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YouTube vs. Vimeo for Colleges and Universities


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A question that comes up often from friends in higher ed is “YouTube or Vimeo? Which should I be using?” To help you decide, provided here is a brief comparison.

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YouTube vs. Vimeo for Colleges and Universities

  1. 1. YouTube vs. Vimeo for Colleges and Universities Stephanie Leishman
  2. 2. “I think a lot more people are starting to understand the power of YouTube.” – Zoe Sugg
  3. 3. “Vimeo is becoming one of the most popular video sites for users who want a place to present high quality, artistic videos.” – Natasha Wescoat
  4. 4. youtube Your content is more discoverable on YouTube than on Vimeo. YouTube is the second largest internet search engine, Google being the first. Note they are both part of the same. YouTube is also the world’s most popular video sharing platform/network, while Vimeo gets less traffic.
  5. 5. vimeo Vimeo gives a more beautiful experience, due to the fact that its default player fills the width of the screen (unlike YouTube) Vimeo has a reputation as an artistic venue for video (documentaries, video art projects, etc.). Your video will take its place among some great work. This means that if you upload a not-so-great video, its low quality will be more conspicuous.  Vimeo promises smoother viewing because it supposedly takes less bandwidth for a user to stream it (“beautiful HD playback”). 
  6. 6. examples Vimeo is the place where you go see quality video like the Holocaust Survivor Band (NYT video) or La Petite Maison (award-winning animated short)
  7. 7. examples YouTube is where you go to see viral content produced by just about anyone, like Charlie Bit My Finger. This is of course a generalization — there exist artfully crafted works on YouTube.
  8. 8. what does this mean for higher ed? For some universities, YouTube is the dumping ground for a department’s raw footage (full lectures, events, etc.). They might use Vimeo to host the curated, cut, and better-produced items. The nature of the department, not its content might determine which platform is best. Some innovative/creative/visual departments are on Vimeo solely, while others find they’re successful on YouTube.
  9. 9. case study: harvard graduate school of design Harvard Graduate School of Design has both YouTube and Vimeo accounts. Notice that usually their best quality video media is posted to Vimeo, such as Airport Landscape Exhibition, and only select videos are uploaded. On YouTube, they upload much more, including long lectures, presentations with bad sound quality, etc.  Videos uploaded to Vimeo are for an audience that is more visually and artistically keen; they desire a high-quality experience and search on Vimeo because they’re looking for that specific experience away from the noise of YouTube.
  10. 10. “Vimeo has a specialized audience.” – Variety
  11. 11. recommendations You might decide to put the whole lecture on YouTube, but if there’s a particularly neat moment in that lecture, that moment could be posted as a short clip on Vimeo.  On one hand, when looking for video from your department, most people's instinct will be to search on YouTube. It may be that you reach the most people there. On the other hand, I worked with a university where students approached a department and asked why the department wasn’t on Vimeo. The students argued that the department had a high potential to produce really innovative, beautiful, high- quality video showcasing really cool moments of genius and creativity. 
  12. 12. read more on the apiarity blog. contact: twitter @hatchsteph