YouTube is not just a video sharing platform with a super-advanced search engine, it’s a self-contained online planet. It has everything: entertaining, money, celebrities, all sorts of weirdos, extremely strict policy, and a ridiculous number of ads. To make it worse, from time to time YouTube introduces new formats of advertisement that make viewers freak out. Tons of unskippable pre-mid-post rolls and other stuff prompt Internet users to search alternatives to YouTube.
In this article, we consider the best (in our view, of course) YouTube analogs with all the values and vices.
The first and obvious candidate is YouTube’s French almost twin — Dailymotion. It has more than 300 million unique monthly users and available worldwide in 18 languages. Dailymotion was one of the few first video playback services to stop using the flash plugin. The service supports videos in HD but the video resolution limit is capped at 1080p. In the player’s settings menu, you can choose the quality and speed of the video.
Dailymotion is available to use without registration. You need to sign up an account to upload your own videos and to use additional custom services such as “Add to favorite”, “Watch Later” or “Add to playlist”.
- Easier to remove videos (comparing to YouTube);
- Same video categories as on YouTube;
- Prioritizes premium content from the trusted publishers, but there is no problem to use a search bar to find any content from the regular users.
- An interface could be more user-friendly. Buttons in a video box are not labeled so it’s hard to understand their intended purpose. For example, if you are not signed in and click on them (a heart, a clock, and a play button) all you will get is a pop up telling you that options are available only for registered users. A button with a paper plane is however always available to share videos;
- No comments section;
- The length of videos is limited to 60 minutes;
- It happens that the website lags hard, while Dailymotion ads buffer fine always.
Vimeo is often called a video hosting service for professionals, and people keep claiming it has better (less) compression than YouTube. Though unlike YouTube Vimeo can’t boast of that high potential reach, it offers an option to sell your videos directly to the audience leaving you 90% of revenue. However, if you are not interested in uploading videos and just looking for something to watch for free, Vimeo has things for you to offer. It has 16 video categories including beloved Travel and Music categories. Or if you don’t know what to watch yet, you can choose category Staff Picks and check out the content Vimeo staff loves today. And of course, you can use a search bar and find whatever comes to your mind.
- NO ADS! You heard it right. Vimeo has no ads (at least for the time being);
- Stricter quality regulations. While video makers might find this frustrating, regular users will enjoy high-end video content. FYI Vimeo doesn’t ban mature content as long as it was created with style and has artistic value;
- Not so aggressive copyright policy.
- Buffering issues;
- Vimeo is a shareware service. If you want to upload your videos, remember that on a basic free plan you have only 500 MB available every week making it up to 25 GB per year.
TikTok is a trending video-sharing platform owned by a Beijing-based company ByteDance. Millions of users worldwide use TikTok to create short videos on various topics — DIY and how-to’s, pranks, bloopers, lip-syncs, challenges, etc. TikTok has reportedly amassed over 500 million monthly users beating its rivals by times.
The secret of TikTok’s instant success is celebrities’ endorsement. Jimmy Fallon was the first to drive the app’s popularity. In November 2018, Jimmy started a viral #TumbleweedChallenge opening the “challenges” section on TikTok. His challenge gathered over 8,000 entries and over 10 million engagements within a week. Later, more celebrities partnered TikTok and promoted it in different social media to execute on its regional promotion strategy.
Today, TikTok is a very popular platform providing its users with a range of benefits:
- Wholesome entertainment;
- Instant publicity in society.
Apart from benefits, TikTok also has downsides that include:
- Obnoxious adverts;
- Dangerous challenges like “Outlet challenge”, “Cereal challenge”, “Salt and ice challenge”, “KiKi”, etc.;
- Inadequate content that causes irreversible brain damage;
- The risk to wake up dull one day.
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Visually, dTube is quite similar to YouTube but has considerable differences in working principles. DTube is a unique blockchain-based video platform that boasts 17 million sessions across 1 million unique users per month.
The idea behind dTube was to create a platform that would provide a private, censorship-free, crypto incentive, and high-quality video service. It was launched in 2016 and rapidly grew in popularity over the recent years. Let’s consider the pros and cons of dTube as an alternative for YouTube.
- DTube is decentralized — all video clips are stored on IPFS, on a distributed storage and storage protocol;
- Self-governed — dTube is ruled by 10 people (as for now) that were elected by the community;
- Free of censorship — it doesn’t have to abide by any laws and regulations (though users can do censorship by up/downvotes);
- Fair — no hidden complex algorithms of content visibility or monetization;
- Ad-free — dTube has no embedded adverts.
- No long-term earning opportunities;
- Content creators have to be super consistent as old videos cannot be monetized;
- Removing/editing dTube content is impossible as it’s built on blockchain technology. Once your video is up, it’s there for life.
Metacafe was a pioneering video-hosting platform launched in 2003. It offered millions of highly-clickable video clips when it was not mainstream. The service remains popular to this day, with over 40 million monthly visitors and millions of videos uploaded. Short videos are sorted by publication date, trends, and preferences. One can find and download nearly anything on Metacafe — from meme videos and magic tricks to short DIYs. Let’s look at the pros and cons of Metacafe.
- Popular pageview money earning system;
- All videos can be downloaded and embedded;
- Tons of useful content.
- Limited viewership;
- Videos are limited to 90 seconds.
