Video can be considered the most consumed and engaging type of content online, with average viewing time per person predicted to hit 100 minutes daily by 2021, according to Zenith Media. From casual content creators to businesses, many are creating and uploading videos on free video hosting sites for various purposes. Besides entertainment and brand awareness, videos have now become an important means of information with regards to timely affairs — be it in politics, health, or just pop culture.
Why Choose Video Hosting Apps?
Videos are usually uploaded to one’s website or on a third-party platform such as an app. The latter is more efficient and preferred because videos typically come in large file sizes and may render the website slow. Hosting videos on a different website or app also gives you a better audience reach.
If you are a video content creator or a marketer looking for the best mobile solutions for free video hosting, then you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ve listed the 10 best free video hosting apps you can download now:
YouTube is the most popular free video hosting website and app today. Its greatest strength versus other video hosting platforms is its massive audience base. YouTube says its users are more than 2 billion as of the time of this writing. No wonder it is one of the best places where you can upload and market videos.
As for the basic technical requirements for uploading videos to YouTube, your video should have a resolution of 240 pixels to 3840×2160 pixels or 4K, and up to a maximum size and length of 128GB and 12 hours, respectively. The recommended aspect ratio is 16:9, otherwise, YouTube will place black vertical bars on the sides of your video to fill the space. Data storage and bandwidth are unlimited, and the file formats supported are diverse with this platform. You can change the video privacy setting to public, private, or unlisted.
YouTube places ads on videos and the viewer can skip those or not. If you are a member of YouTube’s Partner Program, you can earn via advertising revenue, channel memberships, merchandise, super chat and super stickers, as well as the premium subscription revenue from your fans.
In terms of shareability, YouTube videos can be embedded easily on websites and shared on social media. Downloading requires a third-party solution, though. Overall, YouTube is good for targeting a general audience.
Facebook is a social media platform but is also strong in terms of being a free video-hosting app. Like YouTube, it boasts a big audience. There are 2.7 billion monthly active Facebook users as of the second half of 2020, per Statista.
Facebook lets you upload up to 240 minutes per video, with each having a maximum file size of 10GB. The platform is versatile in terms of the aspect ratio but offers a lower resolution. You can upload videos with 16:9, 9:16, 2:3, 4:5, and 1:1 orientation. Video quality ranges from 720 to 1080 pixels only. You can always upload content in a higher resolution but Facebook will automatically downsize it. It is best to resize the video outside of Facebook to maintain quality. Facebook even has a new format to try out: 360-degree video. This type of video can be panned and rotated by viewers, as if in a sphere, and is fun to check out. If your video was taken using a 360-degree camera, then uploading is relatively easy.
Aside from a wide audience reach and support for long videos, another advantage you get from Facebook is easy sharing. Your viewers just have to click the share button and add an optional caption to the shared post. With Facebook, you do not only get to target your social connections but also reach out to more people if you’ve set your video to public status.
Facebook videos also have ads and are embeddable on websites. Videos are downloadable if you own them or if you’re a page admin. Facebook is also good for content creators or businesses reaching out to a general audience.
The Vimeo app has lesser users when compared to YouTube and Facebook, having more than 1.39 million subscribers as of the second half of 2020, per data from Statista. It is a free video-hosting app and website that is popular with creative content creators, including artists, animators, and indie filmmakers, and musicians.
In terms of video upload quality, Vimeo takes it up a notch versus YouTube and Facebook by supporting 8K or 8192×4320 pixels. The minimum resolution is also 240 pixels, and the recommended aspect ratio is 16:9. Vimeo gives you up to 500MB of storage that gets upgraded when you switch to a paid account. It also supports various video formats.
Vimeo videos are free of ads and are embeddable.
If there is a free video-hosting app that suits gamers best, it would be Twitch. You should try it if you want a platform where there’s a massive gaming audience. There are 7.46 million active streamers on Twitch worldwide as of September 2020, according to Statista. While live videos seem to be the way to go to make it big in Twitch, pre-recorded content also thrives in this stage.
