This article is not a recant of my previous position on third party video hosting or video sharing such as YouTube, Revver, Google video, etc., but it is a modification on how third party video should be used. With that being said, third party video will almost always reach a larger audience than video that you host on your own server / website.
Here's why I've modified my position slightly on third party video; The other day I received a call from a customer in shock when the office manager looked at the video for the first time. When the YouTube video completed it displayed some "similar or relevant" videos at the bottom of the clip. One clip was some guy zoomed in on his arm-pit trying to simulate someone sticking a finger in a rectum. They were mortified as a medical practice that a potential patient or client would see something completely unrelated to their practice.
While YouTube does allow you to turn this feature off, it doesn't hide unrelated video content if the person clicks through to YouTube. Third party video does have a place, but I'm not sure the best place is on a website where you are trying to control what your visitor may or may not see.
Negative Factors - Video Sharing Services:
- No control over what other videos your visitor or potential customer might see
- Third party video gives your visitor an opportunity to click off of your website
- Potential loss of a customer due to click throughs.
- Potentially exposing your customer(s) to illicit, provocative, racial, or insulting types of video content.
Unless YouTube, Revver, or some of the other major third party video hosting sites can better control the definition of "relevant videos" and what a user might be exposed to, I would say that each business needs to evaluate how it uses third party video hosting and whether or not the video placement is the right option for your specific website.
For my customer in particular I will end up making the video self hosted.
What negative experiences has your business experienced by using third party video hosting such as YouTube, Google video, Revver, BrightCove, DailyMotion, MySpace, Vimeo, etc? Share your opinion with our visitors.