SpaceX has long relied on YouTube to broadcast its rocket activities, but that may be changing. On Sunday, users noticed that SpaceX made footage of a satellite launch exclusive to Twitter.
The Sept. 3 launch of 21 Starlink satellites was not live-streamed on YouTube, but it was hosted on Twitter (also known as X).
The same thing happened with the Crew-6 Mission, which shuttled astronauts from the International Space Station to Earth. SpaceX’s Twitter account exclusively posted video of the Dragon spacecraft carrying the astronauts back to the planet — a clip that’s conspicuously missing on the SpaceX YouTube account. Only an undocking video is available.
The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But the change occurs as SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been trying to turn Twitter —which he also owns— into a video platform that can rival YouTube and Twitch. This has included paying YouTube creators to post their videos on Twitter.
Still, SpaceX’s decision to drop YouTube for Twitter is already annoying users, many of whom have tuned into the company’s space launches for years. They say YouTube has a superior interface and streaming quality over X. In addition, the YouTube app is available for TVs, while the X app is not.
“This is a much less convenient interface than the Youtube one,” tweeted astronomer Jonathan McDowell, who has been tracking Starlink launches.
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“If Elon is going to do this, then he better prioritize making the video part of X as good as YouTube because this is just gonna piss people off,” wrote a separate user.
Meanwhile, others are pointing out that you can still watch SpaceX launches on YouTube, but through third-party providers such as Spaceflightnow.com or NASASpaceflight.
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