The face of Web 2.0 changed with the advent of video sharing websites, in particular, YouTube. For marketers, YouTube has carved a niche for itself when it comes to the presentation of products – something it does both easily as well as economically. was launched in February 2005, by three former employees of Since then, YouTube has risen to become one of the most popular websites ever. In fact, it is one of the top 5 websites in terms of  popularity and the number of visitors. YouTube is still growing rapidly and has the ability to help every website that shares videos on YouTube by sending tons of web traffic to them.

Apart from watching videos on YouTube, people can even embed YouTube videos on their websites remotely. The streaming videos play almost instantly without needing a full download of the video. In addition, the videos can be paused and rewound, and can be easily downloaded by the viewers to their hard-disks.

So, just why has YouTube become so popular amongst marketers? Unlike other video sharing websites, all videos are free and anyone can submit them. The premise of YouTube is that it is a service to those who want to share their work with others and get feedback and/or comments from viewers.

Another advantage: Google tends to rank YouTube videos very high in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). A good video uploaded to YouTube can quickly generate a high page rank of that page where the video resides and can almost immediately draw huge amounts of web traffic to your website if used in an appropriate manner. Since it is an audio-visual, it is also much easier for the viewers to grade your video.

YouTube has also made it possible for Internet marketers to train people in the usage of their products by uploading audiovisual tutorials. People can now comfortably watch everything the online market has to present without leaving their homes. Apart from commercial products, people can watch entertaining videos, for example movies, songs, events, etc.

The high-quality videos that can be uploaded to YouTube can be easily streamed without any distortion to any personal computer that is connected to the Internet with even moderate connection speeds. Modern web technology has enabled videos to be of highest quality yet without becoming too bulky in size.

YouTube and other media sharing websites can reduce advertising costs and as a result, have increased the product exposure worldwide. In the near future, the online advertising market will quickly scale to new heights in popularity and growth. What’s more, the videos require no maintenance and can be watched by millions of viewers worldwide 24 hours a day.

How YouTube works:

Video-sharing on YouTube is accomplished by letting anyone, who is registered, upload videos for others to view. Videos may be viewed without registering. The subject of these videos can be on any topic, some common categories include:

  • Animation
  • Comedy
  • Entertainment
  • How to...
  • News
  • Events
  • People
  • Short stories
  • Sports
  • and many more other categories

Videos can be tagged (create a link), comments about the video can be posted, videos can be searched for by using keywords, and groups can be created for sharing videos under specific topic categories. YouTube can also be connected to blogging applications, as text or video blogs.

It has limitations on what can be uploaded. Restricted topics include:

  • Pornography
  • Nudity
  • Defamation
  • Cyber bulling
  • Harassment
  • Commercial advertisements
  • Anything implying criminal intent
  • Spamming
  • Copyright infringement

Uses of Videos

YouTube works by registered users unloading (posting) a video file that they have created. The person uploading the video can:

  • Make it public or restricted to specific groups
  • Create links (tags) to e-mail to your friends
  • Make a link to the video from your website so those that visit can see the video
  • Embed the video in blogs
  • Embed the video in web pages that are connected to the video topic
  • The only player needed is Flash Player to view videos
  • Windows Media Player, Real Player, and QuickTime play the videos
  • The videos come to your computer by streaming

The Future

What will YouTube look like 5 years from now? Will it still be on the web or will it be replaced with something better? The obvious answer is that it will be probably be surpassed like all other video sharing services on the Internet. However, it may very well evolve and keep current with the latest technologies and trends. Remember it was just over 20 years ago that computers started to enter homes.

Many people like to embed YouTube videos on their website or power point presentation for various reasons. It is important to remember that the longevity of YouTube videos cannot be guaranteed. Do not rely on the life of these videos on YouTube; they are only there until the owner hits delete.

Whatever happens to YouTube in the future, right now, it has become a means of social networking for those who want to engage in an environment that draws people together. In fact, one might say that YouTube has become the most popular social network on the Internet today.

By Shanti Anne Morais