The Advantages & Disadvantages of Video-Sharing Websites


Video-sharing sites let users upload video to public websites. This gives people an opportunity to showcase their work, but it also creates the potential for people to observe others' private lives. Online videos can help or hurt current and future employment and influence others' opinions about you. Prior to posting an online video, think about whether or not it contains content you would want the entire world to watch. If it doesn’t, don’t post it.


  • Once a video is posted to a sharing site, it is no longer private. It's never wise to post a video that depicts friends or strangers without their consent. Even when you only send a video link to friends, they can still share or re-post it. Many companies offer programs that let people pull or rip content, even if it's protected. This makes it difficult to entirely remove posted videos from the Internet and further exacerbates privacy concerns.


  • Video-sharing websites grant enormous levels of exposure. This offers benefits to advertisers and marketers, independent filmmakers and other professionals looking to showcase work. They also provide exposure to people who aspire to be in the spotlight by broadcasting their talents and opinions to the world. Uploading and sharing videos is easy, and if people like a clip, it is easy for them to pass it along to others. However, there is the risk of low-quality or inaccurate content being posted. People also risk believing that erroneous information in a video is factual, because there is no need to make sure information is accurate.


  • Video sharing lets individuals connect with one another and share their experiences. By sharing videos that portray common interests, people can bond, socialize and make new friends who share common interests. When individuals post videos of events they attended or places they visited, it allows them to share these experiences with others. Videos can also offer assistance with performing certain tasks or provide information that people seek. However, marketers have caught on to this trend and often create advertisements that seem like entertaining videos, but are actually disguised ads.


  • Piracy has become a significant problem with video-sharing sites. It's estimated the film industry alone loses $3 billion a year in revenue because of piracy. Although the creators of the video can take the content down, this often happens after thousands of people have watched and potentially downloaded the video. Although many people watching and downloading videos are consumers, others run entire businesses based on stolen content. This lost revenue can actually increase costs for those paying for content and hurt entertainers and professionals who earn royalties based on sales.


  • Once you put a video on a sharing site, it may stick around for years to come. Even if you delete a video, people may have already copied it, distributed it to friends or re-posted it to other sites. Although you can take legal action to force sites to take down content, this could be a lengthy process. In the meantime, many more individuals may have viewed content that was never intended to be viewed by the public.


  • Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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