Media sharing platform (Youtube / Instagram / SoundCloud / ... ) alternatives

(Started in the GAS thread and was getting off-topic there - thanks for clipping this to a new thread!), but I’ve actually wondered if there is a video / audio / image scratchpad service that didn’t feel like a popularity contest / marketing service, or data gathering platform for a social media giant (or in case of some popular services, both at once).

Feeling like occasionally posting song ideas, gear demos, practise clips and other silly stuff I record to friends to a slightly more public audience, and having a feed / log of everything I’ve posted would be kind of fun. Also have been avoiding making an IG account at all, deleted my quiet YouTube channel at some point, and don’t really feel like using either for (perhaps somewhat obvious) reasons.

SoundCloud kind of has / used to have the right idea in principle (low treshold and easy tools for posting stuff, not much extra) but is only for audio. A lot of blogging platforms are geared towards text and images and sort of want one to have one’s own brand and design instead of just an account for posting stuff in the sphere of a lot of content / accounts, and so on.


I am so on board with this idea. My need to express myself and share sketches is on a collision course with my ever-growing hesitancy to be involved with Facebook on any level.

Edit: tumblr felt like kind of a sweet spot back in the day. Is there anything like that now? That doesn’t monetize or serve ads or anything?


absolutely. i have loved instagram for the ease of low level photography archive/documentary projects, but I had to give it up socially. just felt icky. i would love to
migrate to something like you describe.

Yep, Tumblr is close to the vibe I was thinking about as well - it felt sort of fun creative anarchy at the apex point. Something with similar “don’t be afraid, post anything you want” type vibe - more like a creative scratchpad than a fully fledged blog or a huge social media service where everyone’s supposed to be in to get some publicity and be discovered by The Algorithm - would be superb. (Preferably something that hosts both video and audio clips and has an easy upload system + decent player for them.)

FWIW, Tumblr does still exist and is now owned by Automattic (the company that maintains Wordpress etc.) which at least feels more friendly than the Oath/Yahoo/Verizon ownership before. I have no idea if it’s even half of what it used to be though.

Instagram does feel like it does exactly the thing I’d want it to technically, but I’m not comfortable at all with its social aspect. Nor with the company that owns and runs it.


Would fit that bill? It is a paid service (blogging, audio/podcasts, pictures and video) supporting IndieWeb formats and protocols.


I’ve enjoyed Ello for visual art, perhaps it could work for audio as well?

3 Likes is pretty flexible. Worth a look. Even it’s not useful for this purpose, it’s a nice corner of the web.


Do you have issues with vimeo? I upload videos to it fairly often as an alt archive to youtube. Vimeo doesn’t really feel like social media (pretty rare to see toxic comments there) and doesn’t serve ads at me when viewing other peoples videos etc… It also has far better version control, and you can restrict embeds to specified domains if you want to…

The only downside to vimeo I have experienced is that it seems a little slower delivering HD video compared with youtube (understandable given the difference in their scales)

(Maybe this could be split to another topic to avoid derailing the GAS discussion…?)

My first thought was Vimeo as well. The “problem” is that it has always felt like the service / community is geared towards professionals (whether creative or business) presenting “seriously” made and carefully curated video content to an audience. What I’m thinking about here is more like posting minute long progress video / audio clips in the vein of those audiovisual oriented microblogs, sort of “this is what I’m doing right now”. It’s quite easy to get cold feet / feel out of place when there’s so much polished and professional looking video material on the platform. (Same as with Soundcloud vs Bandcamp - the former feels proper for those little jams and excerpts, the latter somehow demands complete and finished material.)

Of course there’s nothing in Vimeo’s rules to prevent one from uploading an endless stream of minute long vignettes / sketches with grainy mobile phone video or badly focused vintage lenses. We’ve talked with a friend about this subject for quite a bit (he’s got the same issue as me with Instagram etc., only much stronger negative feelings) and did end up joking about us eventually ending up being the pioneers of crappy amateur content in Vimeo.

Will also have to check and, thanks for the tips people :slight_smile:

I actually looked at Ello at some point during the weekend, but it looks like you’ll have to resort to YouTube / Vimeo, SoundCloud etc. for the actual content hosting. What would be cool was if one could just upload all kinds of media clips to the service itself easily, and the “social” aspect could be very light - maybe just a chronological timeline putting everything in order. Again, more about posting a scratchpad of ideas for small number of others to enjoy or sneer at, than “building an audience / following” which is what IG etc. seem to be good at.

(FWIW I wouldn’t mind paying for a service like this - it’s usually the only practical alternative to ad-driven services, whose business model more often than not is to profile you and direct you to watch and react to content that the core algorithm thinks would maximize engagement and retention.)


Reading the last posts I asked my self:

Why not starting a new service like Instagram etc.?

I have no idea what that would take (in terms of server infrastructure, programming …) and I guess it’s a naive idea … but there’s is this part inside of me that says „why not“.

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I would be SO on board for an open source photo/video sharing app… Basically the 'joy in pictures’tread, the ‘latest tracks and videos’ tread and the ‘photos of sound making devices’ tread but primarily grouped by individual, as well as one long feed!


Most of social platforms are for media content, short videos, low quality audio. Until 2021 IG can only take videos in mono if you upload via iphone. I still dont understand why IG big videos are in portrait mode (very strange). FB is awful for its UI/UX (about 20% for information and the rest for adv, navigation, …)
Bandcamp is the best if they added artists news with text, photos and videos. As a plus it will divide music resources from tik-tok style things


Don’t use it myself, but you might want to check out the open source (and federated on gnu social!) Pixelfed as an Instagram alternative. It doesn’t do video as far as I can tell from the homepage (I don’t use it myself). Since its federated it should be relatively easy to setup your own server for your own community. On the same GNU social protocol there’s also a music sharing service called



It seems that one can share videos:

Do you mean if you actually film them with the Instagram app? Or do you mean stories, or what do you mean? Because all my videos after 2018 or so are in stereo. Uploaded from iPhone.

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interesting thread!

I recently stumbled upon the artist nick klein who’s managing his PR stuff for his label psychic liberation through a telegram channel. maybe that’s common? don’t know. it’s basically set up like an IG-feed. seems like a good solution!

check out it: PSYLIB – Telegram


So looks like you get 5gb of space with Pixelfed (I just registered)

i am definitely interested in an alternative instagram. i love sharing things that i’m working on, or little videos of patches etc… but hate contributing to fb in any form. i tried ello a couple years ago, but it never really clicked for me.


The reality of this problem is that bandwith/hosting/infrastructure costs a lot of money, and eventually any “free” service will have to turn to the jackals of advertising and data collection (for sale to advertisers) in order to maintain itself after a period.

Vimeo gets around this by charging a fee, which is what this service would require of it’s users. I’m 10000% interested in something like this and would happily pay for a service to replace most normal social media but haven’t found much beyond vimeo… An open/paid platform for hosting with some kind of promise that data wouldn’t be deleted if payment stopped (and could be restored with continued payment) would be the :honeybee:'s knees


I wonder if starting a bit of a lines community on pixelfed would be worth doing :slight_smile: