The History of Video Search: Who’s Still Standing, Who Isn’t, and New Players in the Space

I’m a first year Computer Science student, and I often look up different videos to see coding tutorials online. There are a few channels I really enjoy on YouTube, like Free Code Camp and CS Dojo. I have started to wonder though what people did before video search was created. What websites have come and gone over the course of the history of video?

As the internet has changed over the past few decades, websites have come and gone. Some websites, like Amazon and Google, have become giants in the industry, while other, smaller, websites have fared less well. Search engines, in particular, have had quite a rollercoaster of use and disuse, with early websites such as Ask Jeeves eventually being outclassed in user base by search engines like Google and Yahoo.

You may be wondering how video search has fared amidst the constant shifts in popularity and functionality, and it’s a thought worth considering. Video content is being consumed more and more online, with some platforms boasting staggering statistics: almost 5 billion videos are viewed on YouTube every day. Below is a brief overview of video search to better understand the digital playing field.

Who’s still standing

When it comes to who’s still standing, YouTube is clearly the king. Since its first video was uploaded in 2005, YouTube has become a pillar of the online video community, offering users the ability to upload, search, and view a broad and deep array of video content. Quickly acquired by Google in 2006, YouTube has also become a pillar of Google’s properties, and boasts a user base of 1.3 billion, almost half of Facebook’s total users.

Dailymotion is another popular website from the early 2000s that is still around today. Similar to YouTube, users can search Dailymotion for videos based on tags as well as user-created groups. Eventually acquired at an 80 percent stake by Vivendi, the website has continued to stay in use even amidst the growth of competitors like YouTube, in parts thanks to an application that allows Dailymotion to be able to be accessed on Apple and Android smartphone devices, as well as popular video gaming systems like the XBox and PlayStation.

Who isn’t still standing

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Google Video, which was launched in 2005, was eventually retired in 2012, as Google doubled down on its other video search IP, YouTube. But for many observers, the writing was on the wall much earlier than 2012, since Google stopped allowing user uploads to Google Video in 2009. Instead of its own platform, Google Video is now Google Videos, an extension of Google’s main search engine functionality, similar to Google Images or Google Maps.

One of the most unique video platforms to come about in recent years, Vine is also no longer standing. The mobile app owned by Twitter was responsible for a host of viral videos, memes, and online inside jokes, catapulting some users to celebrity status. Sadly for many, Vine was discontinued in 2016, although similar video platforms like TikTok are attempting to fill that space.

New players in the space

As YouTube continues to reign supreme, one of the most exciting new players in the video search space is Petey Vid. Aimed at “democratizing” video search, Petey Vid indexes videos from a plethora of video sites (including all of the ones mentioned above) so that no single platform has total control over the results that are returned. With an index that’s growing at a rate of 2 million videos a day, and 65 million videos already banked, Petey Vid also allows you to search for hashtags and mentions, a newer concept in video search.

Thanks to the popularity and effectiveness of video content online, video search continues to be a place of innovation amidst developers world wide. While some giants are focused on continuing to innovate existing platforms, other newcomers have an agenda aimed at disrupting the status quo. And if there’s anything that history has taught us over the past fifteen years, it’s that the video search rollercoaster isn’t coming to a stop anytime soon.

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