Hello! Check back here for updates and changelogs for OptTube! As updates come out, new features and updates on progress for stuff down the road will be right here. Feel free to leave some feedback on updates down below!
OptTube Version 1.3 - May 16th, 2020
So a lot has been going on. Not obviously just outside, but here on OptTube. In the midst of a global pandemic that has ravaged everything, I'm hoping that all of you are staying safe and healthy during this trying time.
Enough about that, though. OptTube has seen some amazing stuff since the last announced version of the website back in late January. You've likely noticed that you can directly upload your videos to the forums now. This was intended to be a large fix that would be announced with several other new features and fixes to the website, however, that update never came.
The update is (mostly) finally here, however. Some of the new ideas were scrapped. I won't get too deep into details, but let's just say they... would get in the way of making the website the best that I possibly can and would interfere with future updates for now. Maybe in the future.
Anyway, let's break down all of the new and improved OptTube stuff:
- Directly upload videos to the Forum.
Now, this one is a given. It's been around for months, BUT. It's a great feature for you to utilize. It was heavily requested that users could upload content directly to the Forums; I talked directly through with the engineers behind Wix as this unfolded and was finalized, giving input that I was grateful to have the opportunity to give. Go customize the hell out of your forum posts and upload whatever you please! (that's within the acceptable rules, of course.)
- Removed the Shop and redirected to ShopOpti.
This was such a necessary move. First off, the old merch store has been closed down for a while now. The Shop tab featured that merchandise, so it was time for it to go. But, in the meantime, I figured out an idea.
"Hey, what if I get rid of this whole page full of content - this could potentially help the rest of the website!"
That has become more apparent now that it simply redirects to the new domain. The old page was adding a considerable amount of stress to the website, which already has a lot to its' features, and was partially bogging some of the website down. No worries about that now!
- INTRODUCING: Submit your content for Featured
People have clamored on and on about wanting the ability to have their content featured in areas outside of the Forum. Today, OptTube takes its' first step towards accomplishing that!
You can submit your videos for the Featured tab on the homepage by going to Home > Submit a video for featured. Videos will be hand-selected depending on quality, length, etc. to be featured smack dab on the landing page of OptTube! I hope that you'll all enjoy this new feature and try to get a video or two up there at some point!
- 5 new badges + updates to the others
Badges have become kind of a big deal to some of OptTube's most dedicated users. Forum Frequenter, OptTube OG, and Verified Creator weren't enough to have people trying to get. In this update, I've expanded the number of Badges earnable by the community from 3 to 8. New badges include the following:
Kinda Famous - Get 50 views on a Forum post.
Awesome Stuff - Consistently post cool and exciting things to the Forum!
Helpful - Be a helpful member of the community to the point that you're rewarded this badge!
Hey, I Posted! - Have Optimus himself grant you this badge the first time he thinks you post something cool.
Featured - Get a video Featured on the homepage.
With over 2000 OptTube users now having the OptTube OG badge, it's become apparent that there was a demand for more. And with that in mind, there will be plenty more badges to come in the future!
I have so many great plans for this website, and I thank all of you for your dedication to the website and supporting it. With thousands of members and tens of thousands of visitors coming in since launching in December, OptTube has become something special.
Thank you, stay safe, and have fun!
OptTube Version 1.2 - January 23rd, 2020
Hello, and Happy New Year/Decade!
It took a little longer than expected to say this, and it feels weird saying it so late. However, the first new update of the year is finally here for OptTubeI It's pretty significant, so there's plenty of details for us to unpack. I'll cut straight to the chase, and then we'll talk about other cool stuff afterward.
- Added sitewide search navigation.
People have been having to use the main navigation menu in order to go throughout OptTube since the website was launched, which was not only a hassle - but could also become confusing. How can you find that specific forum post from a few weeks ago that you want to revisit that way? You now have the ability to search sitewide and sift through results yourself! You can try it with videos, but it's going to just redirect you right back to the home page since every single video is located there.
