The Weirdness of Vimeo

So, I was looking for Das offene Universum, a movie from 1990 (featuring Tilda Swinton) that hasn’t been available for decades. But suddenly it’s on Vimeo! But you have to pay to watch it, so I create an account and buy it.

And look! Download link! I like that!

Of course, clicking that cloud symbol doesn’t do anything, because this is Firefox and web pages usually don’t work in Firefox any more. (And I love that they’ve apparently had so many reports from people that they can’t figure out how to download that they’ve spelled it out as “click the cloud to download”. Instead of just having a button that says “download”.)

User Experience Design FTW!

Anyway, so I go to Chrome and log in… and…

OK… there’s a link for “upload a video”… “record”… “create”… “create a virtual event or webinar”… “new video”… That’s a lot of buttons for creating videos. Not, really geared towards people wanting to watch films they’ve paid for.

Also a several buttons to “upgrade”, which is what you have to do if you want to upload several videos, apparently? And you have to pay if you want to upgrade, I guess?

Well, OK, perhaps the movie I bought is in “library”?


Perhaps under “Watch”?


Errr… Perhaps if I click that smiley face?


*gasp* If I hover over the smiley face, then I get a “purchases” right in the middle of the list!

Yes! There’s the movie I bought! And I can click on it and download it (from Chrome). Nice!

So, the entire Vimeo experience is geared towards getting money from video creators, not selling movies to people who want to watch them. And that’s just loopy. If people aren’t able to watch the stuff they’ve bought, they’re not gonna be really enthusiastic about buying more stuff.

The entire thing just reminds me of early 2000-ish bookseller scam sites — sites that talked about nothing else but how easy it would be to sell your books, but not talking about buying books at all. I.e., Vimeo is selling its site to sellers, and forgetting that there has to be buyers, too, if the sellers are ever going to be able to sell anything. I.e. again, Vimeo is making money off of the sellers and not off the buyers, I assume?

I think the three “upgrade” links on the front page are a dead giveaway.

Anyway. Now I’m gonna watch Das offene Universum.

Leave a Reply