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Since it started testing a new fullscreen redesign, Instagram has come under heavy criticism from users – including high-profile figures like the Kardashians

Now, in a recent video, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri seems to agree that the new design is not delivering the quality experience the company had hoped for.

In the video shared on Twitter, Mosseri explained the redesign is “not yet good” and that the new layout will likely see some revisions before it becomes the default for all users. 

However, Mosseri also emphasized that the platform will not be backing away from its current direction. Recommended posts and a new emphasis on video are going to be major parts of the final redesign despite the public demand to “make Instagram Instagram again.”

More Changes Are Likely

The ongoing test has made quite a splash, but it is actually only being shown to a relatively small number of users.  While it captures what Instagram is trying to achieve, it is not up to the standards of the company.

“It’s a test to a few percentage of people out there, and the idea is that a more full-screen experience, not only for videos but for photos, might be a more fun and engaging experience. But I also want to be clear. It’s not yet good, and we’re going to have to get it to a good place if we’re going to ship to the rest of the Instagram community.”

Photos Aren’t Going Anywhere

Much of the anger about the new layout comes from the opinion that Instagram is becoming too much like TikTok by prioritizing video content. 

Though Mosseri emphasizes the platform is always going to be a photo-sharing app at its core, it also needs to grow and expand.

“I want to be clear — we’re going to continue to support photos. It’s part of our heritage. I love photos and I know a lot of you out there love photos too. That said, I need to be honest, I do believe that more and more of Instagram is going to become video over time. We see this even if we change nothing.

We see this even if you just look at chronological feed. If you look at what people share on Instagram that’s shifting more and more to videos over time. If you look at what people like and consume and view on Instagram, that’s also shifting more and more to video over time even when we stop changing anything. So we’re going to have to lean into that shift while continuing to support photos.”

Recommended Posts Are Staying In Your Feed

Another major complaint from users revolves around the inclusion of recommended content in the main feed. 

Recommended posts show content from other users you don’t currently follow. The inclusion of this type of content upset many users who found the recommended content irrelevant or poor-quality. 

Though these recommended posts are going to be sticking around, Mosseri said it is a work in progress and offered tips on how to improve the quality of recommendations:

“Recommendations are posts in your feed from accounts that you do not follow. The idea is to help you discover new and interesting things on Instagram that you might not know even exist. “It’s a test to a few percentages of people out there.”

Now, if you’re seeing things in your feed that are recommendations that you’re not interested in, that means we’re doing a bad job ranking, and we need to improve. And you can X out a recommendation, you can even snooze all recommendations for up to a month or go to your ‘following’ feed.

But we’re going to continue to try to get better at recommendations because we think it’s one of the most effective and important ways to help creators reach more people. We want to do our best by creators, particularly small creators, and we see recommendations as one of the best ways to reach a new audience and grow their following.”

Inspired by the popularity of TikTok, Google is working to find new ways to include short-form videos in search results. 

Google Product Manager Danielle Marshak revealed this during a recent episode of the Search Off the Record podcast with hosts Gary Illyes and Lizzi Sassman from Google’s Search Relations team. 

Why Google Is Interest In Short-Form Videos

Though the entire episode is more broadly focused on discussing how Google handles video content in search results, the conversation eventually turns to the most popular video format of the moment – short vertical videos less than 5 minutes in length. 

Beyond their popularity, the Google employees agree there is a lot of interest in short videos because they are easily digestible and can contain a lot of information in a compact package.

As Marshak says:

“And this format, it’s really cool because as I mentioned, it is very concise. You can get a lot of information in a short period of time, and you can also get a loot of different views and perspectives…

“So we think this kind of content could be useful for a lot of different types of search queries, and we’ve been experimenting with how to show it to users more often.”

Could TikTok Videos Appear In Search Results?

Since TikTok is practically synonymous with this specific type of short video, it was only a matter of time before the social video app was brought up. 

Interestingly, Gary Illyes explained that the unique way TikTok works makes its content much easier for the search engine to crawl and index compared to others like Snapchat or Instagram.

Since every TikTok video has a unique URL and can be opened directly in a web browser, Illyes says there is a chance the videos could be directly indexed and shown in search results:

“You can actually open it on the laptop and you will end up on a web page and you can actually watch it on the web page. You don’t have to have the TikTok app for watching the video.

“So I imagine that if they allow crawling – I haven’t checked – then we can probably index those videos as well.”

