In the spirit of Rewind 2019, we’d like to close out this year by recapping what we’ve accomplished this year. Next, we’ll discuss the current state of BitTubers and what you can expect in 2020. Here we go!
January — March
The first quarter of 2019 marked two consecutive hard forks which updated the AirTime distribution structure, reduced the payout window, allocated a 5% block reward fund for future community tasks and updated the GUI wallet. Next, after some ground work in the months prior, we started the development of the new BitTubers platform. In March we released a major extension update with a revamped UI and new features, including a VPN and exchanging TUBEs for local currency, since we managed to acquire wallet and exchange licenses in Estonia.
April — June
Upgrades to the Airtime module.
In the second quarter we introduced significant upgrades to the AirTime module. To refresh your memory, the AirTime module is a small piece of code that publishers can add to their domain or application to record the AirTime (session time) from non-BitTube visitors. We added Staking, basic statistics of linked accounts and buying TUBEs with CC or crypto. Lastly, we introduced AirShare, an adaption of instant.io, an open-source file sharing implementation based on WebTorrent.
After a long crunch period, June saw the the launch of the BitTubers closed beta and BitTube Browser. The decision to introduce our own browser was based on our experiences with both Chrome and Firefox extension stores, realizing we needed more independence to safeguard the ecosystem we are trying to build.
July — September
All about BitTubers.
On July 1st the BitTubers public beta went live, followed by many additional features and improvements in following features updates:
- Gallery posts and improved SEO,
- mobile improvements, NSFW functionality, dark theme, YouTube and twitch embedding,
- UI/UX update, video view, playlist improvements, no character limit for paid members,
- and ongoing performance optimizations to reduce loading times and CPU/memory usage.
In August, we also compiled a list of upcoming features on our subreddit here. Lots of work to be done!
October — now
Fare thee well, bit.tube. It’s BitTubers time.
Finally, in October we successfully released the tools to migrate any remaining bit.tube videos you might’ve had to BitTubers. The migration window closed one month later on November 18th, upon shutting down the bit.tube platform.
During this time we also added translation support and launched beta.bittubers.com. In an effort to improve our release pipeline, the beta site is a sub-domain where we release bugfixes and new features first, before pushing those updates to production (bittubers.com) one or two weeks later.
In november we started working on the upcoming “Real Life” referral system. We had announced a referral system prior to this, but it had to go through several design revisions in the meantime before we were happy about it. We had intended to release the referral system earlier. Unfortunately, it’s going to take a little longer due to holidays and staff visiting their family around this time of year. It’ll come, pinky promise! In case you’d like to refer friends to BitTubers right now, don’t worry. We will add the ability for users to enter a referral link after they have signed up (within a set time window).
Additionally, we’ve started working on our moderation tools and have started writing up the much-needed Community Guidelines. Due to time constraints, this part of the platform has been lagging behind and we will kick it up a notch next quarter. We’re looking at better reporting workflow, better communication (email and platform notifications), a ‘warnings’ feature and several temporary ‘Restricted’ modes to deal with violating accounts without resorting to bans.
Last but not least, we also finally started mobile app development! Below is a sneak preview. We intend to have a public beta at the end of Q1 2020 and release the app to stores around the Bitcoin halving in May of 2020.
We see your feedback!
Going into 2020 we’ll continue to improve BitTubers. The platform in its current state is admittedly bare bones and quite rough around the edges. We have a clear idea where we have to go with it (see the reddit sticky), nevertheless your feedback is very much appreciated. Notably, what we’re looking to prioritize are the relatively inexpensive additions that give tangible improvements in the user experience. Here are some of your suggestions (in no order of importance) that we’ll work into our roadmap going forward.
- Improve login, signup and verification experience
- Add post scheduling
- More publication types (e.g. unlisted, private)
- Transcoding support
- Detailed analytics and statistics
- Manage multiple profiles from one account
- Profile search function and categorization
- More embedding support besides YouTube and Twitch
- More account linking support besides YouTube
- Personalized custom UI themes
- Improved video player, e.g. playback speed and subtitles
- Create quick links, for example bit.tube/profilename
- Improve membership pricing info and structure
- Better vanilla experience for guest visitors
- More donation options (e.g. patronage, superchats)
- Allow direct fiat donations
- Purchase your membership with TUBEs
- More staking options and investment vehicles
Next quarter we’ll be able to update you how these items will fit into the 2020 roadmap in more detail.
The BitTube ecosystem
Finally, we should mention the BitTube ecosystem upgrades that we’ll be seeing next year. Newcomers won’t directly know that the BitTubers platform is part of a bigger picture. The ecosystem right now consists of multiple pillars: BitTubers, the Airtime extension and module, the BitTube Browser and the TUBE cryptocurrency.
The year 2020 and beyond will see upgrades, expansions and better interoperability between each product. As stated on reddit, we will introduce a mobile app capable of p2p money transfer, move to decentralized infrastructure powered by community-operated storage nodes, integrate a DEX (decentralized exchange) into the TUBE wallet and eventually move away from Proof-of-Work mining to something more efficient, versatile and secure.
That’s it for now. We’ve undoubtedly brushed over some things in this article, but we tried to cover the subjects most pertinent to you as a user and customer. As always, let us know if you have any unanswered questions and we’ll be glad to answer them.
Your BitTube Team