumes the video is self contained and doesn’t need any special attention once its uploaded. It’s the posh child of video sharing sites. Vimeo is the place that filmmakers often go to showcase short films and original videos to other enthusiasts. The result is that Vimeo’s library contains a high percentage of original polished content. One of the best things about Vimeo is that it is fast becoming a social network site with a tight knit community of video enthusiasts and the ability to browse, rate, and comment on videos.
Video quality on the site is high, with tons of videos available in high-definition (HD). Unlike other video sharing sites, Vimeo does not limit the file size of a particular video and there are no ads. Vimeo Plus users can upload up to 5GB of video/week for a fee of $9.95 a month. You can still create a free account on Vimeo that provides 500MB of upload space a week. Of course, all the videos shared on the site are free to watch.
THE FUTURE OF VIDEO SHARING SITES
As our online world and our mobile world become more and more “video-centric,” we may rightfully expect that video sharing sites will become an increasingly social place to hang out. This is why we can expect video-sharing sites to be even further integrated into social networking sites. As we gather around video and discuss, pontificate, and enjoy these visual moments together we become more connected.
What video sharing website do you most often visit and why? Let us know in the comments below.