PeerTube is a decentralized video hosting platform. It was launched in 2018 by the French organization Framasoft and works using peer-to-peer (P2P) technology. Like Mastodon, PeerTube is part of Fediverse and uses the ActivityPub protocol for federation with other platforms.
The main idea of PeerTube is to allow any person or entity to host their own video server, or "instance", while also allowing users to interact with videos and users from other instances. This provides an alternative to centralized, commercial video platforms, giving users more control over their content and privacy.
PeerTube has several features that set it apart from other video hosting platforms:
- Decentralization: As in other Fediverso platforms, in PeerTube anyone can host their own instance. This allows for a diversity of communities and avoids centralized control.
- P2P technology: PeerTube uses peer-to-peer technology for video distribution. This reduces the load on the server, as users who watch a video also help stream it to other users.
- Federation: Thanks to the ActivityPub protocol, PeerTube instances can interact with each other, and users can follow channels and receive updates from different instances.
History and evolution of Peertube
The history and evolution of PeerTube is characterized by sustained and constant development, and a focus on providing a decentralized and federated alternative to centralized video platforms.
- 2015-2017: Framasoft, a French organization dedicated to free software, begins working on PeerTube as part of its initiative to provide decentralized alternatives to centralized web services.
- 2018: In March, Framasoft launches a beta version of PeerTube. In October of the same year, after a successful crowdfunding campaign, version 1.0 of PeerTube is released.
- 2019: Support for live streaming is introduced, a feature highly requested by the community.
- 2020: Several updates are released that improve the user experience and add new features, such as the ability to import videos from other platforms and the improvement of the user interface to facilitate navigation.
- 2021: PeerTube continues to grow and evolve, with an increasing number of instances and users.
- 2022-2023: Framasoft continues to work on improvements and new features for PeerTube, such as better integration with other parts of Fediverso and improvements in moderation and user experience.
Throughout its history, PeerTube has proven to be a resilient platform that offers a valuable alternative to centralized video platforms.
Advantages of PeerTube
The main advantages of PeerTube are as follows:
- Control over content: By allowing users to host their own server, PeerTube gives content creators more control over their work.
- Resiliency: P2P technology makes PeerTube more resistant to censorship and centralized control.
- Privacy: PeerTube does not track users or use their data for advertising.
- Interoperability: As part of Fediverso, PeerTube can interact with other federated platforms.
Despite its advantages, PeerTube also presents some challenges:
- Technical barrier: Setting up a PeerTube instance can be tricky for less technical users.
- Moderation: As with any decentralized platform, moderation can be a challenge on PeerTube, especially when it comes to content that is shared between instances.
- Visibility: Although federation allows users to interact with different instances, decentralization can make it more difficult for content creators to reach a broad audience.
PeerTube instances are standalone servers that host video content. Each instance can have its own rules and policies, allowing for a great diversity of communities.
- Framatube: This is the official instance of Framasoft, the organization that created PeerTube. It focuses on educational and outreach videos.
- Skeptikon.fr: This instance is focused on scientific and skeptical content.
- Video.blender.org: This instance is managed by the Blender Foundation and hosts videos related to the open source 3D modeling software Blender.
- Conf.tube: This instance focuses on lectures and speeches, with a focus on technical and open source topics.
- PeerTube.linuxrocks.online: This instance is focused on videos related to Linux and open source software.
- Diode.zone: This instance is focused on electronics, microcontrollers, radios and embedded systems.
- Tube.kdy.ch: This instance is managed by a Swiss collective and hosts a variety of content, with a focus on music and art.
- PeerTube.cpy.re: This instance is focused on free software and GNU/Linux operating systems.
Each of these instances provides a unique insight into the diversity of communities that exist on PeerTube and the variety of content that can be found on this decentralized platform.