Video is one of the most consumed and engaging types of content online. 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.
Best Free Video Hosting Sites
In the past, videos were usually uploaded to a hosting or personal website. But now, a streaming or social media app is increasingly used for the said purpose. The latter is more efficient and preferred because videos typically come in large file sizes and may render the website slow. Thankfully, many free video-hosting sites are already accessible via their official apps. With those, content creators have more options for their uploads and ways to expand their reach.
If you are a video content creator or a marketer looking for the best free video-hosting sites with official apps, then you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ve listed eight top-notch options you can use now:
YouTube tops all the free video-hosting sites and apps available today, popularity-wise. 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.
If you want to post short videos for YouTube’s Shorts section, there are also requirements. You have to shoot your content on a vertical format and keep the video length to a minute or less (can be a mashup of 15-second videos).
Note that 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 among the dominant free video-hosting sites and apps. Like YouTube, it boasts a big audience. There are 1.93 billion daily active Facebook users as of December 2021, per a report by Meta.
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 only ranges from 720 to 1080 pixels, though, unlike in other free video-hosting sites. 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 more immersive 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.
Vimeo has lesser users when compared to YouTube and Facebook, having more than 1.58 million subscribers to its SaaS video tools as of the first quarter of 2021, per data from Statista. Nonetheless, it’s among the preferred free video-hosting sites and apps of creative content creators, including artists, animators, and indie filmmakers, and musicians.
In terms of video upload quality, Vimeo takes it up a notch versus free video-hosting sites YouTube and Facebook. That’s because it supports 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. For more information about Vimeo, read our article about the Vimeo app too.
Of all the free video-hosting sites and apps, Twitch suits gamers best. You should try it if you want a platform where there’s a massive gaming audience. There are 7.57 million active streamers on Twitch worldwide as of December 2021, 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 free video-hosting sites like Twitch, you can reach a wide audience as your viewers can see your content even without logging in.
Dailymotion features a vast library of uploads in various categories. Also, it’s one of the best free video-hosting sites and apps if you want views from a generic audience. In fact, the platform states it has over 300 million users worldwide. Although the audience pool is small compared to other platforms, Dailymotion lets you stray away from mainstream competitors. Thus, your content getting overshadowed by posts from seasoned influencers is less likely.
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. Then, it added Instagram Reels, which are editable before posting and don’t expire (unless shared as a Story).
There’s also Instagram TV or IGTV, 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.
All in all, Instagram is good for daily video highlights because content on the channel is consumed at a faster pace compared to other free video-hosting sites and apps. For marketing purposes, Stories, Reels, and IGTV are suitable for teaser campaigns and short product reviews.
Another platform to join this list of best free video-hosting sites and apps is Twitter. According to Twitter, users watch more than 2 billion videos on its platform daily. This reach makes it 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 1GB. 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.
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, unlike in the other free video-hosting sites already featured. 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 sites will be the ones that best match your purpose, target audience, and desired quality. Each one of those 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.