It’s a common question for beginners, but it can be also a struggle for professional videographers or timelapsers. I recently released my video “Panta Rhei Wrocław”. I wasn’t sure where should I put this video – I was considering Vimeo, Youtube and Facebook. Now, a few weeks after releasing I can share some thoughts on each of these services.
In this article, I talk only about Vimeo, Youtube and Facebook, as the three most popular sites to upload your video worldwide. Also, I’m not a specialist in film distribution, that’s my personal opinion based on videos I made. You’ve got a different opinion? Leave a comment, let’s discuss that 🙂
Our case is a timelapse video oriented to be a viral content on the internet. It was a personal project, not a paid job, so my priority was to get the best reach with that video – so lots of views 😉 With different project I would probably choose differently, I suggest choosing the right tool for the specification of your project and I hope this article will help you with that.
Lots of people complain about Youtube compression. We’ve all been there – video looks great on your computer, but it’s terrible on Youtube (or just a little bit worse). Vimeo has slightly better quality and that’s a fact. It’s not extremely different, but it’s better than nothing. The worst quality, for now, is on Facebook. And it makes quite a big difference (Facebook is quite new to video, it’s constantly trying to improve the quality, so it could be different in a few months ;))
So why even use Facebook? That’s not specifically a video platform.
I didn’t consider uploading on Facebook at the beginning. What advantages does it have, that are more important than image quality for a filmmaker?
You can compare the quality of the video below. It’s the same file uploaded on three different services.
As you can see above, it’s completely opposite to the quality list. Of course, it doesn’t mean that your video can’t go viral on Vimeo, it can. It means that it’s easier on Facebook 😉
For the premiere, I put my video on Vimeo and Youtube (I’ve got Vimeo plus account, I’ll explain why later in the text).
I wanted to focus the Vimeo version on people related to the film industry (timelapsers, videographers etc.). I shared that on Facebook timelapse groups and also that’s a version embedded on my website or Time Lapse Network site. Result: ~1700 views after 2 weeks. Could be better…
Youtube version was addressed to public use on Facebook and sharing on websites not related to photography. Result: 85 000 views in two weeks.
My thoughts on Youtube: it has a few hundreds of shares on FB, but clearly FB doesn’t like links to Youtube. It was shared by a few quite big Wrocław related fanpages, but now it doesn’t get many views. It’s good to be shared on some websites, like Reddit etc. Youtube link has the best performance when it is embedded on some website and then published on Facebook by them.
Youtubers also complain about the recent algorithm changes on YT. It’s harder and harder to get some serious number of views, and it’s something that I can confirm in case of Panta Rhei Wrocław.
I decided to put the video on the Facebook player after a week from release. Wrocław fanpages, that already shared my video didn’t do that again, despite this my video got ~110 000 views and over 1800 shares in one week and it’s still growing. And I’m more satisfied with that than with Youtube so far. And I doubled the number of likes on my fanpage TL video, from 400 to 800 😉
On the other hand, Facebook video live only when people react to it. You can’t simply search for FB video, and when people stop reacting to it, it becomes almost invisible. That’s the reason I wouldn’t put big project only on FB.
Vimeo paid account
If you plan to share your Vimeo video on Facebook, I suggest getting at least Vimeo Plus. And here’s the difference: with free Vimeo account when you put the link on Facebook and someone clicks the link, they will be redirected to the video page on Vimeo. For me it’s a deal breaker because most people won’t click that link. People want to watch the video in Facebook app or on their wall in web browser.
That’s something that Vimeo plus and pro provides: it allows to embed the video on FB and watch it on the Facebook wall. I think that’s something you should know before uploading, and that’s not very common information, I spent some time to find proof for that 😉
This article is not about that you should upload videos on Facebook or that the Vimeo is the best. For my project the best choice was Facebook, but it doesn’t mean it’s the best for yours 😉 The Vimeo views for sure would be different if I haven’t put the video on Youtube.
Answer a few questions before making the decision:
Who do you want to reach with your project?
Is it a viral content or something addressed to the film-lovers?
You’re focused on the most viewers or making relations with other filmmakers?
Would some website/fanpage with a bigger reach than I want to share this video with their users?
Thanks for being with me, please share your thoughts on this topic in the comments below – I would love to hear your opinion 😉
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