Both video platforms are quite different.
YouTube is more open and for the masses, while Vimeo is more professionally focused with a lot more features, at a price. Ultimately, when you are deciding which to use, it is really dependent on what your goals are and what compromises you are willing to make. The biggest site of them all is YouTube of course, but Vimeo has some great features and a community that is something to admire.
Pros of YouTube
- It’s the world’s most popular video-sharing platform (1 billion+ unique views a month and with 6 billion+ hours of video watched per month)
- YouTube is owned by Google so many marketers claim that it has higher chances of getting ranked in search results. And despite any claims otherwise, you will notice that most search results feature at least one YouTube video snippet on the first page. Mike Aynsely from HootSuite had written that Google favors YouTube over Vimeo for video snippets
- You can interact with your audience in the comments
- You can grow a following with the follow buttons
- Annotations can be added within videos to lead people to act (CTA)
- YouTube is completely FREE (unlimited hosting, bandwidth)
- The already huge community can take your video to new heights (viral?)
Cons of YouTube
- Competitors content or even ads can be displayed near yours
- YouTube is all about advertising. And to compound this issue, at least for business, it is possible that your competition is placing ads on your content by targeting keywords that you are also targeting. So while your future customers are viewing your content, your competition could also be advertising to them.
- Public content and not as easily controlled or policed
- Lack of customer service or support
- YouTube comments are rarely well moderated and can detract from your content
- The network is designed to keep people on-site, so people are less likely to visit your website
Pros of Vimeo
- No advertising for viewers (no pre-roll ads)
- Vimeo reaffirmed their no advertising stance. They are all about paying for video hosting and premium services, and not annoying your viewers.
- Vimeo favors higher quality content (ie. displays what is great, not popular)
- Higher quality contributors tend to post there
- Customization of the video player (logo, colors, thumbnails, etc)
- Analytics is more detailed
- Beautifully designed layout for watching videos
- Strong customer support
Cons of Vimeo
- Significantly smaller audience, so less visibility
- No Free accounts for business usage (minimum $12 per month)
- Restrictions on storage based on plans
- The community on YouTube is extremely broad compared to Vimeo.
- The viewers on YouTube can be a lot less forgiving and are prone to nasty comments that border on trolling and flaming. So when posting on YouTube you have to deal with the barrage of comments that may come your way, many of which are not complimentary.
- The plus side is that you can build up a large following through their massive audience and have millions of people supporting your brand around the world.
- Vimeo is very much a more controlled community with strong guidelines