YouTube vs. Vimeo vs. Facebook: Which is Right for Your Videos?

November 1, 2016
Tips and Techniques
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You just made a really great video that you want to put online. Where do you stream it? This used to be a fairly easy question to answer. In overly simplistic terms, if you were looking for the most views, you chose YouTube. If you were looking for specific views, you chose Vimeo. Now, with Facebook’s native video in the mix, choosing a platform is tricky. Should you post your video to multiple places? How will that impact viewership? Never fear, content creator, we’ll figure this out together. First, the basics.



Vimeo is the least accessible of the three platforms. However, the compression is clean, embedding is a breeze, the privacy options are second to none, and the community support can be very useful. Vimeo also allows you to replace a video file without deleting an old one, allowing you to keep the views and comments of an old video while updating it.

What It’s Good For: Finding New Clients

Vimeo is the quality over quantity platform. It’s great for showcasing your best work and sharing your work via websites and blogs, and you won’t have to worry about your viewers sitting through ads before watching. It looks and functions like a professional video resource. Moreover, it’s great for collaborations and strong feedback.

What It’s Not Good For: Finding New Viewers

Unless your video becomes a Vimeo Staff Pick, you’re better off using another platform if you’re trying to spread your content around.



Youtube has over 1 billion users and is backed by Google, so YouTube content is optimized in Google searches. It has fewer privacy options than Vimeo and doesn’t let you replace content that you’ve already uploaded. However, YouTube is the most easily share-able of the three video options.

What It’s Good For: Expanding Your Audience

You have Google behind you! YouTube has all of the embedding options of Vimeo plus its own enormous communities and Google optimization. YouTube is great if you have a lot of content, are looking for as many views as possible, and/or are interested in getting advertising revenue for your work.

What It’s Not Good For: Posting to Facebook

It might seem silly to say, but Facebook has 1.71 billion users and if you have a large Facebook following and a lot of video content, you might want to consider going to Facebook. Also, YouTube comments can be a little, um, prickly, so if positive feedback is a priority, YouTube might not be for you.


Facebook video is the new kid on the block. It automatically streams on Facebook feeds and is promoted using Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm. According to Search Engine Journal, native Facebook video gets 2x more likes, 3x more shares and 7x more comments than YouTube videos posted on Facebook. Facebook video content is easily shareable and can be attached to multiple accounts if needed. Its video insights are similar to those of YouTube and Vimeo.

What It’s Good For: Creating a Sense of Exclusivity

Facebook’s timeline setup rewards people who follow you and engage your posts often, providing a sense of exclusivity to your community. This can be a really powerful way to promote your work, as it brings it to the people who have already sought you out.

What It’s Not Good For: Finding Older Videos

50% of Facebook video views come from the day it’s posted, whereas the same is true of only 20% of Youtube views. On Facebook, finding old videos is hard, so if you’re creating content that entices viewers to reach back to your older posts (web series and reviews come to mind) then Facebook might not be for you.

Multiple Platforms?

If every platform has its pluses and minuses, why not just upload to all of them? Well, besides the fact that you’d be adding extra excruciating upload time to your already busy life, it’s not very practical. Not all videos are appropriate for Vimeo and you don’t want to slow the momentum of your YouTube video by also sharing it to Facebook. Here are some smart pairing tips.

Vimeo and Facebook

For the videographer still looking for outreach. Keep Vimeo content for professional purposes (embedding to your website and other sharing) and Facebook content for the fans (and immediacy). You’re not worried about going viral, so don’t make it a priority.

Vimeo and Youtube

For the complete-content storyteller. Your music videos and short films need new viewers and professional attention. Share the hell out of your YouTube videos but embed the Vimeo links on your website. Use Facebook to share stills.

YouTube and Facebook

For the web series (or similar) creator. Mass outreach and engagement are your only priorities. Keep your whole series on Youtube but tease and engage your audience with clips, trailers, and behind-the-scenes content on Facebook.

Whatever platform(s) you choose, just know that the choices are not getting less complicated anytime soon. Amazon announced Amazon Video Direct earlier this year.

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Brent L Zaffino

I am a filmmaker out of Atlanta, Georgia currently working as a freelance director and videographer for music videos, short films, and corporate videos.

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