Tips and Tricks for Uploading Videos Online

Posted at 13:00 on 23rd September 2016 by Cinephonix in Skills

Tips and Tricks for Uploading Videos Online

Do you have videos that you want to share online? Want to attract a large audience to your content? This article will cover all the information you need to know about using video sharing websites to your advantage.

As Facebook and Google continue to grow, video creators have no choice but to publish work on the most popular platforms. However, there is nothing wrong with that. We will be looking at the biggest video sharing sites and how to best optimize your videos for these sites.

The most popular sites to share videos to are Google, YouTube and Facebook. These sites are the most successful for a reason, as they offer the best support, service and functionality out there. Another high-quality video site is Vimeo, which joins the video ranks for the same reasons, however it is not quite on the same level as the sites previously mentioned.

If you are planning to share your video content with audiences online, it would be recommended to use one of the following sites. Below are the ideal specs, lengths, and voices for each of these mainstream online platforms.

1. YouTube

YouTube, owned by Google, is the go to website for people wanting to make money from their videos, which is down to the site’s advertisement revenue sharing model, a feature that allows creators to monetize their content. According to YouTube’s website, over nine years they have spent out over $2 billion to rights holders who have chosen to monetise claims as of July 2016. YouTube also attracts an impressive audience, with over one billion active monthly users. This makes YouTube the second biggest website on the internet in terms of active monthly users, following Facebook which has 1.7 billion active users.

Via YouTube Stats Page

Here are the recommended specs for your videos:

Upload Specs:

Format:                      H.264 with ACC-LC audio in MP4 format
Aspect Ratio:             16:9 (non-16:9 will be letterboxed)
Frame Rate:               24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60fps
Audio:                         96khz or 48khz
Max Length:              15 mins (unverified), 11 hours (verified)
Max Size:                    128 GB  

YouTube also allows you to upload videos in 4k (2160p) and at up to 60 frames per second. Other video upload resolutions include 1440p, 1080p, 720p, 420p and 360p and frame rates including 24, 25, 30, 48 and 50 frames per second.

The ideal video length is around 3 minutes long. People enjoy watching videos in their free time or when they are bored, such as on the bus or during work breaks. However, they often do not have time to watch one long 20 minute video, or they would rather watch four 5 minutes videos. The engagement figures drop as videos get longer and longer, therefor it is recommended to keep your videos short and sweet.

Although YouTube can keep large audiences even on longer videos, as some YouTubers that upload longer videos have millions of subscribers, it is still recommended that you upload short videos which will keep your viewers engaged and avoid them clicking to another video. Having interesting video titles and thumbnails will also help increase your view count.

Voice and Style

As there are billions of different videos on YouTube and hundreds of millions of content creators, it is hard to give the website any uniform style or voice. People of all ages use the site for different reasons, such as for entertainment or educational purposes. As previously mentioned, thumbnails and titles help attract people to your videos, as they help the video to stand out amongst the other videos on the side bar. Unlike Facebook, YouTube videos load with the sound on, but short adverts often play before the video begins, so the viewer must wait until the advert is finished or a skip button appears on the screen.

2. Facebook

You might be shocked to discover that Facebook generates 8 billion views on its videos on average per day. Facebook averages over one billion active users a day, so using the site gives you the potential to gain a huge audience. Here’s everything you need to know so that you can reach the millions and billions of users with your content.

Upload Specs:
Format:                      H.264 with ACC audio in MOV or MP4 format
Aspect Ratio:            No larger than 1280px wide and divisible by 16px
Frame Rate:              At or below 30fps
Audio:                         44,100hz
Max Length:              120 minutes
Max Size:                    4 GB
Via Facebook Help Center

In general, the shorter the Facebook video, the better. There are plenty of stories about poor view counts being prevented by cutting videos down to their absolute essentials and being displayed in more Facebook-friendly styles.

Whilst most Facebook videos average around 90 seconds, their engagement rates optimize between 30 and 60 seconds. However, a person only has to view a video for 3 seconds for it to count as a “view”, which can be misleading when trying to analyse your video’s popularity.

Voice and Style

Back in 2013, Facebook introduced a feature which meant that videos auto-play when you scroll past them on your news feed. To avoid people being surprised by audio of the videos playing as they scroll down their news feed, Facebook decided to make all of their videos auto-mute. This update has gone on to change the style of Facebook videos forever.

As all of the videos will begin silent, Facebook videos make a heavier, more effective use of text than other video websites. It is common to see text written in a large font above or below the video so people know what the video is about without needing to hear the audio.

Facebook videos are also at risk of being scrolled past, as they appear on people’s news feed, so video creators must be creative with how they go about making their videos more eye-catching in order to keep the viewer’s attention. Methods of getting the viewer’s attention include using click-bait titles and captions and making their videos appear flashy. This helps the video to gain the viewer’s attention at a first glance. The videos need to present information on screen through titles and text (not audio) and be clear early on to their viewer about what the video is and what they want to convey.

3. Vimeo

(Icon made by Freepic from
Although not attracting even one tenth of the audience as Facebook or YouTube, Vimeo is the go to website for professional video makers. Vimeo’s dedicated and reputable users are attracted to the website due to its higher quality content and style. It allows people to upload high quality videos, with no video length restrictions and impressive upload specs, as seen below.

Upload Specs:
Format:                       H.264
Aspect Ratio:             16:9 most common, but accepts all ratios
Frame Rate:               60fps and lower
Audio:                          AAC-LC, 320 kbit/s, 48khz
Max Length:              No limit, data based
Max Size:                    500MB a week (non-Plus account), 5GB a week (Plus account)

Vimeo allows users to upload videos in 360p, all the way up to 4k resolution.

Video lengths tend to vary more on Vimeo compared to YouTube or Facebook. This is because most of the videos you watch on the site will be created by people you or to watch professional show reels. Indie films and documentaries are also uploaded to the site, which are commonly over 45 minutes long. The short, 2 minute videos still exist on Vimeo as well, however compared to YouTube, where you might watch a short video shot vertically on a mobile, Vimeo videos are more likely to be professionally made. As with the other video sharing sites, people with busy schedules are still not going to be able to watch a 20 minute video, so many of the most popular videos on the site are still between 3-5 minutes long.

Voice and Style

Vimeo and its content creators work side by side to make the website appear professional and high quality. The filmmakers that use the site focus on storytelling, cinematography, and creativity, as well as Animation and motion design. These types of quality videos are often promoted by Vimeo, compared to YouTube, which is known for promoting only the popular videos. Vimeo does not force its users to watch advertisements, and the site’s simple layout means the audiences’ focus is purely on the video.

Looking and comparing each of these sites helps when planning, exporting and marketing content, and it is definitely worth considering which video sharing site best suits your need. There is also no harm in uploading content to multiple websites, however it might be worth tweaking your videos to utilize it for each site. 
Below are some less mainstream video sites that you could also consider:
  • Instagram 
  • DailyMotion 
  • Brightcove 
  • Ooyala 
  • Wistia
  • 23 Video
  • VideoJug