Video sharing hit the mainstream with the launch of YouTube’s video hosting site in 2005. It’s hard to remember a time when you couldn’t watch your favorite music video or digital short right when you wanted to. Offering this service led YouTube to staggering success.
According to YouTube , more than 800 million unique users visit YouTube every month. In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views—around 140 views for every person on Earth. And let’s say it took you one minute to read this far into this blog post. In that time, 72 hours of video was uploaded to YouTube.
Video Hosting on YouTube
When HHS began publishing digital shorts, recording press events, and holding video contests, it was a natural decision to choose YouTube. We want to meet the public where they are, not just where we are. So we chose to use YouTube rather than design a stand-alone video library for HHS.gov. And like any content we post to a social media site, you can find our videos embedded on our .gov website as well. In this way we demonstrate one of the key mandates of the digital strategy: Meeting the public’s needs rather than our own.
Hosting our videos on YouTube allows us to share our videos anywhere, anytime, on any device. YouTube has remained at the forefront of technical development and routinely improves the compatibility of videos for new devices. This means we don’t have to check the compatibility of our videos with every new product on the market.
Using YouTube also led to significant cost savings for the Department. Designing, developing, hosting, and maintaining a video library that contains hundreds of videos is expensive. By using a free hosting service—which also happens to be the leader in the online video field–we can devote time and resources to other projects.
Why YouTube is Great for Digital Strategy
We’re not done, though. YouTube has additional functionality that sings to the tune of the digital strategy, such as metrics. YouTube has an integrated a sophisticated analytics system, allowing video administrators to determine the popularity and user interactions of their own videos. YouTube managers have access to audience demographics, audience retention rates on videos, information on where and when people are watching the videos, and more.
A bonus of this approach to video hosting is that, because YouTube is a Google product, YouTube’s analytics system integrates with our existing Google analytics program. This means we don’t have to develop an all new analytics system just for videos.
Visit the official HHS YouTube channel and subscribe to the videos that interest you.