THERE’S been so much picture and video sharing online — it seems anyone who has access to the Internet is doing that. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram — these applications have taken the world by storm.
But why is there so much excitement and activity around video and photo sharing? There are a number of reasons, including:
- Updating family and friends, especially if scattered globally.
- An easy way for personalities to keep their fans and followers updated — a picture/video is worth a thousand words!
- Businesses can promote their products and services, do demos and give support.
Video-sharing websites are changing the way we view media and the media we view. Whether you’re looking for a clip of your favourite movie, an important newscast, a how–to video or just some good entertainment, you’ll find it on the Internet. Video-share sites make it easy to browse, find and watch your favourite videos and share special moments with family and friends worldwide.
With photo-sharing sites, photographers are being discovered online!
Depending on the purpose of sharing your photos online, if you are an aspiring photographer, your fortunes could change overnight. This is because of the ability for instant feedback on the images that you post online from a wide audience.
How do internet users share videos and photos online?
There are a number of sites that are used, though some people/businesses use their own sites. Most news sites like BBC and CNN embed their videos and place photo slides directly on their websites. However, the ordinary internet user has a number of options, which we are going to look at below.
The following two are the most popular video sharing websites at the moment.
YouTube (Free) www.youtube.com has reached a level of ubiquity in the video-sharing market for millions of Internet users, YouTube is not only how they were introduced to video-sharing — it’s also the only video-sharing site they’re even aware of. Videos uploaded have to be smaller than 2GB, and they must be 10 minutes or shorter if you are using a basic account.
YouTube places no restriction on the number of videos you can upload as long as they follow the 2GB/10min rule. You can’t edit your videos once you’ve uploaded them, but you can annotate them with additional information and links. YouTube lets you embed and customise the player, again, for free.
Vimeo (Basic: Free, Plus: US$60/year) www.vimeo.com is a video sharing service with a heavy emphasis on community and creativity. You can’t host commercial content on Vimeo; instead, all uploaded content must be original and non-commercial. There are two types of vimeo accounts. The basic account is free and includes:
- 500MB per week of uploaded video, including one HD video per week.
- Three albums, one group, and one channel with basic accounts.
- Embedding and sharing your work as well as set basic privacy restrictions.
The Plus account kicks your upload cap to 5GB, removes the restriction on HD movies, and lets you embed HD movies, amongst other benefits.
These are some of the favourite options for those who want to share photos online:
Flickr www.flickr.com was originally conceived in 2002 as a video game-screenshot sharing website, but it quickly blossomed into a fully-fledged photo sharing site with a bustling community. The now Yahoo-owned site offers free accounts with limitations placed on photo uploads and other features, while the US$25/year Pro account promises unlimited uploads, storage, and sets. Flickr recently added video sharing to their repertoire.
Instagram www.instagram.com is a fun and quirky way to share life with friends and family through a series of pictures. Users are able to take photos with their mobile phones, and then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep forever. Instagram will allow users to experience moments in their friends and family’s lives through pictures as they happen — a world more connected through photos.
Currently, users can share photos on a photo-by-photo basis on Flickr, Facebook and Twitter.
Pinterest www.pinterest.com is a virtual pin board which lets members organise and share all the beautiful things they find on the web. People use pin boards to plan their weddings and decorate their homes, among other activities. Members can browse pin boards created by others. This is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share similar interests. Most of the items placed on the pin boards are photos and images.
Facebook and Twitter are two social media sites that are very popular for sharing videos and images, mainly to get comments and feedback from family and friends, and in the case of organisations, current and potential clients.
These two sites have the advantage of being able to integrate with quite a number of video and photo sharing sites; once a user posts something on one site, the link can be posted through these two sites.
With the Olympics games which started in London, UK, last week having begun, Internet users will be sharing their experiences online through images and photos. The London Olympics committee had already started using the following sites:
Plenty of videos and photos to view, plus the opportunity to stream some of the events live as they happen! We may be lucky enough to watch some of our Olympic team members perform live off the web!