I'm trying to form a best practice recommendation for either embedding videos (embedded youTube player) or launching videos into a dedicated viewing experience (leveraging YouTube app on smartphones and tablets, or doing a large-screen overlay on desktops). The question was posed to me: from which experience is a user more likely to share the video?

Does anyone have any research or insight into this behavior?

I have a hypothesis that the content and context around the video is a larger factor in whether a user will share the video, moreso than the environment from which they are sharing. But, outside of conducting my own user research, i'm having trouble finding any related research.

  • I think it's unlikely there's any good research that directly addresses what you're asking. Maybe determining which context is more conducive to watching the complete video (or even playing the video) would be useful.
    – obelia
    Jun 1, 2013 at 1:52

1 Answer 1


I feel there is a disconnect in the question. You are asking the difference between opening a video in-situ compared to launching it in another(native) app. And then you are extending the impact of that on the action of sharing the same video.

I would argue that the content of the video has a huge hand in the 'sharing' part. That being said, it I can confidently say that having the video play in the same app will be a better User Experience, which might lead to increased sharing. This is simple behavior design, when the person is motivated to watch the video (and share it) it is your duty to design a system which makes it easy and fluid to do so. By launching the video in another app you are adding extra steps in the procedure.

Rather than it being:

App -> Watch video -> Share

Now it looks like:

App -> Click video to launch another app -> If you like it, go back to previous app -> Share (hoping you can resume where you left off)

By adding the step of relaunching the app, you are making it harder for the user to share the video. If there was not enough motivation to do so, it can be a turn off.

  • 1
    Personally, I think I'd be more apt to share a video if it was launched within a youtube app than if it was launched in situ, since I am more comfortable with the definition of "share" within youtube than within an arbitrary app. That said, I'm not a typical user, so I don't know how well this carries to real users. RK, I think your flow is assuming the user is sharing within the app, but youtube has its own sharing functionality; some users are probably familiar with it. None of this applies to desktop apps; don't launch youtube from a desktop app.
    – Brian
    Aug 2, 2013 at 21:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.