Vessel: An alternative to YouTube?

If you follow LinusTechTips on YouTube, you may/may not have heard that he has decided to extend beyond YouTube to Vessel. In his video, he explained why:

And that’s all well and good, though I’d feel kinda bad if he gave away his personal rig, especially when he has put all that effort into it. If you want to see the lengths he went to, check out the 17-video playlist here.

Anyway, lets talk about Vessel. I went ahead and signed up straight away (free year, sure why the heck not?). I then binge-watched everything that wasn’t yet on YouTube, including his New Office plans and future server set-up. I found a few other YouTubers on Vessel too, and subscribed followed them there too. I had a few remarks to say about Vessel:

  • Wow, is it pretty.
  • I like not having profile pictures – it looks very neat with just your initial in a circle.
  • The lack of public profile pages is handy for being anonymous (a good thing that can be used for bad things)
  • Video settings are a bit basic – HD can be either “auto” or “on”. On either setting, it looks as sharp as YouTube HD 1080p.
  • The site seemed to be a bit slow at first, and videos buffered a fair bit. It’s not doing it anymore, so that was probably Linus’ fault sending everybody there at once.
  • That 10 second rewind button? Genius!
  • What’s this? Actual normal comments under a video? And “Top Comments” actually shows the top comments!
  • I also got the feeling that the site feels kind of “beta-ish”. Like it’s not quite finished yet (this will definitely change in the future).

Then there is the final gripe from me. The idea of a paid subscription to keep more up-to-date with content creators is a weird notion, and I am disappointed that this had to be the case because it was always great to be on the same level as everybody else, and now there will be a community that pays to see the videos first and a community that doesn’t. Linus said that key events and product launches will be broadcast at the same time, which is great, but I feel that we could end up feeling a bit out-of-touch with content creators if we ended up a week behind them.

I think Vessel knows this, and the idea of giving a whole year for free to keep up with videos is a sure-fire way to entice people onto the platform. Come March next year, I bet a huge chunk of the people who signed up will get a paid subscription after becoming accustomed to the new system, when it will be hard to stay “out of the loop” for longer than a week.

I’m not criticising LTT’s choice (or any other YouTubers) to make the switch, I’m 100% up for supporting their channels through advertising, etc, and if this is what they need to continue on being awesome then sign me up! But at the same time, I feel like I’ve been baited to join. Baited by my desire to enjoy technology and to keep up with the new and exciting products, and something about that doesn’t sit right with me, and then they planned this huge giveaway to bait people even more.

I feel like there had to be another way, but then again I am only going by my gut feelings on this topic, and if I am wrong then please let me know, because I want this to be the right choice for these guys. They make great content and they deserve better than to be criticised.

In the meantime, however, I’ll see all you guys on Vessel! It’s a free year (way longer than 99.999% of free trials, plus there is no obligation or credit cards or anything) if you go to this link:


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