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The best YouTube alternatives for all your video hosting needs
YouTube is a titan of online video, but it’s far from the only video-sharing site online. Many YouTube alternatives offer better privacy protection, fewer ads, or just a better algorithm for content discovery.
No matter your reasons to switch, we’ve researched and listed the best YouTube alternatives currently available.
Editor’s note: We are not including options that are front-end alternatives showing YouTube-hosted videos or alt-tech platforms filled with potentially harmful content.
Best YouTube alternatives
Vimeo is easily the most recognizable YouTube alternative out there, with lots of great content and a platform that works well. Learn more about how the two stack up in our YouTube vs Vimeo comparison, but the differences are mostly a result of how the platforms are monetized. Whereas YouTube plays ads over nearly all content (unless you have YouTube Premium), Vimeo does not play any ads and instead charges people who want to upload videos.
Yes, you read that correctly: Vimeo charges content creators rather than consumers. There is a free plan to test the waters, but any serious creators will need to pay. Creators can then choose to add a pay-per-view fee to their videos, but most don’t. The result of this policy is that the platform is filled with extremely high-quality content, often from experienced filmmakers. That said, you won’t find many silly cat montages or reaction videos.
DailyMotion has been around for almost as long as YouTube, but quickly fell down the ranks as the Google-backed platform soared higher and higher. Still, it’s a solid YouTube alternative, although it doesn’t do all that much to differentiate itself. It’s still an ad-supported video hosting platform, with millions of videos from both brands and individual creators.
The biggest difference is that DailyMotion turned off comments and viewcounts completely a few years ago. This gives it a much more streamlined look on both the web and mobile app. It’s also an official partner of Xiaomi, with premium DailyMotion videos appearing in the Mi Video app, which is preinstalled on all Xiaomi phones.
Videos have been a part of Facebook for years, but you might not know that there’s a video-centric part of the platform called Facebook Watch. In many ways, it’s very similar to YouTube, with free, ad-supported content. It also incorporates short-form Reels content, as well as live streams of sports, games, and more. There are some network television shows, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, available to stream for free, too. It used to publish a small offering of original content, as well, but that division was shuttered in April 2023.
Although it’s home to millions of videos, Facebook Watch is a bit harder to navigate than YouTube due to its tight integration with Facebook. You’re much more likely to find a video in your Facebook feed than you are to find it on Facebook Watch itself. In some ways, it seems like Facebook Watch can’t decide whether it wants to be an alternative to YouTube, a new streaming platform like Apple TV Plus, or a supplement to one of the largest social media networks in the world, Facebook.
TikTok is more of an alternative for YouTube Shorts, but it’s one of the few platforms that can compete with YouTube on the content front. There are millions of videos and thousands of super niche communities to explore, and the app’s algorithm does a great job providing a steady stream of engaging content. There are still ads, but they’re much easier to skip than ads on YouTube.
Granted, the app has been under fire by regulators in the US and may face a ban in the near future. It also has a spotted history with privacy (not that Google and YouTube aren’t profiting from your data, too), so it might not be the best choice for data protection advocates.
If you’re more of a fan of YouTube live streams, Twitch is the leading alternative. Although the Amazon-owned company is best known for video game streaming, there are now sections for everything from DIY streams to tabletop actual play streams to people just hanging out and chatting.
Watching streams is free with ads, but you can subscribe or donate to your favorite streamers to remove ads and help support them. Past streams can also be watched on demand, although some creators will lock this behind a subscription. Most major streamers also upload content to YouTube, although they’ll typically only stream live on one of the two platforms.
Fancy creating your own YouTube? Peertube can help. It’s an open-source, federated video hosting service that provides a decentralized alternative to YouTube, Vimeo, and others. This means it uses peer-to-peer technology to improve performance and reduce stress on a single server.
Putting aside the cool tech stuff, Peertube isn’t the easiest to get into. There are roughly 1000 platforms using the service with 600,000 videos on existing servers, but getting everything set up is a lot of work for most people. This is one for more dedicated tech folks.