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DTube

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3/5 User rating

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More and more frequently these days people are looking for a viable alternative to YouTube. No doubt about it, YouTube is the world’s largest, most popular, and most widely used video streaming and hosting platform. By far. That being said, people are becoming increasingly disillusioned with the site. It may be time for a new video streaming site to rise up and take its place.

I used to swear by YouTube. Way back in the day, especially, when it first launched (and for years beyond that). Because it used to be an excellent video streaming platform – equal parts fun, entertaining, interesting, and easy to use. Over the years, though, YouTube has given more reason to be disgusted with the site than it has to be excited about it. It has been a very gradual transformation, but one that has rendered the site, in my opinion, all but obsolete in the year 2020.

First of all, I think we can all relate to being beyond annoyed with the number and frequency of ads that YouTube has ramped up on their site over the years. It was sort of smart, though, how they gradually ramped up the ads. Smart in a kind of evil genius sort of way. Because it wasn’t as if overnight YouTube suddenly was riddled with commercials. That would not have flown … they would have lost too many users all at once. And the company knew that. So, instead, they decided to first introduce a single ad before video playback – ads, mind you, that for the most part could be skipped.

Then, once they had regained the trust of their users, they started making it so that you could not skip certain ads. People were annoyed by this, sure, but not enough to stop using the service altogether. They left things this way for another five or six months. And things quieted down on the anti-You Tube front.

Then they struck again. This time putting forth the ad landscape that they still have to this day – where they will play sometimes several ads before a video will load, as well as placing ads periodically throughout longer videos, making it all too reminiscent of watching TV programs with frequent commercial breaks. The current state of advertising on YouTube, if you ask me, is obnoxious. Thus, it is time to start looking for a viable alternative.

Another issue that I have with YouTube is how slavish they have become to copyright laws and how Draconian they have become with censorship. YouTube, for instance, never sides with its individual users when a big corporation cites copyright infringement. They simply take the video down. Regardless of whether it is warranted. This is not how a video hosting, sharing, and streaming site should behave.

What is even more egregious than that, though, is the way in which YouTube tries to silence users who have political ideologies that differ from those of the company. In other words, do not post anything too controversial or subversive on YouTube. They just might take it down. Or, worse, they might just demonetize you … the way that they demonetized popular podcaster Joe Rogan for having certain beliefs that YouTube did not agree with. This is precisely the opposite of what the internet should be for – freedom of expression and the uncensored sharing of ideas. YouTube apparently disagrees with this vision of freedom.

Thankfully, though, there are plenty of other video streaming and hosting sites out there for us to choose from. Personally, I would love to find one that better fits my own core beliefs. And it is possible that I have found such a site today when I stumbled upon D Tube.

D Tube is a completely decentralized video hosting, streaming, and sharing platform, first of all. Secondly, it makes use of Blockchain and P2P technology in order to maintain a sense of independence. And thirdly, D Tube pays its contributors (and users that make good comments) via cryptocurrencies like BitCoin. How does it do all this as such a small, relatively unknown site? It does so by making use of Steem – a free blockchain technology thanks to the company, Steemit.

History

Steemit was founded by Ned Scott and blockchain developer, Dan Larimer on the 4th of July in 2016. Steemit, the very first application of Steem blockchain technology is a social network. Although Steemit was hacked only a couple weeks upon launch – resulting in losses of $85,000 worth of Steem Dollars and compromising over 250,000 accounts – the site did not give up. This should also speak to just how rapidly Steem rose to popularity, to the point where after just 2 weeks after launch, Steem had at least 250,000 users.

Little is known, however, about where D Tube came from or who started it. All that is known is the fact that it has made use of Steem’s blockchain technology in order to create a flourishing decentralized P2P community of incentivized video uploaders. D Tube has the potential, to say the very least, to become the YouTube of tomorrow. By paying contributors via cryptocurrency and maintaining an ad-free, decentralized platform, it addresses all of the concerns that people have with the internet currently, while providing a useful service for free.

Design

The design of D Tube is like a detangled version of YouTube, I would say. What I mean by that is that aesthetically speaking, it looks somewhat similar to YouTube – a white background, white and red theme, similar layout, etc. – but it is nowhere near as cluttered as YouTube, resulting in a more minimalist feel that is easier and less stressful to navigate.

There is a convenient site menu bar, fixed vertically along the left-hand side of the page. Here, you will be able to browse the site by clicking on Hot Videos, New Videos, Watch Later, or Watch Again. This is also where you will go to upload a video, view the site’s current leaders’ boards, or search by tag. The site is very intuitive and user-friendly. Oh, and if you don’t like having this dropdown menu visible, simply click the top of it and it will disappear, providing you a completely unencumbered user experience.

Content

This is one area in which, in my opinion, D Tube pales in comparison to YouTube. YouTube, thanks to the fact that they are so large and have been around for so long, has, by far, the best selection of content when it comes to a free video hosting site. D Tube, on the other hand, is a bit limited content-wise. There will be plenty of video gaming content – playthroughs, commentaries, etc. – as well as vlogs and some pop-culture material.

But, overall, D Tube’s content is – again, only in my opinion – of a much lower quality than You Tube’s. This is obviously subjective, and maybe you will find that you like D Tube’s content better. But you’ll have to head over and see for yourself. Personally, though, I don’t find it to be nearly as diverse or relevant.

Desktop and Mobile Experience

I already touched upon how much I enjoy the desktop experience of D Tube. And it seems to hold up when you browse the site on a mobile device as well. Unfortunately, though, there is no D Tube app as of yet. That, of course, is always the preferred way to experience a service on a phone or tablet. But the site is pretty well optimized for mobile devices, after all, so perhaps it won’t bother you quite as much.

Suggestions that I have for D Tube

On that note, I would recommend that D Tube develop an app soon. It’s 2020, there is no reason why a site that is as ambitious and has as much of a cult following as D Tube should not have an app.

Other than that, though, I love the whole structure and concept of the site. I think it’s brilliant. I only wished that more people used it around the world so that it could truly rise up to become a viable YouTube alternative. That could be a matter of D Tube doing a better job of getting the word out there, sure, but if you like what you see, please spread the word so that more people start using it. The fact that you can be monetized with cryptocurrency for posts and comments should be enough to inspire people to start using this en masse!

Likes & Hates:
Solid design
Decentralized, P2P
Uploads and comments are monetized
Mobile friendly site
Ad free
No app
Not popular enough yet to be effective
Content lacking a bit