YouTube announced this week in a blog post that it would be increasing the maximum upload size from 1GB to 2GB. Revealing this upgrade alongside tips for sharing and embedding HD videos, the announcement clearly targets users focusing on HD video uploads.
In fact, seeing that the site is maintaining its old restriction that limits videos to 10 minutes or under, we can pretty plainly see that this update is intended only for users uploading HD content. And while people are slowly transitioning to HD cameras, the high cost of such equipment (averaging around $1000) compared with MiniDV and DVD camcorders (starting around $300) has led many to the conclusion that this upgrade is specifically targeting commercial users, not ordinary people.
YouTube user siggy75 sums up the concern of many who commented on yesterday's blog post saying, “Pretty pointless increase, this is obviously a move for big studios/TV stations not ordinary users. I'd rather be able to upload a longer video than a 2 GB video.”
Surprisingly, if this upgrade does indeed target commercial users more than regular users, it comes after a series of updates acknowledging the individual uploader.
Last Friday, YouTube revealed that mobile uploads have increased 1700% in the last six months, 400% of which resulted from the release of Apple’s iPhone 3G S a week earlier.
Three days later, the site launched the YouTube Reporters’ Center, a channel that seems to have been created as a direct response to the flood of amateur video uploads coming from Iran. Recognizing that those videos helped the world see post-election protests unfolding in the face of state censorship of traditional media forms, the new Center encourages ordinary users to continue reporting.
Still, YouTube does seem like it is trying to cater more to commercial users in the latest update. As much of the feedback reveals, most users just want to be able to upload larger videos, not bigger videos.
If the site listens to these requests soon, then we’ll be wrong about doubting them. If not, then as some users speculate, users may depart for competitors like Vimeo, which has a 500MB upload limit, but allows videos of any length.