Other Ways Google Is Integrating Short Videos Into Search

When asked about other types of short video content that Google might include in search results pages, Marshak mostly focused on educational or informational content, such as recipes:

“So let’s say, again, you’re searching for some new ideas to make banana bread. And right now, you might see traditional recipes, you might see longer videos, but you could also see short videos, which could just give you a different style or perspective.

“And people’s preferences are different. Some people might prefer to read; some people might prefer a longer video; some people might prefer short videos.

“And so we want to offer a lot of different options to get that type of information, in the format that is most useful for you. So that’s one example.”

From what was said, it seems the ideas are still in their early stages but the episode makes it clear that Google is taking TikTok and its popular video format very seriously. You can expect to see much more of it in search results sooner, rather than later.

Listen to the full episode of the Search Off the Record podcast here.

YouTube is testing out a new feature that would improve synergy between brands and creators by automatically inserting visual links to businesses mentioned in videos. 

The feature, which is being called Places Mentions, was revealed during a recent video on the Creator Insider channel.

At the moment, the feature is limited to just Android and iOS devices using the YouTube app to watch content related to food or drinks.

The goal behind it is simply to streamline the process of finding out more about places mentioned in a video, such as in a review of a local eaterie. 

Before, creators had to manually add a text link if they wanted to direct people to the locations they mention in their videos. By automating this process, YouTube is making it easier for content creators to spread the word about your brand without having to establish a formal collaboration.

As the announcement says:

“This new feature, within the video description box, will give users an easy and engaging way to find out about places mentioned in a video.”

While the initial test is limited to food and drink videos, the company says it plans to expand the feature to more categories soon.

The announcement did not provide a specific date that we can expect to feature appear in search results, but it is safe to assume it will roll out for testing any day.

For more, check out the full Creator Insider video below:

YouTube announced it will no longer be showing the number of dislikes videos received after experimenting with the idea earlier this year.

Though the dislike button will still be available to help users customize their feed and recommendations, the company says that removing public dislike counts helps prevent group harassment like “dislike attacks”.

As YouTube explains in the announcement:

“As part of this experiment, viewers could still see and use the dislike button. But because the count was not visible to them, we found that they were less likely to target a video’s dislike button to drive up the count. In short, our experiment data showed a reduction in dislike attacking behavior.”

This will presumably help provide creators with a more accurate view of how their community is responding to videos without interference from non-viewers. This information will still be available to creators in YouTube Studio, along with their other channel analytics.

YouTube does say the test wasn’t popular with everyone, and they expect some negative response to this decision. Still, they believe this change will be best for the site as a whole.

“We heard during the experiment that some of you have used the public dislike count to help decide whether or not to watch a video. We know that you might not agree with this decision, but we believe that this is the right thing to do for the platform.”

The number of likes a video receives will still be publicly viewable for those who previously used dislikes to decide which videos to watch.

The company says this is just one of many steps it is planning to help ensure the platform is a positive space for discussion and creativity for everyone:

“We want to create an inclusive and respectful environment where creators have the opportunity to succeed and feel safe to express themselves. This is just one of many steps we are taking to continue to protect creators from harassment. Our work is not done, and we’ll continue to invest here.”

For more, you can watch the video explaining the decision below or read the full announcement here.

YouTube announced that it is introducing an entirely new feed to the front page of its mobile app to help users find videos and creators they’ve never seen before. 

As such, the “New to You” feed also aims to introduce creators and channels to wider audiences.

The announcement – in the latest Creator Insider video – says that users have been increasingly complaining that their video recommendations are getting boring. Not only do they tend to show the same type of content over and over, YouTube’s recommendations also have a bad habit of suggesting videos you’ve already watched. 

To address this, the video platform created a feed exclusively containing videos and channels from a wider range of sources – and excluding anything you’ve already seen.

Two Ways To Explore New To You

The new feed will be available on the homepage in two distinct ways.

The first way is called New to You on refresh and is reachable through a dedicated button at the top of the page, within the topic carousel. 

YouTube's New to You Feed on Refresh

When tapped, the page will refresh with content from the New to You feed. 

New to You on prompt is the second way to explore the feed.

YouTube's New To You feed on prompt

This triggers if you scroll far enough down the main feed without selecting anything to watch. 

After scrolling down far enough, a prompt will appear which suggests checking out the “New to You” feed.

