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Vlare was a video sharing site created by Jan and Mel (Sudeurion) in an attempt to provide content creators with an alternative to YouTube. Spinning off from an early concept to overhaul Vidlii, it later spun off into it's own site, eventually becoming one of the main alternative platforms for creators in the wake of the implementation of COPPA to YouTube in late 2019, in large part thanks to its' unique design and Social Media/Blogging features. However, drama and a decline in users going into the new decade would split the community apart, and in August 2020 a copyright claim would shut the site down entirely. While efforts were made to revive the site, the Vlare project officially shut down in 2021 due to infighting and insufficient resources. Nonetheless, it's still remembered fondly by users who were on there as an entry point into the world of Alternative Video sites.

History

Vlare started development as an overhaul to VidLii, known as VidLii 2.0. In the latter half of 2018, a prototype for a modern frontend was being worked on by Jan[1]. A while later, VidLii 2.0 would later be split off from VidLii and would become the basis of Vlare, with the frontend prototype being used for said site. During its early development, private sign-ups were conducted through VidLii, with a request to access to the private alpha (via private messages). Vlare's beta was officially unveiled on December 10, 2018. It would include it's own features, as well as well-regarded features YouTube has removed including Groups, Friends, Live-Chats, video sync-playback (such as Watch2Gether), and personal channel blogs, as well as plans to include video annotations, a feature that YouTube removed back in January 2019. On April 24th, Vlare's Twitter account would announce that the co-founder of Vanillo, Sudeurion had joined Plutonium as both a Content Creator and a Developer for the site, where he was assigned to design the Site's UI and to improve the site as it neared its launch. Vlare exited beta and became public on May 7th, 2019. In 6 months, Vlare gained over 3,000 sign-ups. Then in November, the site experienced massive growth due to the COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) impacton YouTube. Slivr and Vanillo merged with Vlare around this time, and as a result, over 15,000 members joined, creating traffic that caused the development team to upgrade to a 40 Terabyte Server. Before the start of the new year, the development team had confirmed plans to release a major update currently referred to as "Vlare 2.0". This would've been a rebuild of the site and API as it promised to give the site a new interface and additional site features. But before these changes could be implemented, Melony resigned on December 15th, 2019 due to mental health concerns, though she had stated that she may rejoin the team and make a return in the future. In February 2020, Mel and BMF would lay off the majority of Moderators due to the inactivity and slow growth on the site. And on the 14th, the Vlare Discord Server would become limited to those who were original members, patrons, and premium members due to the server being mostly inactive. The closure of the Discord in particular led to controversy and drama in the community, causing more people to leave. On August 17th, 2020, Vlare went down because of a DMCA-takedown notice issued by Hetzner, which for some reason was never notified to the Vlare administration. This wasn't not the first time Vlare went down, as the site went down in May 2020 and mid-June 2020 in order to fix it's uploader or do maintenance, but this became the last time Vlare was up. The Vlare team decided to go ahead with rewriting the site while they looked for alternatives to host the site, though these plans were delayed as on October 31st, 2020, WYSIWYG (the main developer for the rewrite at this time) announced that she was unable to work on Vlare due to a shortage of free time and other private circumstances that prevented her from developing and that she would resume development once she was able to work on Vlare again. While she did come back to make a landing page for the site, in February of 2021 she announced she was ceasing development of the New Vlare and taking a hiatus again due to mental issues. Later that month, the site's landing page was updated and WYSIWYG sold the site to Toby R. and Bradley, who were relatively unknowns to the community. To the public, it seemed like Vlare was going steady and may come back. However, Toby began to over-professionalize the site and make staff members sign NDAs which didn't allow the staff to work for other sites. Sks2002 later leaked a document recounting several instances of Toby and a few others trashing the community and in particular WYSIWYG (now going at this time under the name Kay). Eventually on July 25th, 2021. Toby announced that the Vlare project had been cancelled, finally ending the site after 3 years and only 2 as a functional site. The site was changed to include a message recommending visitors to try VidLii and Tracle.

Features

The website had a vertical navigation toolbar with quick access to all options.

Like VidLii, Vlare.TV allowed free hosting for videos with up to 720p@30fps up to a certain file size. Users with Vlare Premium are currently granted uploads up to 1080p@60fps. Vlare Premium also comes with a number of other benefits, including:

  • Video downloads
  • Animated avatars
  • Extended video file-size limits
  • Ad-free viewing
  • Premium role in their official Discord server

These monthly subscriptions further the site by assisting with the costs of hosting the service and developing new features.

Vlare.TV included many smaller features to all members to compete with other video sites including:

  • Multi-channel management under a single account
  • A real-time count of active viewers of the current video.
  • Custom thumbnails
  • Content-specific channel categories
  • Animated video previews for all uploads
  • Mobile website layout, in addition to Desktop website layout
  • Channel blogs and blog categories
  • Statistics about each channel
  • Public statistics across the entire site
  • Quick-list (similar to YouTube "Watch-later" feature)

Vlare.TV maintains features that have been gradually removed from YouTube over the years, including:

  • Groups
  • Video responses
  • Ability to see currently watched videos
  • Ability to sort videos by ratings
  • Ability to explore the most rated, discussed, or viewed videos of today, this week, this month or all time, or newest videos
  • Custom channel backgrounds, text color, transparency, layouts, widget colors
  • Direct messaging
  • Live chat with other users
  • Friends (separate from Subscribers)

For Vlare 2.0, (which had been scrapped due to development issues and community infighting) the team planned to include:

  • Live Streaming
  • Watch along feature
  • New Algorithm
  • Website Themes
  • New UI
  • Annotations
  • New API for future updates
  • Additional channel categories

For Vlare 2.1, (which had been Discontinued due to Kay no longer having the motivation to work on the site) the team planned to include:

  • Vlare Creator Studio
  • Live Subscriber Count

Flaws

  • 1080p resolution and 90-minute duration is currently only available to Premium members.
  • Edits to comments can only be made within a certain time frame.
  • Guidelines can be considered strict when compared to other similar sites.
  • Video thumbnail previews are auto-generated as low-quality GIFs by the uploader.
  • Vlare lacks comment linking, as used by YouTube.
  • Video time limit was only 45 minutes to regular users, while Premium Users had 90.

Status of Former Vlare Admins

Melony: It was revealed that Kay, Melony, and WYSIWYG were the same person, and in February 2021, she stopped the development of Vlare and sold the domain and archives to Toby R, who would later announce his intentions to revive it himself. Unfortunately this isn't the case anymore as he cancelled development all together on July 2021. Melony then attempted to make a new site called "Kuva" before that project also ceased development due to external factors. She also later started FallOutBoyVid, a joke site made to satirize the many problems with sites in the alternative video community.

BMF: It was currently unknown what happened to BMF exactly however a user decided to message BMF and according to BMF he said that he was demoted for something "inappropriate", the user then asked Kay(Melony) and they stated that he "left for the better" Either way after his departure from Vlare, BMF (like Jan) shifted his focus to VidLii, where he moderated up until his termination in February 2022 with the sale of VidLii to the Kolyma Network.

Jan: After selling the site to Kay (who later sold it to Toby), Jan shifted his focus back to VidLii (which had been making a profit), where he began a long-term project to rebuild the site from the ground up in a similar fashion to Vlare 2.0. But in February 2022, Jan decided to sell VidLii and eventually called it quits on the project. (which he renamed VidBit)

Gallery

Trivia

  • On June 29th, 2020, Vlare made a announcement which would make everyone have admin, but was actually just a publicity stunt.

References

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