Embed Peertube videos on your website

Dion Moult

2019-01-19

Peertube is a network of websites that allow people to upload, share, and comment on videos. It’s kind of like YouTube, but with a big difference. Whereas YouTube polices its content, has its own arbitrary rules about advertising, revenue, and copyright, in Peertube, you can run your own website and host your video yourself. Using a growing native web technology known as ActivityPub, your website can talk to other Peertube websites, so you can use your account to comment on videos on other websites, and your video will be shared on other people’s websites too, should they choose to.

This way, you can design it yourself, have the peace of mind of content uptime, and make your own rules about how you want your video sharing to run (like upload sizes, comment moderation, and where it is and isn’t shared). This is important for content distributors who rely on their videos. For instance, YouTube blocked videos from the Blender Foundation and MIT OpenCourseWare without reason. When events like this occur, you may consider other options.

But, you say, the whole reason I put it on YouTube is because I don’t want to pay for all the infrastructure to host my own videos! This is where Peertube is special: it uses P2P protocols, just like torrenting, to watch videos. So anyone who watches a video is also helping host your videos for other people. The more popular your video is, the more people are helping host your video! So you won’t need to type of infrastructure that Google has.

Embedding a Peertube video with an iframe

In the example below, I show how to embed a video from a Peertube instance. This shows a video hosted on the website peertube.social. You should change the link depending on the instance that you are hosting your videos on.

If you watch your video on its instance, its URL looks a little like this:

https://peertube.social/videos/watch/ad395c9b-9702-4060-ac05-4c94b64956ab

All you need to do to embed it is change the link so that the word watch turns into embed. Then, you can put it in a simple HTML iframe, and it will work on any website. Here’s an example of the same video embedded on a website, with some CSS styling for some flexible video scaling. Pay attention to how the URL changes below:

<iframe src="https://peertube.social/videos/embed/ad395c9b-9702-4060-ac05-4c94b64956ab" style="min-height: 400px; width: 100%;" frameborder="0" sandbox="allow-same-origin allow-scripts" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe>

That’s it! You can see some videos embedded on another article I’ve written about how to run programs like Blender and the GIMP on your Android phone.

Comments

If you have any comments, please send them to dion@thinkmoult.com.