Lately it seems like every other day you hear about a new video website that’s meant to compete with YouTube, usually advertising itself as being censorship resistant and connected to cryptocurrency in some way.
Having alternatives to these behemoth companies is always a good thing, but of course they have an uphill battle to find success for their platform. Many would say the reason is because of how established sites like YouTube are, and how many users and viewers they have compared to the new websites and services. While that of course is true, I think there’s another even more important hurdle these new websites should focus on, and that’s design and features.
When word gets out about a new video site there’s often a fair number of people that go to check it out. Of course the problem is that a large percentage of them don’t stick around which leads to the new site having much lower numbers than it could have. If the majority of people that checked out the website stayed and became active users the website could build a substantial following rather quickly.
The problem with that, however, is people are used to a certain level of polish. There are basic features people have become used to having, such as being able to sort videos not only by category or type but also by publish date, and things like that. I’ve seen more than one new video website, some of then not even really being that new, that still have clunky interfaces and lack basic and proper features like sorting by date, or sorting by just about anything else, which makes it much more difficult for people to find videos they’d like to watch.
Many of these new video websites tend not to have such simple features. They focus on other things instead which they undoubtedly think are important but tend to ignore the simple and basic features and polish that video websites should really have. The result is people coming to the website, poking around, then not coming back. Some people that really believe in or agree with the mission or underlying idea of the website will stick around based solely on that, but the regular average everyday users which the website really needs to become competitive and gain a larger presence online are more concerned with features and usability.
While it’s both important and understandable for these new video sites to pay attention to whatever their underlying goal is, such as being censorship resistant or cryptocurrency or whatever it happens to be, if they focused first and foremost on the user experience their platform could gain much more success and a much larger base of users.