YouTube has had a brilliant run as the top video sharing site for quite a few years. Many of us have used YouTube for tutorials, to publish our views, and get news that isn't being reported elsewhere, or just be entertained by silly cat videos.
But as always happens when something gets really popular and starts to really 'Own" the marketplace (ie, have a monopoly), YouTube is starting to get a bit too big for it's britches and is making more and more changes that are outright harmful to content creators, and free speech.
So what's the alternative? Fear not, there ARE other up and coming video sharing sites you can move to.
Here is my list of the top ten alternatives to YouTube, along with my take on their pros and cons.
Brighteon is the new name for Real.video, which was started by Natural News' Mike Adams after he was deplatformed and censored by Google for his conservative views on health and politics.
As a new video sharing platform, currently, you have to request an invitation, and wait for them to approve your account. But I only waited about 12 hours for my account to be approved.
Brighteon has a nice attractive web player, that loads quickly and plays smoothly. As a site started because of censorship, you'll be far freer to speak your mind on Brighteon as well.
Some of the features are as of yet a bit light on Brighteon. For example there are not a huge number of videos, and so there really aren't any video categories for browsing yet. (But Brighteon has recently announced video categories, and the ability to follow channels is coming soon.)
RSS feeds have also just been imlemented for channels on Brighteon.
But Brighteon does have sharing and video embedding available in it's player as well as commenting (via third party commenting app).
The one real con at this point is that Brighteon is financed by sales of supplements and other healthful products, so every video play includes a pre-roll ad for the official store.
However the ads are REALLY short, and shouldn't bother most people much-- unlike YouTube, which is now socking you with 30 second ads in some cases for a 3 minute video.
Lastly, Brighteon does not yet have any sort of monetization that content creators can take advantage of, so you'll have to get sponsors if you want to make a living Vloging on Brighteon.
Bitchute started off as a weird, poorly designed little video site that loaded atrociously slow, but has now matured into a much more stable, usable site to browse and post your videos on.
Bitchute has video categories in a menu on the left, so it's easy to browse for content to watch. The video preview thumbnails are now larger, and more attractive so it's easier to determine what you might be watching.
Funding is through donations, so you won't be attacked by ads, or censored by pressure from advertisers, which is both good and bad. Good for... well FREEDOM... and bad because... if people stop donating, your content could go away.
Bitchute also has video sharing and embedding available, and commenting is currently handled through Disqus.
The video player is large, and attractive, with videos loading fairly quickly.
Bitchute has a few of the better features you'd enjoy on YouTube, like subscribing to a channel, adding videos to a playlist, favoriting or watching a video later.
Bitchute doesn't have platform wide direct advertiser monetization, but you can tip video creators with the $ button on the player. They are however currently trialing ads with a limited number of invite only channels.
Bit.tube is another great alternative free video sharing site which also includes crypto mining as an income method.
Each user gets their own wallet, where they can get paid in crypto-currency for helping keep the network secure by lending their computer's idle computing power to the mining pool.
Users can also tip other channels using their account wallets.
The site interface includes keyword search, browsing of topic categories, channels subscriptions, and video sharing/embedding.
The site also allows fairly standard video commenting features, though there seems to be an excess of spam comments advertising other channels, or begging for subscribers.
Content creators can also live stream on the platform using several different pieces of open source software, which are linked in the creator's dashboard.
Another bonus for those of you wanting to migrate away from YouTube is that you can connect your BitTube account to YouTube, and migrate your videos from YouTube, or simply use BitTube as a backup channel, should the censoring hammer fall on your channel.
BitTube's video upload file sizes are generous-- anything under 3 hours or 5GB per video.
If I had one complaint about the platform, it's that the scrolling behavior on the platform when browsing videos tends to get stuck slowly drifting in one direction or another, even after you take your finger off the scroll bar.
But overall, this is a platform I really like.
D.Tube is the first crypto-decentralized video platform, built on top of the STEEM Blockchain and the IPFS peer-to-peer network.
