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Was old YouTube really that good?


J.R.

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Old Youtube is what I consider the early days of YouTube from 2005-2012. It invokes a ton of nostalgia from people who experienced that era first hand and where the most iconic videos and moments occurred. It's been really seeing a resurge in popularity with a lot of people saying that the culture of the time period is alot more pure and authentic than current YouTube. BUT culture aside what old Youtube really that good as a stand-alone website? Like for example video quality was quite poor compared to stuff like Newgrounds the 11 minute time limit and more. It just seemed a bit more primitive. You could say that it was just the time but there was other video-sharing websites which didn't have these problems. Like the affromentioned Newgrounds. What do you think?

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I personally liked YouTube from before because for one thing, they used to have video responses where you can put one of your videos underneath another person's video and that addition actually helped your videos get more views than the algorithm that YouTube has nowadays.  Also, the rating system was a bit different as you used to rate videos either 5 stars or 1 star and I felt that those ratings were more accurate numbers on how good the quality of the video was.

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It's basically the same argument as "Old Simpsons" and "Wave 1" of Marvel.

Here's the thing...

 

No content ID.

No 'professionals'.

No Advertising.

No sponsorships.

No click bait.

Literally just people uploading vids and having a good time...

 

Buuuuut... some of those things were kinda needed. Advertising and sponsorships are a big one, the moment you start to put effort into making actual content, you realise how much time it takes and you need some degree of income to offset that time and work.

The content ID had to come in since people were uploading whole movies at one point, but now its so overboad its near unworkable.

But much like those other early things Iisted, early youtube also had problems... Big problems.

1: 10min time limit on videos.

2: preference to favour short 1-3min videos.

3: click bait was even worse due to 5second videos which were just a picture.

4: The content back then really was worse than today...

For point 4 specifically, there is a ton of really amazing creators on YouTube if you're prepared to go out of your main interest zone.

For example, I don't get Sonic recommendations anymore... because I'm watching video essays from Sarah Z, Hbomberguy, Jenny Nicholson.

I'm getting game videos from Joseph Anderson, Raycevik, Avalanch Reviews.

And you should all add that Badnik Mechanic guy to your notification lists immediately.

None of the do click bait or 'News' stuff. It's literally just long, well produced content. 

But when you look at that and compare it to even the best stuff in 2006-2011. There's almost nothing that comes close to it.

Youtube as a service has made some changes that have made the platform worse, but in terms of actual stuff to watch, it's light years from those early days.

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20 hours ago, Badnik Mechanic said:

No content ID.

No 'professionals'.

No Advertising.

No sponsorships.

No click bait.

Literally just people uploading vids and having a good time...

These are the reasons why I prefer the old Youtube over the new one.

Except that I don't care of content IDs, they can be useful though annoying when you get fake copyright claims and Youtube does nothing despite the claim being a scam, but wathever.

And, "No click bait" is false. Clickbait was a common practice at the early days of Youtube... it was a very different type of clickbait, not for getting more views and monetization, but simply for "trolling" the viewers. That was the age of the fake trailers that ended in Rickrolls, jumpscare videos and all those pranks.

The "quality" was lower and it was overall more primitive, but the environment was way less toxic and more playful, it was just people having a good time indeed, and that's enough for me to consider old Youtube miles better compared to the "thing" it is now.

Overall, pre-Google Youtube incentivated user involvement, more interaction, it was more "real", while Google Youtube is all about a few famous users getting all the attentions, advertising, and passive entertainment, it's not much different than watching TV. In the newer Youtube, you have to fight in order to get a few dozens of views, and still you have little to no chances of growing bigger, because the people who are big have a lot of money invested into their channels, plus a manager, etc. the common person has literally no chance. I said that old Youtube was more "real", because in the new Youtube (but overall all social networks at this point) succesfull profiles/channels have to create a virtual identity around them, a "character", a "format", they can't just be themselves.

Also, I hate all the "subscribe, comment, go check my merchandise, donate" etc. begging.

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  • 3 months later...

I first used YouTube in 2006 and as an old timer, I can definitely say that I prefer old YouTube compared to new one, one reason been that you could see what videos people comment on when you click the person's profile which was pretty cool, etc.

