YouTube Alternatives: Top 6 video platforms

Julie Cole
Julie Cole | Contributing Writer
Last updated: January 5, 2021
6 great alternatives to YouTube

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If you love online content, you’ll be used to checking out the latest videos on YouTube. But although the global content-sharing website once reigned supreme, other video content platforms are now catching up.

Whether you are looking for ad-free YouTube alternatives or a video platform that doesn’t change its T’s and C’s overnight and without warning, these alternatives to YouTube could be well worth considering.

1. Dailymotion: the obvious one

This is a well-known replacement and highly rated amongst users looking for YouTube alternatives. The layout is almost exactly the same, and the categories are familiar too – making it an easy switch from the big-brand rival. You’ll find you can get used to Dailymotion almost straight away.

Be mindful though that only pro users can upload HD Quality film and a limit of 4GB is in place, allowing up to 60 minutes of video time per upload. This means the site might not work well for any of the longer and more in-depth tutorial or training type videos.

Other things to know:

  • The rules around content removal are laxer – which isn’t always a good thing for viewers, with uploaders being freer to add whatever they want
  • Plenty of pro-quality videos available
  • Easy navigation and great UX
  • Popular in Europe, although less so in the USA
  • Cap of 1080p for video resolution.

For most people looking for YouTube alternatives though, this will be a no-hassle switch.

2. Vimeo: the massive one

This would be our second recommendation when looking at alternatives to YouTube.

The platform doesn’t aim to be a direct competitor to YouTube but is a fantastic streaming service with plenty of great content providers choosing it to showcase their work. The homepage itself is really attractive and a lot of thought has gone into the design and UX.

Even better, the video watching experience is clean and free from irritating background elements. Your focus can remain entirely on the content that you choose to watch. This helps to explain why it’s become the platform of choice for creatives keen to showcase their video work.

However, there is a weekly limit in place for uploads, capped at 500 MB. There is the chance to upgrade this to 5GB for a fee, which most serious users will no doubt want to do. You really can’t get far with 500 MB anymore.

3. Metacafe: the short one

So named because a 90-second limit is imposed on videos, this site is popular for community use and its great for short clips and a no-nonsense, clean and hassle-free experience.

The platform is easy to use and has around 40 million viewers, which is decent when you remember that very little dross content exists in the site.

The 90-second cap does mean that it’s not suitable for more detailed and comprehensive viewers and the member base is far smaller than YouTube’s.

4. Twitch: the gamer’s choice

This was originally a concept site, but it’s now the first choice for gaming video fans. Yes, you can see live broadcast videos too, but the main point of the site is very much gaming.

Twitch now has a great reputation amongst gamers who are looking for their own community, with content loaders choosing it as the best of the YouTube alternatives for gaming related content, which is present in huge amounts. Check it out to watch everything from game tutorials through to live game videos.

Things to note though – in terms of performance, streaming speed tends to be a bit behind other YouTube alternatives, and you can’t rewind the videos on the site. Content loaders will also find a lower payout than for YouTube.

5. The Internet Archive: the library

Of the YouTube alternatives out there, The Internet Archive is actually a digital library, which means it is packed with TV series, documentaries, films and more.

The back catalogue of content is massive and the diversity is fantastic too. Users are freely able to upload their own content. The things you find on there tend to be a little older than on some streaming sites, but it’s an absolute goldmine for more specialist searches and subject area.6.

6. 9Gag TV: the funny one

Familiar with social media users, this channel is packed with entertainment GIFs, images, memes and more – including plenty of videos. Some are entirely unsuitable for family viewing, but there is certainly a lot of funny content, making this platform ideal for the times when you just want a giggle!

Just be prepared to see endless chunks of your time frittering away as you delve into comedy, jokes and other content that you don’t want your boss to see… and consider locking it down if you have younger children at home who are prone to opening up your devices for a hunt around the latest videos online!

In summary

There are plenty of excellent YouTube alternatives available online if you are prepared to do your research. Some of these, as you can see, tend to be based around special interest groups or themes, which is great if you are looking for the community angle.

Most of these sites are free to use but will have paid-for options or use advertising as their revenue model. You’ll find other alternatives too, such as Flickr, which is surprising for offering access to videos as well as its more familiar photography platform purpose.

Stay protected

Just remember that if you want to surf video content sites freely – especially if you are accessing geo-blocked YouTube content from behind the great firewall of China or Russia, or when you are abroad and looking for content back home, you can use a VPN to gain private and secure access to video platform content – immediately and fully.

Make the most of the internet with these alternatives to YouTube and see the content that you want freely and without invasive advertising spoiling the experience!

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  1. Morgana

    MetaCafe sounds interesting. 90 seconds might be a little too long and too short at the same time, but I’m interested to see what it’s actually like!

  2. Josh Speed

    I usually find the vimeo advert on Youtube and I get skeptical about the authenticity of such an advert when a competitor is actually advertising for a rival, its all business I guess. Dailymotion is probably banking on its popularity as well as metacafe.

  3. 890Mitchell

    I am a lover of online contents. Infact I spend almost 1 hours daily surfing the internet and watching movies on Youtube. Great to find an alternative like Dailymotion with layout that is almost exactly the same as Youtube

  4. kate panther

    Well said, daily motion has been in existence for a very long time and I am surprised that the entire platform hasn’t gained as much popularity as Youtube. The strength of Google is definitely the secret behind the dominance of Youtube.

  5. James H

    There are alternatives indeed but I feel that none can really remplace Youtube, it’s like Facebook and Google+ there’s no real competition and Facebook wins it all. I feel it’s the same for Youtube, they win easily.

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