9GAG is a Hong Kong-based video platform and social media website uniting users, aka “Gaggers” worldwide. Every day, millions of gaggers from every corner of the world use 9GAG to lol, kill time, and make new friends. Platform hosts and features endless collections of funny, awesome, wtf, omg, fail, lel, cute, geeky, cosplay, GIFs, NSFW, memes, LMAO, rage comics, Vine and viral videos, GIFs, and pictures.
9gag allows people to share their ideas and thoughts on pretty much any topic that they find either funny or interesting in general. It’s not good for underage audience as youngsters can get exposed to some harsh/adult material. But, for an adult is an unlimited source of entertainment.
- Instant entertainment;
- Endless memes and fun content;
- Great variety of categories to fit every taste.
- Tons of harsh materials;
- Toxic community (racists, sexists, intolerant folks);
Veoh is another niche-specific website that allows viewers to watch streaming web video from across the Web including. Although somewhat like YouTube, Veoh offers a broader selection of network TV content and allows viewers to watch full episodes of TV shows, series, and full-length movies. Let’s consider the pros and cons of Veoh.com.
- Veoh streams popular TV shows, series, and full-length movies;
- Allows different video formats;
- Large and friendly community.
- Quite a confusing experience for newcomers;
- Cluttered content.
TED is specified as a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. TED began in 1984 and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. TED’s agenda is to make great ideas accessible and spark conversation.
Since June 2006, TED talks conferences have been offered for free viewing online and as of January 2018, over 3,000 TED Talks are freely available on the official website and YouTube channel as well. Today, TED Talks have billions of views and millions of fans all over the world.
We can’t place TED Talks in one row with the rest of our list neither we can say that it’s an alternative to YouTube. Though one can find it’s content entertaining and fun, the others would catch flies while watching TED videos.
- TED Talks is a great way to improve general knowledge on a huge diversity of subjects;
Talks provide a great boost of creativity and give bright ideas;
- They broaden perspectives, attitude, and thinking;
- TED Talks are freely accessible.
- You won’t find memes or challenges on TED. But hey, is this even a con?
Instagram is not a regular option for video lovers, but service works on the popularization of video content. First, Instagram launched Stories, then live streams, and finally Instagram TV (IGTV), an independent application with Instagram integration to post long videos with a 60-minute limit. The recently added option to follow a hashtag has encouraged the popularization of video content just as well. From now on you can follow a hashtag, for example, #catsvideo and get new kitty videos in your feed every day.
Of course, Instagram was not designed for videos, the quality of content is mediocre and playback features are not available, but if you are searching for short funny, informative, or DIY videos, it can be a great option that’s always on hand.
- Instant on-demand entertainment.
- Strict censorship;
- Not that great quality;
- No playback controls.
Facebook is another social web not designed exactly for video watching but having that opportunity. Furthermore, Facebook has been investing in its own video service for several years leaving integration with YouTube on a low level, so users reluctantly preferred its service. You can find videos on Facebook through the search bar in the tab Videos.
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Of course, the number of videos is limited the quality is so-so, and videos are mostly short, but if you’re looking for quick entertaining, why not?
- Easy search;
- Always on hand.
- Basically, everything listed above in the description.
Twitch is the world’s most popular web platform for live streaming. Today the variety of streaming topics is quite wide compared to the initial “solely gaming streams” idea. Of course, video games are still the main traffic driver on Twitch, but on top of gaming, it offers nearly anything you’d want to watch, from cooking, art, music, Q&A, or just chatting.
The site’s engine is so advanced that it allows each registered user to create their own live broadcast with a unique design and presentation if they have decent Internet speed, OBS/XSplit streaming software and that’s about it. At the moment, the content of the site is mainly Let’s Play videos, promotions of the video games by their developers, and ads of the games. BTW exactly because of ads Twitch was caught up in a scandal last autumn. Twitch’s notoriety acquired mainly through the closest interaction and then competition with YouTube.
Twitch is not a universal YouTube substitute for all regular users, but if you like gaming videos you can’t think of a better option.
- Impressive amount of gaming video content;
- Live-streaming of games for all tastes.
- Website performance may be a bit slow;
- Frequent loading/buffering errors;
- For content creators: payout is way less compared to YouTube;
- You can’t rewind videos.
The most recent platform in our list. PeerTube is a video hosting service without a data center, without great investments, and without ads. How is that possible? Simple. PeerTube is based on the Peer-to-Peer principle. To solve the problem of bandwidth expenses PeerTube uses WebTorrent technology. A platform creates content sharing web using browsers of visitors. The idea is to create a technology to unite scattered video servers into a general information-sharing federated network, in which visitors participate in content delivery and have the opportunity to subscribe to channels and receive notifications about new videos. To solve the problem of bandwidth expenses PeerTube uses WebTorrent technology.
PeerTube provides an unbelievable in our age of censorship and copyright lawsuits possibility to upload whatever you want without obstacles. However, PeerTube is a relatively new platform and there are still not so many videos to watch.
- The service is free and, what’s more important, open-source;
- No ads;
- Freedom of action.
- There’s still room for improvement;
- In the future may be used to host illegal, dangerous content.
YouTube is still the best video platform as of today. However, with all new censorship, regulations, and advertising it will keep repelling more and more users, so it’s a good time to start searching for alternatives today. But if you’re not ready to ditch it, we can at least make your experience more pleasant by teaching you how to watch ad-free YouTube without buying premium.