Video guidelines for content creators

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548,394 minutes of video were watched last year by visitors to and its supporting YouTube channel. Video is a great way to tell stories and share them with others and we can make visitors' experiences even better by making a few simple changes.

From now, we are asking content creators to follow a new set of video guidelines for use when uploading a video to YouTube or embedding it on using the CMS. The guidelines should make it easier for your visitors to find and watch videos. It should also make it quicker and simpler for you to post content.

Embedding a video

Videos embedded through the CMS should use Vimeo rather than YouTube. Vimeo offers you greater control over your content, including the ability to suggest what video to watch next and a guarantee that no adverts will play.

YouTube still remains our default platform for sharing video, so you should still add your content if you want users to be able to find your video online using a search engine.

Add a title and description and select a playlist

When you add a new video write a title and description that clearly describes what your video is about. For example:

Simon’s story

PhD student Simon O’Kane, who has autism, explains how the University of Bath supported him while he studied for an MPhys and PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

This will make it easier for your users to discover content and help them decide if the video is what they’re searching for without having to watch it first.

We also want them to discover related content. To make this easier we’re introducing playlists on YouTube. Playlists allow you to group videos together using categories to help users to find related content. When you upload a video to YouTube, you should also add it to the correct categories.

Linking to equivalent information

We want to make sure that everyone can enjoy our videos. To do this, we’d like you to provide a link to the equivalent information on and add a transcript to the video.

This will help people without speakers (schools often disable sound), those who don’t speak English as their first language and deaf users. It will also improve the chances your video will be indexed correctly by search engines and should improve your search engine ranking, so even more people will get to enjoy your video content.

The first videos to include transcripts are those created by the Widening Participation team.

Encoding HD video

Visitors to and YouTube should be able to watch High Definition (HD) video. However, we want to make sure that their screens and internet connections are able to meet the demands of high quality video.

When we analysed users who had watched a graduation video, less than 9% had a screen resolution capable of supporting 1080p. As a result your HD recordings should be encoded at 720p.

This means users will be able to seamlessly watch video in HD and authors will be able to upload and process their videos more quickly, making it faster to get content to your audience.

Making guidelines even better

This is the first iteration of our video guidelines for content creators. We want to make the advice we give the best it can be. Get in touch if something isn’t clear or needs adding.

Posted in: Archive