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August 11, 2006

Why Is YouTube More Popular Than Google Video?


YouTube, a video site created by three former PayPal employees in 2005, accounts for more than 60% of all videos watched online in the US. Google Video has a such a small share that it's not worth mentioning (things will change a little now that Google Video is linked on Google.com). Why is that?

1. YouTube is perceived as a video site. Google is a search engine that also has a video section. In addition, Google Video has disappointed twice: it was first a TV shows search but without videos and then a site that required a software to play videos (a version of VideoLAN).

2. YouTube is more open: it shows the number of views, links to a video, so you can have a better perspective about a video. Google shows the number of views only to the upoaders.

3. YouTube is more focused on the community: you could post comments from the beginning, you can post video responses and replies.

4. YouTube lets you have favorite videos, so it's easy to view the same videos again. Google lets you find the videos in the search history and bookmark it, but it's more difficult to do it.

5. You can create playlists in YouTube, and share them. There are also channels you can subscribe to. Google Video's playlists are only derived from search results.

6. In YouTube you can become a member of a group and discuss all sorts of topics related to videos. The videos are an excuse for discussion.

7. YouTube lets people create an online identity, so it's closer to a social network. You can send messages to users, add to friends, subscribe to his/her favorite videos.

8. Popular doesn't always mean great. YouTube has a list of top rated videos and controversial videos. It's reassuring to know that a video has 500 excellent ratings from 3000 views.

9. YouTube has a better search. You can sort the results by number of views, rating, search in playlists and channels.

10. YouTube has a lot of free music videos and TV shows without having the legal right, so it attracts more people. Google is more inclined to remove copyrighted content and to sell premium videos. So YouTube has a more rebellious image.

To conclude, I'll say that Google Video should not try to copy YouTube's design, and let people do more with the videos, find out more about the videos and connect them in a meaningful way.

Related:
10 Google Video tips
Google Video on Google homepage

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