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YouTube vs. Vimeo from a Consumer’s Point of View

There’s plenty of debate online about whether Vimeo or YouTube is the best video platform for businesses. But what about the perspective of the actual viewers? Which is the better site to watch a video on?
The interesting thing about each of these services is that sometimes, a certain feature or characteristic can be both advantageous and problematic. Check out these pros and cons of Vimeo and YouTube, and you’ll see what I mean.



  • There are absolutely no advertisements to wade through―it really is just about the video itself and nothing else.
  • The Vimeo community is smaller; although more niche, this can make for better information exchanged.
  • Related to the above, the comments on videos are more likely to be interesting and actually make a valuable contribution.
  • Most of the videos are of exceptional quality and automatically play in HD (although this can potentially make the vid load slower and push the limits of your data cap).
  • Vimeo is particularly great for watching arts, travel and nature-related videos, as well as content such as wedding footage, projects for professional portfolios, etc.
  • Individual video pages have a better layout than the YouTube ones; the video takes up most of the screen and the distractions (clutter) are fewer and not as noticeable.


  • Buffering can be terribly slow and many Vimeo users complain about this. Slow streaming also makes one less likely to share the video with friends, on social media, and so forth.
  • Similarly, depending on the strength of your Internet connection, videos are known to freeze while playing, or even crash so that you have to refresh the page and start over.
  • The site in general is not as easily navigable as YouTube. I find that the user pages―one’s channels, feed, saves, likes, subscriptions, etc.―are not very user-friendly. (Of course, this could be because I’m more familiar with YouTube’s platform!)
  • It’s harder to find Vimeo videos in Google results because the latter favors YouTube content.



  • In general, YouTube videos load very fast and are much less “clunky” than Vimeo ones. This is a huge advantage.
  • Since the site is one of the world’s largest search engines, it is easier to browse videos and, in my opinion, it has better search filters than its competitors.
  • The sheer amount of content uploaded each day means there are hardly any limits or shortages if you’re looking for something specific (although this also makes it more difficult to sort through the nonsense!).
  • YouTube videos have various options that make for a more personalized viewing experience, such as choice of subtitles, speed, autoplay and more.
  • There’s also a social aspect to the vids (thumbs up and thumbs down), although this can leave room for abuse.


  • The infamous comments section is riddled with trolls, spammers and people who embody discrimination, be it racism, sexism, ageism, a combination of these, etc. It is rarely moderated. However, many people watch certain YouTube videos just to see what controversial things people will say, so there you go.
  • The endless video recommendations, “up nexts”, autoplays, etc. are huge time wasters and just plain annoying.
  • Those continual pre-roll ads, pop-ups, annotations and banners are the bane of any YouTube user’s existence.
  • One has to manually switch to HD―although this can be a benefit for those who have issues with bandwidth.
  • Many companies block YouTube internally, so you might not be able to watch what you want at work.

As you’ve probably guessed, this post will not tell you which video site is the better one. Some of these pros and cons might not even be a factor for certain users, and it’s up to you to decide which one is more suited to your viewing style.
So, which is your favorite to watch videos on―Vimeo or YouTube? Or is there another service that you prefer?


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