Vimeo Makes Its Player Faster, More Social, Better for Mobile

Vimeo improved video player

If you use video regularly for business, you probably know that YouTube recently added live streaming for all users.

But you might not be aware that one of YouTube’s rivals, Vimeo, has “rebuilt” its video player.  The changes make the player faster, more compatible with mobile, and easier to share socially. There’s also an option to make it easier for you to monetize your content, to sell or rent your video on a pay-per-view basis.

In the official Vimeo Staff Blog, Brad Dougherty explains:

“The player may look (mostly) the same on the surface, but behind the scenes we rethought everything from the ground up. Our re-engineered back end means that videos load twice as fast, and we simplified the front end to make it compatible with way more devices.”

You can take a look at the new player:

Changes in the Vimeo Player

Here are some of the main changes in Vimeo’s new player:

  • HTML 5 replaces Adobe Flash.  This is important because it will better render video on newer browsers and mobile devices (many of which do not even play Flash) as the older platform is phased out.
  • The share screen is redesigned with Facebook, Twitter and email buttons making it easier to share video in the most obvious ways. An embed code is accessible from the screen of each video.
  • Video playback time is improved.  Videos in many cases start in under one second, the company claims. One of the knocks against Vimeo in the past has been slowness, so the speed improvements will be welcomed.
  • An in-player purchase feature is added making it possible for you to rent or sell your video to viewers “on demand” from an embedded trailer you can embed on any site. Here’s a peek at the setup window for the in-player purchase feature:

Other changes include new subtitles and closed caption support. You upload a caption or subtitle file (Vimeo suggests using the free Amara service), so that people can read along, including in other languages.

A sync feature also allows you set scale, HD and volume preferences over all your videos.  The sync feature also pauses one video when you start to play another.

Keep in mind that Vimeo’s policies expressly forbid businesses to use its free accounts for any commercial purposes. There are some exceptions made for authors, artists and independent video production companies. So if your business involves any of these kinds of products you may need to investigated further to see whether you qualify.  Otherwise you’ll need to pay for the Vimeo Pro account at $199 per year. That’s less than $17 per month, and for a business expense may well be worth it.

Vimeo offers an ad-free platform with no commercial messages running before, after or over your business message.  Some consider ads the bane of YouTube videos.

Vimeo, while not quite as large as the mammoth YouTube, is one of the top 10 video sites in the United States. A comScore report for December 2013 shows Vimeo had nearly 33 million unique visitors and 142 million views for all its videos together.  Still, that’s less than one-fifth the unique visitors of YouTube.  But if you use video mainly on your website and in your social media channels, the viewers you reach through your channels will be the ones that matter to you anyway.

Image credits: Vimeo screenshots


Mark O'Neill Mark O'Neill is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering software and social media. He is a freelance journalist who has been writing for over 25 years, and has successfully made the leap from newspapers and radio onto the Internet. From 2007-2013, he was the Managing Editor of

7 Reactions
  1. I love seeing viable competition to Google products and I wish Vimeo all the best.

  2. I really like the changes they made. I used it once before the changes were made and wasn’t very impressed, but I will definitely be giving it another look here now that they have shown that they can make it better and listen to the needs of the users.

  3. I think that this is a wise move for Vimeo because it will let people choose them over other video players. It is about time that they upgrade anyway. They really need to do something so that they can start getting noticed.

  4. Times are great for a Video Producer. Adding social video production & marketing reminds me of the famous quote by Henry Heinz, “To do a common thing uncommonly well brings success”.