There are a few technical requirements for you to upload or stream a video on Twitch. Based on Twitch’s guidelines, you can stream or upload in 720 and 1080 pixels at 30 or 60fps. Twitch lets you post up to five videos simultaneously or 100 uploads daily. You can also earn on the platform through paid subscriptions, donations, sponsorships, and more, like how the professional streamers do it.
With Twitch, you can reach a wide audience as your viewers can see your content even without logging in.
Dailymotion has a vast library of uploads in various categories. The free video-hosting app and website states it has over 300 million users worldwide. It is great if you want views from a generic audience and strays away from some competitors on the mainstream platforms.
The specifications to keep in mind when hosting or uploading a video is the same as YouTube’s, in terms of resolution and aspect ratio. To add, storage is also unlimited and video format options are plenty. The only difference is file size and video length, which for Dailymotion is 2GB and one hour at a maximum per video.
Dailymotion also has a paid version, puts ads in videos, and lets you earn based on video views. Videos are embeddable on websites as well.
Instagram is also a well-known social media platform that lets you host videos. It first offered Instagram Stories, an in-app feature that allows users to upload just 15 seconds of vertical video. The video expires within 24 hours.
With the introduction of Instagram TV or IGTV, people now have a separate app to upload videos that are up to an hour long, in vertical and horizontal formats. Unlike Stories, IGTV videos do not expire. It also adds the option for viewers to like, comment, and share videos.
For IGTV, videos should be in MP4 format, and 16:9 or 9:16 aspect ratio. The minimum resolution is 720 pixels at 30fps. The file size should be up to 650MB for videos that are 10 minutes or less, and 3.6GB for videos that are up to one hour.
Instagram is good for daily video highlights because content on the channel is consumed at a faster pace compared to other free video hosting apps. For marketing purposes, Stories and IGTV are suitable for teaser campaigns and short product reviews.
Another social media website or app to join this list is Twitter. Users watch 2 billion videos on Twitter daily, with 93 percent of views on mobile, according to Hootsuite. This reach makes it another free video hosting and sharing app worth trying.
Twitter lets you upload a video that is up to 2 minutes and 20 seconds long. If your video is lengthy, you can trim it in the app itself before posting. The maximum file size is 512MB. While this is quite short compared to other free video hosting apps, what’s good with Twitter is that the platform lets you “tweet” or post a lot within short intervals. Social media engagement here does not plummet in an instant if you upload several times in an hour, for it is the nature of the channel.
Twitter is great for targeting a wide audience and suitable for promotional content due to the recommended video length.
Metacafe is like YouTube but for short videos mostly aimed at entertainment. This free video hosting app allows uploading of videos that are less than 100MB in size and last 90 or 180 seconds. You can select the playback quality. Moreover, videos have ads.
You can also create your channel on Metacafe and find quickly what is popular or trending through its simple interface and tabs.
All these being mentioned, Metacafe better suits informal and quick informational videos rather than professional or business videos.
Veoh is a free video-hosting website and app for internet TV shows and user-generated content. Videos are not limited in terms of duration and are embeddable to websites in various formats. Veoh supports free account creation. Viewers can also rate and comment on posted videos.
Veoh is a good platform for studios wanting to showcase their movies, anime, and more.
10. Google Drive
If you want just the basics or straight-up video hosting, Google Drive is a reliable option. It lets you store and share your content conveniently. There are no video file size restrictions to take note of. Google Drive links are easily embeddable on websites and can be shared on social media.
Google Drive suits personal and internal business video hosting applications best. It is free but you can pay for a storage capacity upgrade.
Undoubtedly, the best free video hosting app will be the ones that best match your purpose, target audience, and desired quality. Every app has its pros and cons, so to make the most of your videos, it is best to test where your content will get farther. You might also have to use not just one but a combination of these platforms on our list.
Ready to start video hosting? Is your content optimized already? If not yet, you can also check out our list of best video editing apps now.