- Website monetization
In order to be transparent, this is something that should obviously be addressed. The website has become monetized. However, instead of running seventy ads all over the page, or runnings ads that will take up literally the whole screen, I've chosen to go with a more lightweight approach to the advertising solution. Ads will only appear on the main pages of the website and won't follow you literally everywhere you go. Rest assured that the site will be more focused on maintaining user experience than income (the website has run at an obvious loss since inception.)
- Bug fixes EVERYWHERE
Throughout the last month or so, bugs have come up everywhere. Images not loading correctly, background colors changing, etc. All kinds of bugs have been squashed and the website should be back to looking normal again! If you're seeing any bugs or issues, please report them in the Report thread here in the forums :)
- Desktop AND mobile optimization
With so much going on, there has been some optimization fixes rolled out that should improve the quality of the website a bit. The user interface got some minor changes here and there on both platforms, as well. Optimization still isn't 100%, and I understand that totally. You guys are still reporting issues, and I'll continue to address them as best as I can over the coming weeks.
Also, I wanted to announce that OptTube has *thousands of registered members!* which blows my mind personally. Whether you're here watching videos, using the forums, or here just to support, the OptTube community appreciates you :)
Thanks for your continued support, and have a great rest of your day! Lots in store this year.
OptTube Version 1.1 - December 26th, 2019
Hey everyone! It's been over a week since the last update. This was one that I wanted to really nail down, so I took extra time on it. There are heavily-requested features within this one, so I look forward to your feedback and (hopefully) some excitement from the OptTube community regarding this update! It's crazy even saying that there's an OptTube community, but there is. I've been checking in on the website all the time, and the amount of you actively participating, watching videos, discussing things in the forums, and building your profiles is INCREDIBLE!
To start this update, I want to, of course, give you the details on what has come out with this update, but this post will contain some details on upcoming features and some cool stuff that you won't want to miss!
- Added dark mode site-wide.
The number of people requesting dark mode on OptTube is definitely something that couldn't go unnoticed! Besides uploading your own content, this is most likely the most-requested feature or update so far. The website has been updated with a sleek-looking color update to appease this request! In the future, I'd love to make this a feature that is optional, so that users can choose between Light Mode and Dark Mode, plus maybe other modes that could help improve readability and the 'pop' of the website.
If you have suggestions or feedback about the Dark Mode update, please let me know!
- New forum layout
The forums are active, and with that means that posts will often either get buried or they'll become invisible if a user has content sorted by Most Relevant or recent filters. With this being the case, I wanted to make sure that there was a way to increase the amount of time that users have to see posts while also making sure that posts aren't jamming up the feed in the forum.
The new layout will give more details to a post, allowing you to get a good idea as to what's going on with a text post, video, etc. before you click, unlike the previous layout. On top of all of this (no pun intended), posts will no longer be listed, they'll sort from left to right based on your filters downwards allowing you to scroll the page and read what's going on.
For instance, instead of having to click on every single post that you want to view, you now can get the essentials of a post right in the feed! If you want to interact with it, then you can click into it and join the conversation!
Of course, leave feedback based on this change, as well!
- New mobile layout changes
While the fundamental layout of the mobile view has not been changed, many of the pages have been changed or optimized (I know, I know) in order to make them more viewable. For instance, some things were not loading correctly on profiles that are now being loaded properly across more platforms - this issue is believed to be due to the difference in screen size. This issue should be solved, but as always, please let me know if not!
Now, as far as updates on future plans for OptTube, I think this is a good time to let you guys know what's coming.
First, I want to announce that new badges are coming soon! For instance, one of the badges coming shortly is the Profile Planner, which is given to users who fully develop their profile and customize it! Another is Feedback Champion, given to users who are consistently giving feedback on OptTube to help better the website! Of course, a good way to earn Feedback Champion might be to recommend new badge ideas ;)
Second, as far as uploading videos directly to the forum instead of embedding videos: this is a feature that is coming soon. No more having to post your YouTube videos, you'll be able to upload videos directly to the OptTube forums!
