It’s hard to believe that YouTube has only been around since 2005. For a long time, it was lumped in with social media but, really, what is YouTube? As Ric Dragon talks about, it’s really more of a search engine than any kind of community building platform, except that it allows comments. But what a search engine it is. It is the 2nd most searched engine in the world eclipsed only by Google. Because of that, even organizations that would prefer a more polished and professional look of another video service like Vimeo feel it’s important to have a YouTube channel. Brands should build out their YouTube channels and make sure that all of their videos are tagged and optimized with keywords.
The average user can upload videos up to fifteen minutes in length, although preferred users in good standing can upload longer videos. Supported formats include .AVI, .MKV, .MOV, .MP4, DivX, .FLV, and .ogg and .ogv which include video formats like MPEG-4, MPEG, VOB, and .WMV. YouTube also supports 3GP, meaning videos can be uploaded from mobile phones.
YouTube videos are generally easy to embed on other sites and blogs. YouTube claims that 4 billion videos are streamed on its site daily and that 60 hours of content gets uploaded every minute.
YouTube has a rather insipid FAQ that really only lists the most basic of information and in generalities.