Ever since Google officially purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock in October, 2006, more small companies have entered the video-sharing business, hoping they can sell their video-sharing websites for millions of dollars in a couple of years. In fact, we do get an invitation from YouTube imitators once in a while. Some 180 people subscribe to our channel at YouTube, and it has been viewed more than 117,000 times. Inevitably, YouTube imitators find us and ask us to upload our video tutorials. Anyway, while YouTube’s popularity only keeps rising, new video-sharing websites aren’t doing so well. So why do the rest of YouTube imitators fail so badly?
There are many simple clues as to why these YouTube imitators fail. The main reason is basically that they are nothing but imitators. Their website structure is pretty much based on that of YouTube. For example, YouTube has set the maximum file size and length of video to 100 MB and 10 minutes, respectively. The screen resolution is about 480 x 360 pixels. And YouTube imitators use the same or similar presets. Some of them even adopt the same character length (60) for tags that YouTube uses.
How do they recruit video sharers, anyway? YouTube imitators usually go to YouTube and ask YouTube video-sharers to come to their new websites and post videos. So the imitators aren’t really helping to increase the video-sharing population.
Another mistake they are making is artificial inflation of link popularity. Instead of having their websites formally introduced, YouTube imitators spend hundreds or thousands of dollars purchasing inbound links to artificially increase website popularity. They rely on link farm companies. In the end, their website popularity are ranked low. For example, one video-sharing website’s Google PageRank suddenly increased from 0 to 4 one month after it was launched. But, soon, they got caught, and its popularity sank to PageRank of 2.
In the end, YouTube imitators can never surpass YouTube because they offer nothing new to video sharers. Since they offer nothing special, not many YouTube’s video sharers bother to switch to other video-sharing websites. Even if they do, they are likely to post the same videos that are already uploaded at YouTube.