YouTube seems to be on a massive commercialization drive. That has left many frustrated and in search of YouTube alternatives. From increasing numbers of ads to the sale of premium accounts and YouTube TV – the platform has simply gone money mad.
Do these YouTube alternatives exist and if so, are they really able to match up to the video sharing channel so many of us have loved? I’ve taken a quick peek and surprisingly, found quite a few of them.
Perhaps the biggest no-brainer of all is TikTok. It’s become one of the biggest and baddest wolves seemingly snapping at YouTube’s heels. Like YouTube, TikTok is highly community driven, which means people like you help create content.
It’s creative bunch of users have helped propel it to fame and there are tons of entertaining, albeit short, clips to view. At the moment, TikTok is very focused on the mobile market and isn’t able to compete with YouTube evenly.
Whether as a viewer or as a video publisher, they simply aren’t enough options yet. The content is still fun to watch though.
2. Facebook Watch
While there is a fair bit of video entertainment on Facebook Watch, you have to remember that social was what it was built for. Everything else came later on as ‘value added services. Because of that, Facebook Watch might seem a little clunky to view.
Still, you can’t fault the video content and creators do everything from edutainment to parody. Looking past the social aspect, it really works in similar ways to YouTube and in a pinch, simply search and play.
Twitch is more of a live streaming platform and in fact, is mostly used by gamers. If your idea of fun is watching someone else play a game, then Twitch is the perfect place for you. Of course other content does exist, but it seems to be in the minority.
While in many ways the experience is similar to what YouTube has to offer, it has also adopted the commercial practices carried out as well. I’d say that this is a very niche streaming platform and fills specific needs.
Among all the YouTube-like platforms I’ve come across, dailymotion is perhaps the most similar in user experience. It splits videos into various groupings, allows you to Share and Like videos, or search for topics and such.
Even the interface is very YouTube-esque, making use of neat little thumbnail blocks accompanied by titles and very short details. The only complaint I have is that it tries to show you videos based on location and that can be a bit frustrating.
Vimeo was a bit hesitatingly put on this list because it embodies everything I dislike about YouTube. Before getting to Vimeo’s library of content, it tries its very best to con you into paying for a subscription. You don’t have to though.
In any case, some of the content on Vimeo is really impressive and it is obvious that the platform is very conscious about video quality. While this might be great for some things, at times it can be a bit unnecessary though.
I love how you can just jump into Metacafe and simply start browsing through all the movies there. The feeling is very similar to how a great user-centric video library should be set up for the modern day – without borders and following general trends.
At the same time, you can also look for specific things if you want to or even search through some categories if you need to. It’s really easy to use and has some great content as well. Oh yes – there are kitten videos too.
From the neck down,D.tube seems determined to micic YouTube to the end. Looking at the navigation menu I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten sued yet. For those seeking the exact YouTube feeling, this is the place you need to be.
Admittedly the on-screen video controls themselves aren’t quite as user friendly, but it really is a decent platform to use. Content is also user-generated and you can find snippets of just about everything here as well.
Conclusion: Be Aware of the Platforms You Use
The issue I have with commercialization isn’t the fact that companies need to make money. That’s fine and a way of life. However, when the majority of attraction comes from user-generated content and platforms try to leech us for every penny, that’s a problem.
As with most of the stuff I write, I always encourage users to be aware of what they are doing online. This includes understanding that these ‘free’ platforms are often not free. They’ll either try to make you pay, make use of your data, or sometimes even both.
If you’ve got some time, take a look at the pieces I’ve written on how companies like Facebook and Google are collecting data like crazy, making money at your expense. Where possible, always protect your online privacy.