YouTube is a great place, but it is becoming increasingly hard to find good content buried underneath the mountain of cat videos and irritating people desperately trying to become famous overnight. Much like everything that’s good and creative on the web, it is used for everything else other than its original purpose, and it yields bad results.Until YouTube finds a way to put a spotlight on its best content, let’s take a look at some similar sites and see what they have to offer.
Dailymotion is the runner-up for the title of the largest video-sharing website. Started in 2005 in one guy’s apartment, roughly at the same time YouTube came busting out the door. The overall look and feel resembles YouTube to an extent, with the most popular videos featured on the home page and the search bar at the top of the page. The bottom line is: if you’re familiar with YouTube, you find your way around Dailymotion quickly, although it can’t match the sheer volume of videos that YouTube has, but then again, that also means it has less clutter.
Vimeo takes a different approach to that of YouTube and Dailymotion, favoring quality over quantity. When you visit its homepage, you might find yourself confused, as Vimeo is kind of subtle and almost shy about promoting its content. You won’t find thumbnails of trending videos. However, when you register or log in, everything begins to make sense. The interface is simple and elegant, and it puts the video front and center, without useless junk distracting you from the main reason you are there: content. And when it comes to quality content, Vimeo is simply incredible. Forget cat videos and wannabe comedians. This is about as good as it gets if you like short films and experimental music videos. We especially like the “Staff Picks”. The image quality is superb, and the player is simple and streamlined. Furthermore, Vimeo is also a good place for both amateur and professional filmmakers, and what’s even more shocking nowadays, it has original content which can’t be found elsewhere. Not even on YouTube – although sometimes original might not be so great… just odd!
Originally an Israeli website founded in Tel Aviv, it is now located in San Francisco. Metacafe has wisely decided to move away from the model used by YouTube and Dailymotion, becoming more of a place for select short films and videos. Metacafe’s home page is somewhat crowded, and dropdown menus help with navigation, and you can choose between movies, games, music and lots of others. Similar to YouTube, it can become a bit addictive, with one video leading to another, and before you know it, hours have gone by. But, take the time to find the original short films and unique content, because that’s what best about it.
The truth is, no site will come close to YouTube in terms of size, popularity and the number of videos posted. But that doesn’t mean that the YouTube way is the only way and that others should stop trying. Just look at Vimeo.
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