Because of the decentralized nature of IPFS and the STEEM blockchain, D.Tube is not able to censor videos, nor enforce guidelines. Only the users can censor it, through the power of their upvotes and downvotes.
On DTube, there are no hidden algorithms controlling the visibility or monetization of certain videos over others. All of DTube's data is public, and can be analyzed by anyone with an internet connection.
D.Tube runs without advertising. Users remain free to advertise any product or service they would like, directly inside their own videos, at their own risk of losing their subscribers.
There are no hard video size limits, but the decentralized nature of the platform means that sometimes there are errors encountered while uploading extremely large videos, and video playback sometimes has buffering issues.
Instead of topic categories, D.Tube has trending tags you can browse, or you can search the videos.
Users can also subscribe to channels, comment and upvote/downvote, add to a watch later list. The site also supports video embeds and sharing.
The biggest disadvantage is that once you post a video on Dtube, you cannot take it down, that is, it will be there forever.
DIY Tube is another small video site that employs crypto currency to pay creators for their content creation activity.
Most of the content is in the DIY realm, running from gardening, to cooking, to technology and gaming among others.
Though the website is lacking a little professional polish visually, the video player is full featured, and the site has most of the modern features you'd expect such as subscribing to channels, commenting and sharing.
One con I noticed while writing this review is that there is not very much traffic to the site yet. Many videos had only a small number of views.
TheVlogs.com is a small video sharing site which is still in Beta, but so far looks pretty nice.
Some of the features offered include video sharing and embeds, favoriting, watch later, thumbs up/down, viewing at different speeds etc.
The site also has video categories to browse, but like DIY Tube, there is not yet a lot of traffic so videos have only a few views.
Surprisingly, the site already has a banner ad and pre-roll ad program in place.
However, one big con to the site is that it forbids use of user accounts for commercial purposes, including advertising your business.
Vimeo is probably the most high profile video sharing website after YouTube.
The company has more than 240 million monthly active users with over 70 million registered creators.
On the whole, Vimeo is a more polished video creator platform which attracts artistic creators in films, animation, music, and more.
YouTube has become a place where anyone with a camera can stream or upload a video, however roughly shot. In contrast, Vimeo is a place where most of the content has been created by people who know what they are doing.
Vimeo is not completely free. Vimeo has paid plans which allows creators to pay to gain extra features which makes the platform a little more upscale in terms of it's clientelle.
Video creators can receive donations for their work, but there is no ad based revenue sharing program.
On big con is that commercial content requires a paid plan of Pro or Business level, which is not cheap.
Dailymotion is a video sharing platform where you can create an account and publish your videos. Similarly, viewers can visit the website and watch the published content for free.
At first glance, most of the content seems to mirror the big media voice, especially the videos featured on the front of the site. A smaller player is likely to struggle on this platform to be seen, given the dominance of big names.
Dailymotion offers Ad-based revenue sharing like YouTube, but you'll probably need to drive the traffic yourself in order to take advantage of it, given that there are no categories to browse on the site and the site is not nearly as popular as YouTube.
Metacafe is yet another YouTube alternative which you can use to get your fix of videos.
While the service was launched even before YouTube, it failed to really press its advantage and now lags far behind YouTube in visitors and content.
The website does seem to have a lot of weird and sometimes offensive content you might wish you could unsee, which is much more visible here than on any other video platform, so visit it at your own risk.
The site has video categories, which makes finding videos of interest easier than searching, and you can also subscribe to and follow individual channels.
Metacafe includes the standard features for interacting with videos like commenting, embedding, sharing, upvoting etc.
Videos are limited to ten minutes, and they are firm on this limitation-- longer videos will be automatically removed.
Veoh is another smaller video sharing site, which as of this writing has an outdated appearance but a few nice features.
Veoh does offer content categories, which makes it easier to browse for interesting content, but the thumbnails for videos are extremely tiny, so you'll have a hard time catching viewer's attention.
The site includes such standard features as sharing, embedding, and commenting, but not a lot of new content is being uploaded so the site may eventually be on it's way out.