Third, as far as uploading directly to OptTube - this is, of course, a feature that is being looked into. For now, I'm focusing on my content and helping you guys have a community here that enjoys the website, and while this is a feature that is heavily requested, it might be a while.
Thank you for your continued support of OptTube, and have a great time!
OptTube Version 1.0.1 - December 18th, 2019
- Forums now accept streamlined video imports from YouTube and Vimeo!
To import a video, go to Create Post > Press the 'Add a Video' button at the bottom of the post creator > Paste a link to any YouTube video that you want to import > Add details, images, GIFs, etc. as you please!
But wait, there's more to see! You can adjust the layout of your post in several ways to make it unique and to give people the best viewing experience possible. Don't want the video to take up the whole width of the post so that you can also emphasize text and images in your post? No worries! There are several different video layouts to choose from. On top of just putting your video into a post, you can also load a post up with images, GIFs, and more!
This is just the beginning, though. Currently in planning is a dedicated upload feature that will be much better and widespread for users than just the forums! But, for now, here's something to tend to the heavy request for user-generated video content.
Here is what is currently in the works for the immediate future:
- In the next update, I want to update the layout for mobile and make it more user-friendly.
- Obviously, a better way for users to upload content is something that is being prioritized. No ETA on this feature.
Have a great time on OptTube enjoying the new features!
OptTube Version 1.0 - December 16th, 2019
- Added streamlined content from YouTube (embedded), ~15-20 videos to test out. The video category will expand heavily within future updates.
- Added 'featured' content. As of right now, this IS selected content that will show up on the homepage at all times. I'll be honest about it, but if the website goes public, we'd like to have an algorithm at this point to help streamline things like this.
- Added forums, which you're currently on. More of a sense of community can be driven with forums, I feel, and I personally really enjoy the more old-school style profiles/forum dynamic that's going on here. It's simple enough to understand pretty easily, but it also has enough to it that you can do something with it. Of course, the features aren't finished, and you guys are a huge part in building the forums up with activity, self-moderation, etc.
- Added profiles. Becoming a member of OptTube allows you to use the forums! Eventually, we'd like to get it to where they'll be able to have more of a presence elsewhere on the website, as well.
- Added badges. Badges are small, noticeable banners next to your username that shows off specific accomplishments and achievements that you've made on the website. For instance, people using the website during its' infancy will get the OptTube OG badge, while people extremely active in the forums will get the Forum Frequenter badge, and creators online who are verifiable will get a Verified badge. Of course, more badges are to come down the pipeline, so stay active on the website and suggest badge ideas!
What's planned in 1.1:
- I would like to have made progress on content algorithms for OptTube.
- I would like to have made progress on a dedicated upload method for outside users for OptTube.
- I would like to have made progress on a way for users to comment on OptTube-uploaded videos, perhaps even YouTube-embedded videos by creating dynamic pages for all videos.
- I would like to have expanded member profiles to allow for more user creativity.
- I would like to build upon the homepage to allow for more to be done by users.
- I would like to set the stage for a few select creators to begin their journey on OptTube.
Thank you guys for your continued support of my channel and of OptTube! I want to stress that this isn't really a YouTube alternative. More or less, it's just a little passion project that I've made because I want to make sure that my channel is safe in all circumstances. In any case, it will be. OptTube has a load of potential, the reaction has been ridiculously positive thus far, and even though I'm open to allowing others to eventually upload onto the platform, I don't really consider this 'the next YouTube.' In reality, this is a website that I want to focus on creator-first. This is a website that I want to focus on person-first. This is a website that I want to use to help my channel and content get bigger, and if I can also help others, then that'll be great. These are all things that YouTube actively doesn't really want to do, so I don't consider this a YouTube alternative. I hope that you understand.
Have a great rest of your day, and enjoy OptTube!