Popular Video Sharing Sites

As you might have figured out, video brings together all the most difficult challenges of designing for the mobile web: the plethora of screen resolutions on which to display the picture and the large file sizes burdening digital distribution networks.

And, not to be repetitive, but one of the biggest challenges is that Flash, the most popular video format on the web, isn't supported on the majority of mobile devices.

Here’s a brief introduction to popular video sharing sites, listed in order of popularity:

  • YouTube: The world’s most popular video site is free and easy enough for any teenager to master. If you want to reach the largest possible audience, YouTube provides hosting and a wide range of ways to promote, and even make money on, your videos (if you attract a large enough audience).

    YouTube videos can be viewed either through the app that comes pre-loaded on the iPhone and iPad, or on mobile websites in the Safari browser.

  • Vimeo: Vimeo combines a free video service, similar to the one at YouTube, with a professional level of service that includes the ability to customize the player and prevent anyone else from downloading or embedding your videos. The pro service costs $69 per year, which is a great deal when you consider that it includes high-definition (HD) video hosting and provides useful customization options.

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  • Vid.ly: Vid.ly claims that it can take care of all your video needs. Just tell Vid.ly where your source video is stored, and it transcodes the video into all the formats you need for the mobile web. As with all just-launched start-ups, it is too soon to tell, but keep an eye on Vid.ly.

  • Viddler: Viddler offers video hosting, ad revenue sharing, and detailed analytics.

  • Dailymotion: Dailymotion is especially popular in Europe and features a broad range of media and entertainment and other categories.

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