Moving from YouTube to PeerTube

August 20, 2023

I will no longer be publishing videos on YouTube, and will instead focus on publishing videos using PeerTube, the federated, community-driven video sharing platform. If you’ve never used PeerTube, it’s a lot like YouTube, except it respects you, your attention, and your data much more than Google does. This move fits in with trying to get ahead of what I’ve been experiencing on the Internet in the past few months:

  • Ad-driven corporate services eventually become unusable and hostile to their users (Twitter, Reddit). Given enough time, this will happen to YouTube (and some might say it already has!).
  • You have to play a lot of games on YouTube in order to gain and keep subscribers, and to let them know when new stuff is live (ring the bell, anyone?). These sorts of games will increase in complexity until YouTube just starts asking you to pay them to show your videos to others, while still showing ads on the videos, much like how other social media services have done for years.
  • Automated moderation is overly aggressive out of fear of driving off advertisers or viewers of the company being targeted by scammers. YouTube bots making a questionable assertion about a link in one of my videos pushed me over the line here.
  • I’ve heard enough horror stories about big name YouTubers being caught in an increasingly complex net of automated tooling that denies them access to their accounts or funding, and only the largest and most vocal users are able to get any sort of resolution. Meanwhile, that tooling makes scam accounts nearly impossible to stop, causing channel viewers to get scammed out of lots of money, or accounts, or whatever.
  • Being on the Fediverse for almost a year, interacting from one community-driven server and users to another, has been refreshing and feels like how the Internet felt in the 90s, except with much more modern tools around the communication and content delivery. Try sending something larger than a postage stamp-size video in anything higher than potato quality in the late 90s to someone over dialup! It’s not happening.

I’ve changed all of the video embeds over to MakerTube, the current host for my videos. The Industrious Rabbit has a channel, just like it would on YouTube. I may start other channels for other projects. Whatever is currently on YouTube is all that will be there from now on, and those are not guaranteed to stick around, either.

One downside is that PeerTube does not have account export/import/migration yet, so if my current host goes down, reuploading everything becomes a very long, manual process, and I can’t bring along users. If you like what you see here, follow me on Mastodon just in case the worst case scanerio happens. Of course, YouTube is even worse since it has no official export or migration tools, and makes it very tough to get in touch with all channel subscribers directly! I’ll likely make one final post over there to let interested subscribers know where I’m going.

Check out the other videos MakerTube users have uploaded, and if you like what you see, be sure to donate to your instance admins.

See you on PeerTube!