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BitView is a video sharing site emulating the evolution of YouTube's layouts, and as of 2023, it resembles the YouTube interface from 2010. It was originally created by Jan, a German computer programmer who also developed VidLii and the now-defunct Vlare. Jan released BitView on December 2nd, 2017.

History

The domain was registered on November 15th, 2017, with development starting. By November 28th, the beta version was finished, and was officially released on December 2nd. At the time, the site was a HTML5/CSS3 recreation of YouTube looked in the first half of July 2005. The purpose of this site was to display the different interfaces that YouTube has displayed throughout its history, in chronological order. Thus, in January 2018, The BitView layout had it's first redesign and was based on a later 2005 version of YouTube.

By April 2018, the site was redesigned again to be similar to how YouTube was in the beginning of 2006. Various features from that era were added, such as subscriptions and bulletins. During this period of time, the platform became very popular among users, and was experiencing one of its golden times.

The popularity of the site was at a decline after the abandonment of the site around 2019, as Jan was working on VidLii. However, The development of BitView was revived around the latter part of 2020 and it was redesigned to look more or less like how YouTube was in 2008. Shortly after, the video compression quality was improved.

Around the beginning of 2022, BitView and Vidlii were bought by the Kolyma Network, and the site was redesigned to resemble how YouTube looked in the first half of 2009. However, this was done by introducing a CSS stylesheet written by BitView user herotrap. Disabling this stylesheet via Inspect Element allows one to return back to the previous layout. In Feburary 2023 BitView was bought by Evie and Sks2002, and was soon after redesigned to resemble YouTube in late 2009. Alongside this change, the new owners reintroduced the original developers of BitView.

Controversies

BMF Controversy

BMF was a former moderator for BitView and is still a administrator for VidLii. Around 2021, he faced major allegations for his rude behaviour and racist remarks. In the aftermath of his feud with ex-VidLii user JoshtheJosher, Vistafan12 had demoted BMF from his position.

Features and functions

This website attempts to provide the features that YouTube had around the late-2000s.

Videos

Videos uploaded by users are heavily compressed to resemble the quality of YouTube videos from the time. In addition, the uploaded videos must be no greater than 2GB and must be less than 30 minutes. BitView supports the WMV, AVI, MOV, MPG and MP4 video formats.

These videos can be rated with a stars system, with 1 star being the worst rating and 5 stars being the best, and comments can be written on them. In addition, videos can be added to favorites and playlists and people can make video responses to them. Each video can be included in categories and can be shared on social networks like Reddit, Facebook and Twitter.

The video player is a tweaked version of vlPlayer, VidLii's video player based on old YouTube player designs. Unlike VidLii however, you cannot customize the player. A Flash video player was available until September 27th, 2020, in which it was removed due to Flash's end of support on December 31st. Videos can also be embedded in sites by copy and pasting the HTML code seen at the bottom of a video's information box.

The search for videos works through metadata tags, which are assigned by the users themselves to them, and which allow them to be found and recommended.

Users of this platform often upload old videos from the Internet, or create new videos inspired by these, as well as the use of video and music editing software characteristic of the time. Several dozen videos are uploaded every day and these obtain thousands of daily views in total. Some videos are featured on the home page.

Channels

Channels can be widely customized, with options such as channel color options, background options. You can subscribe to channels, send private messages, comment on channel profiles, and write bulletins.

Gallery

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