10 reasons not to use Vimeo

Vimeo may have been several miles in front of YouTube back in 2007. Not any more. Yet old prejudices and assumptions persist among digital creatives. So I thought I’d rustle up a quick “ten reasons not to use Vimeo”:—

1. Vimeo is useless for businesses or self-promoting artists who make some money from their work. Vimeo: “You may not upload commercials, infomercials, or demos that actively sell or promote a product or service.” Vimeo content that is any way commercial or promotional in nature seems likely to be taken down without warning. YouTube is generally happy with advertising or promotions, and will even let you run ads alongside your videos and give you a cut of the profits.

2. Vimeo can mangle your video proportions. I uploaded a perfectly standard video size to it, output with a normal codec from Adobe Premiere, and Vimeo managed to distort the proportions on the resulting page. The Youtube version of the same video was perfect, and also looked better.

3. Seemingly arbitrary… “this video is not available” messages, with no further explanations. Possibly they don’t have the super-servers that Google have, leading to outages?

4. You can’t ‘copy-and-paste’ embed their player in WordPress.com weblogs (such as this one), you have to manually paste in the ID code and they type special code around it. Also, since such free blogs sometimes run ads on individual WordPress posts, the Vimeo player can be withdrawn from your blog — Vimeo ban the use of their player on any website that includes any ad of any kind (even Google Adwords). So Vimeo could simply remove the Vimeo videos I’ve posted on this blog, at a whim.

5. Vimeo doesn’t let you skip back and forth in a video until the video has fully loaded.

6. Vimeo can take hours to convert your uploaded video for display to the public. Unless you pay extra, of course. YouTube has greatly improved in their speed of processing the video once it has uploaded.

7. Vimeo has deeply unintuitive page-to-page navigation in its Vimeo groups. And to post a video to a Vimeo group, you have to upload it and tag it all over again. Good luck with that, on a large video file and a minimum-speed net connection.

8. YouTube lets you upload videos up to 2GB, and as many as you want, whenever you want. Vimeo has a 500Mb upload limit per week. Bad luck if your finished HD video is 502Mb in size. Unless you pay extra, of course.

9. Vimeo has been the traditional haunt of pretentious artistes and Apple fanboys. YouTube is the wild Web with its folk-art bizzaro mojo going at full tilt.

10. YouTube now offers everything that Vimeo used to be unique in offering. YouTube is free. It’s fast, even on chunky HD files. And YouTube allows HTML5 playback on all videos, making them suitable for the (Flash-free) iPhone or iPad.

Oh, and Vimeo doesn’t allow videogame footage. ‘Machinima… BAD‘.

3 thoughts on “10 reasons not to use Vimeo

  1. Dead on. Can’t stand the pretentiousness of Vimeo… the most boring, unentertaining work gets the most views because it’s ‘art’. It’s the internet’s version of a film festival these days.

    Bravo on this post… someone had to say it.

  2. I’m all about #9–Vimeo is pretentious. Some of the stuff on Vimeo is amazing but will never show up on their landing page because it doesn’t have the same look/feel as what is considered “cool” & “hip”. Seriously, does everything have to have some cool modern font with some fine-tuned color grading? It’s the same type of “film making” commercials are using now to appeal to that type of demographic. BORING. Yes, there is technical skill involved in making those shorts that appear on their landing page but these ideas are so overdone whereas other really talented artists on Vimeo who don’t do the same type of films are not getting the same exposure.

  3. 30 second afterthought. Just realized why Vimeo doesn’t show the super amazing stuff. It’s because if they did, it would probably alienate a good majority of their filmmaking base who can’t reach that level of production whether in terms of ground-breaking ideas or genius-level technical skills. It makes all the sense in the world to keep the 5% of super talented people on that site obscured while putting the middle-caliber people on the front page.

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