I’ve had a tiny channel on YouTube for nearly 10 years. As of yesterday I have made the decision to move my channel to www.dailymotion.com — that is, if I can get the upload feature to work (it’s apparently famously buggy).
Why? Because as almost all of us with little YouTube channels know, we received a very insulting email during the night between Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Not only was it insulting, but it was vague as to what was being taken away from us for being less-than-stellar YouTubers. So as of now, here I sit with no idea as to how my channel stands on YouTube. Will it be taken down? Will videos be truncated? The email was so vague and so abrupt that it’s impossible to tell.
When I started on YouTube, it was a place for people to post videos of family parties, their pets, whatever. Slowly it evolved into semi-professional “shows,” (for instance, lots of independent news outlets), along with numerous gurus of various types (notably makeup). With that evolution came a change in YouTube’s attitude toward their initial creators…as in, we’re no longer welcome. YouTube wants to be an online cable company now, and fuck you if you’re still posting videos of your pets for your friends to view. You can do that on Facebook, right?
You see, there’s another kind of channel that evolved on YouTube over the years, and mine was one of those. I call it the niche channel. My own channel was about a specific kind of gardening, and it was not one of those business-based mega gardening channels. It was part of a community of gardeners who grow a specific type of vegetable. There were only about 200 of us at best.
Prior to YouTube, there was no way for us to get together online. There still really isn’t now that YouTube has gone down the professional TV network route. Yes, you can do it on Facebook, but finding each other there has always been a crap-shoot since there are varying levels of public access to user profiles (and rightfully so), and a lot of people will not join groups where the videos may be shown, and when videos are uploaded they often get lost in an avalanche of unrelated verbiage. To put it more simply, Facebook is more words-and-brevity based. People don’t go there wanting to listen to someone ramble on and on about vegetables. (There are other platforms as well…Snapchat, for instance…but they are far too ephemeral for effective long-term communication, such as teaching the viewer about gardening. As cited above, this is a problem with Facebook as well.)
No, for this sort of community to thrive, it needs a place like the old YouTube. That is to say, there is a need for the kind of platform YouTube is abandoning.
In the coming months I’ll be posting all my new videos to dailymotion (that is, if I can get it to work), and only posting links on YouTube to my new videos on dailymotion. I already saw another creator do something like this. His YouTube videos kept mysteriously being taken down — larger creators are now complaining about things like this, and they are also upset about their videos being demonetized without explanation; that is to say that YouTube is nowadays pissing everyone off. As a result, he moved everything to Vimeo and posted only links on YouTube. (Yes I looked at Vimeo too…but it’s essentially a paid platform and I can’t afford to pay extra for a hobby.)
Eventually I’ll leave YouTube altogether. But that part is well in the future; probably because of the upload problem, dailymotion is still light years behind YouTube in terms of content, and unfortunately for me I’m pretty addicted to some YouTube creators. There just aren’t any on dailymotion that match them at present.
As for YouTube, I think eventually they’ll discover that their determination to become the cyber ABC-CBS-NBC is killing them. After all, there really isn’t a cable/satellite/Internet network that is doing very well these days. For YouTube, it will only work while their present mega-creators maintain their audiences. It will cease to work when new creators are so discouraged by the platform that they move elsewhere…and that will happen, probably more quickly than they think.
Also, they should probably drop the name YouTube, because they aren’t anymore. How about OnlyUsTube instead?