Edited by BrettyBoy
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I preffer the old Youtube, from content to layout it was the best. Of course some changes were to good, for example taking out the 10 minutes limit and the like and dislike.

The stuff that makes me dislike the actual youtube it's the algorithm, the censure that comes from the fear of the COPA, the fact that they erased from the existence the comments in musics, the ugly design (but that one don't affect me so much because I use Youtube Redux to change that crap), how easy it is to a video to get flag. The rest is more from the actual time than Youtube's fault, like the massive "LIKE,SUBSCRIBE,SHARE,GIVE A LITTLE HAND" that they say in a lot of videos, the meta following that came after the Minecraft fever, lot of unfunny stuff and that kind of shit, and a loss of soul that hitted a lot of stuff in the internet. At least some dudes still have the soul in channels like JT Curtis and Colônia Contra Ataca.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/12/2022 at 10:10 PM, ART-DX said:

I preffer the old Youtube, from content to layout it was the best. Of course some changes were to good, for example taking out the 10 minutes limit and the like and dislike.

The stuff that makes me dislike the actual youtube it's the algorithm, the censure that comes from the fear of the COPA, the fact that they erased from the existence the comments in musics, the ugly design (but that one don't affect me so much because I use Youtube Redux to change that crap), how easy it is to a video to get flag. The rest is more from the actual time than Youtube's fault, like the massive "LIKE,SUBSCRIBE,SHARE,GIVE A LITTLE HAND" that they say in a lot of videos, the meta following that came after the Minecraft fever, lot of unfunny stuff and that kind of shit, and a loss of soul that hitted a lot of stuff in the internet. At least some dudes still have the soul in channels like JT Curtis and Colônia Contra Ataca.

I agree with this post. It seems when new YouTube fixes something, it works a little too well and it falls on its face. 

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  • 2 months later...

Call me an old head but I preferred old YouTube. Felt more authentic, but I get that's not fair cause most people do it for a living now so they have to do ads, sponsors, etc and get through the competition. 

Here's a trick someone taught me recently, if anybody wants to look up old YouTube videos from 2007 or something, add "before:year" at the end of your search, ex: "Kingdom Hearts before:2008" to view all those old videos from back then. 

 

Edit: I thought this was a recent topic, my bad. 

Edited by Nintendoga
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I view pre-2012 YouTube as prime shock humor...which means I don't hold it in the highest regard. Violence for the sake of violence is depressing to me. But being so unmoderated led to some of the most iconic videos on the internet, and only half of all the animations were ported from Newgrounds.

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  • 1 month later...
On 10/14/2022 at 6:12 PM, Guergy said:

Unfortunately, that is a side effect of YouTube growing as a platform. I do not disagree with this post but YouTube is growing and the YouTubers growing with it.

Also, Youtube is becoming a place for big names, so the videos would have to be clean to get that attention.

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  • 1 month later...

No, usually a lot of things people on the interwebs will claim "this was better back then" as a way of drowsing out bad memories and wishing how they felt during when those people were younger and happier at a certain point, but ignoring the bad memories to maintain the world they're living in now is better/worse, life is sometimes equally good or really really bad, at one point you are feeling better after feeling angry, at the other point you feel kind of sad/angry but progressively feel a bit better - oh this text is about nostalgia

 

Youtube, as my former text implies, wasn't always great, but ignoring the patron-based content creators, older youtube was somewhat like looking into old memories prior before the web 2.0 world we live in now, exam: remember when Toonami used to comeon weeknights and it was probably a friday back then? some spider rider amvs, gameplay vids were shorter, and you see 4kids hate videos all over the place while there's also "why i hate dubs" that have negative comments - really big brainrot concerning 80s born teenagers ranting about this or that

 

AVGN was previously seen in a bad light, he kickstarted the whole gaming influencer crowd, but back then i remember one dude from way back calling him an "humorless cur" and another dude calling him a "piece of shit" mixed in with "stop defending him" i've gotta say it's weird how the world started changing fast after AVGN debutted on Youtube, sure i've moved on since then and others too, but i do remember missing the feeling and reaction of it all - just to remember how i've felt during that time, not so much of it Wanting to return

Edited by TheEyclopediaHBookReader
Typo, i meant to type "stop" not "not"
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