I think it will continue growing and absolutely dominating the video space. I don't trust the rumours of crumbling finances and net losses, the whole thing is so valuable that you can earn many times what it's currently worth in the long run. Maybe it's publically losing money, but "behind closed doors", in relation to government espionage and the personal data of billions of YT users, I'm absolutely certain Google, or should I say Alphabet, have made sure that the whole thing is much, much more lucrative than a few dozen billion $ or whatever they earn from ad revenues and other publically-disclosed deals.
Ideologically, it's infested with the radical left and it is no longer a neutral platform. I'm a sort-of a right-leaning moderate, if I can even put myself in that box (I fiercely disagree with some right-wing viewpoints about drugs, government regulations, environmental policies etc...) - I don't feel comfortable or even safe sharing my personal opinions on YT. I recently posted a slightly politically charged post on the Community tab and I got called an idiot (it literally happened over the last couple days, just straight to the "ur idiot" without even trying to engage in a meaningful debate) and I got reported to YT. From a business perspective, you are sort of forced to "bend the knee" and just keep your mouth shut to not disturb the angry mob trying to cancel everyone and everything who has a different opinion than them.
YT caters to these crowds too, I think partially because enraging them is bad for THEIR business (no big advertisers want to be in the middle of major dramas for far too long), but also because most, if not all of the top YT shot-callers are definitely politically biased, not just agreeing with a lot of the leftist ideological points, but actively promoting them site-wide.
I don't mind the left, the right, centre or whatever, everybody has the right to have opinions and beliefs, everybody has the right to live and have opportunities in life. But nobody should have any right or authority to dominate the others. Sadly, YT is still a private company in charge of a very much public platform that significantly influences the public discourse, they get to do whatever they want because they're, for all intents and purposes, untouchable.
And to be absolutely fair, it's not just the centre and right-leaning channels that are affected by this ultra-radically left policies. I've noticed a fair few moderately left-leaning YT channels and personalities getting cancelled over the last few years as well, getting caught in the cross-fire and cancelled for the most moronic, pointless reasons.
Until we get some regulation that makes things fair for everyone, we'll continue experiencing this. I'm very much FOR some kind of global regulation of these platforms, they're too big and powerful to still be subjected to the obsolete legal framework. They're basically socio-political monopolies.
I do agree with you and I don't want to say like "YouTube is dying" but just with all of the craziness on the platform like "cancel culture" You tubers attacking each others sponsors its just got way out of hand.
MySpace, for example, tried to win the "social media" race. It lost.
Facebook is still fighting to hold supreme.
But YouTube, YouTube has won the "Video Platform" race, if you will.
It's not just the site as we know it. It's the scale. It's the integrations. It's the mass amount of data. This ship isn't sinking in our lifetime. The only thing that will change will be the medium in which we are consuming it.
@SnuggCTO Totally agree. This thing isn't going anywhere, they're far too entrenched and established already to be in any immediate danger. The only real concern is what will it become, what will it morph into in the next couple of years. The most recent push towards more traditional forms of media like late-night talk show hosts is a sign of clear favouritism towards mainstream-type content. Instead of raw and unfiltered content, which is one of the main reasons why the platform grew to be so popular throughout the 2010-2020 period, nowadays we have a crapton of this watered, dumbed-down cookie-cutter "user friendly" content that is there only to numb the brains of the masses and make them feel warm, safe and existing in blissful ignorance. Without being too conspiratorial about it, it definitely doesn't feel right to me any more.
I'm not even against that type of content existing on the platform. Let it be there, why not? I'm just bothered because it's being shoved in front of everyone's eyeballs so forcibly. You can still find alternative/counter-culture type of content out there, but you really, really have to dig and be very purposeful in a way you "mold" your own Suggestsion and Recommendations. It often takes me watching 10-20 videos of a certain type before I start getting recommended more of it, in quantities that are clearly personalized for my overy own specific interests. However, every time I make a mistake of watching just 1 Jimmy Kimmel video, my Homepage gets literally swarmed with his, Fallon's, Corden's and other talk show hosts' videos. Then I have to go through days and weeks of gradually eliminating them from my suggestions by actively ignoring the recommendations. I often notice some of their videos "stabbing my eyeballs" in recommendations up to 10 times before YT finally stops trying to get me to watch them. That doesn't seem like it's a case for non-mainstream media content. But maybe I'm just biased based on my own perspective, it's hard to tell.
On the flip side, there are no other platforms out there offering even remote levels of potential exposure. It's still very much possible to grow, right now probably easier than ever in the past few years because of the whole pandemic situation. I mean I'm personally getting thousands of views on my newest videos. Sure, that's still nowhere near the hundreds of thousands or millions of views top creators are getting, but we often forget how insanely crazy it is to get a couple hundred, a thousand or even "just" 10,000 people to watch the videos you make, purely because both you and them are spending time using the platform, which does such a mind-bogglingly good job of connecting the viewer to the content which that viewer doesn't even know exists, but still wants to watch.
So, I expect we'll all have to adapt to the way platform operates now and in the future. Edgy content of yesterday is already dying out, we'll have to find a way to be more family-friendly, yet "adult" and "mature" and "politically neutral"/non-confrontational enough to avoid being COPPA-ed/canceled into non-existence.
It's a tricky line to balance on, but it still seems to be worth all the trouble and effort.