Vimeo Launches HTML5 Video Beta

Online video sharing site Vimeo has launched a test program for showing videos via HTML5 instead of requiring Adobe Flash. Vimeo's announcement follows a similar move from YouTube, making it the second video sharing service this week to launch an HTML5 beta program.

"The new HTML5 playback option was developed to answer requests from Vimeo members who wanted a playback option that would allow faster loading times and smoother video playback in supported browsers, namely Chrome and Safari," said Vimeo spokesperson Scott Heath.

The HTML5 standard supports video and audio playback without requiring users to install Adobe Flash on their computer.

According to the company, about 90 percent of the videos uploaded in the past year will be compatible with the HTML5 beta test.

If Vimeo is pleased with the results of its test phase, expect to see the HTML5 test phase to extend to additional content -- and if initial reactions to YouTube's HTML5 beta tests are any indication, users will be more than happy to trade in their Flash Player for HTML5-compliant video.