How New To You Differs From The Explore Feed

At first glance, the New to You feed might seem very similar to YouTube’s existing Explore feed, though YouTube was quick to establish how they are different. 

The main distinction is that YouTube Explore helps users find trending content from a specific topic. However, the content is not necessarily personalized for users.

The New to You feed, in comparison, is entirely personalized based on your own viewing habits. 

This means the New to You section may be more likely to show channels and videos directly related to your interests, instead of videos which all fit under a broad topic like “video games” or “music”. 

It is unclear exactly when the new feed will be available to all users, but you can find out more about the New to You feed in the announcement video below:

TikTok announced this week that it is extending the maximum length of videos on its platform, tripling the limit from sixty seconds to three minutes.

The update began rolling out to users over the past few days. As users get access, they will be notified with a notification in the app, as shown below:

As the company says in the announcement:

“There’s so much that can happen in a TikTok minute, from crowdsourced musicals and sea shanty singalongs to feta pasta recipes, roller skating revivals, and more. Now we’re introducing the option for our global community to create longer videos – paving the way for even richer storytelling and entertainment on TikTok.”

Keeping with how videos have always been handled in the app, users can record, edit, and share their videos entirely within TikTok, or choose to upload pre-edited videos.

Is TikTok Challenging YouTube?

For the most part, videos on social media have tended towards short-form clips. From Vines to Snapchat Stories and YouTube Shorts, most platforms have prioritized keeping videos easily consumable while on the go. 

Until now, TikTok has worked within these limits to establish itself as the platform for bite-sized videos. 

This marks the app’s first foray into longer videos, which can demand more attention and focus from users.

The question is whether users will be willing to invest this energy in longer content, though the announcement is optimistic:

“With all the ways our community has redefined expression in under 60 seconds, we’re excited to see how people continue to entertain and inspire with a few more seconds – and a world of creative possibilities.”

Google’s take on the popular Story format hit a big milestone, as the company recently reported more than 100,000 new Google Web Stories are getting added to the search index every day. 

Combined, these daily new stories have helped accumulate more than 20 million Web Stories total since the launch of the content format. 

The report also notes that more than 6,500 new domains have published their first Web Story since October 2020, when Web Stories were launched for Android and iOS devices, as well as being added to Google Discover

This led to a significantly larger reach for Google Web Stories and a significant increase in interest from brands.

“Last October, we created a home for Web Stories in Google Discover so users could find a personalized stream of the best Web Stories from around the internet. The goal with Web Stories is to enable publishers and creators to easily build and take full ownership of their content.”

Unsurprisingly, putting the short video clips front-and-center on Google’s content discovery page has also helped millions of users check out and engage with Web Stories every day.

For those who are still skeptical about Google Web Stories, or those who just want to improve the stories they are putting out, Google compiled data from users to create five suggestions for creating the most engaging and exciting stories for your audience. 

Five Tips For Engaging Google Web Stories

  1. Lifestyle content, complete with inspirational imagery and messages, informative how-to info, or relevant product-partnerships drive the most engagement of any vertical.
  2. Thanks to a diverse array of visually engaging topics and videos, the Arts and Entertainment and Food and Drink verticals consistently get the most impressions.
  3. Users show a clear hunger for new Arts and Entertainment, Celebrity, and Sports/Gaming content. “With new TV, movie, and game releases rolling out all the time, these verticals offer opportunities for growth.”
  4. Though Google has seen successful Web Stories of all sizes, users are typically willing to click through an average of 11-15 pages before ditching a Web Story. 
  5. Users watch an average of 1.7 Stories for every Web Story opened on Google Discover. However, this can vary significantly across industries and demographics. 

For more information about Google Web Stories, check out the latest announcement in this blog post or explore Google’s playbook for creating the most engaging Web Stories here.

YouTube’s latest video format, called YouTube Shorts, is finally coming to the USA next month, after several months of testing internationally.

The short (15 seconds or less) vertical video format was first rolled out as a beta test in India back in September 2020. Though it may have taken a little bit to catch on, YouTube says that the number of channels using the video format has more than tripled since December.

Currently, the platform says YouTube Shorts are getting more than 3.5 billion daily views in India alone. 

Come March, US users will be able to see what all the buzz about as the format and associated video creation tools arrive in America.

What Are YouTube Shorts?

Unsurprisingly, many have compared YouTube Shorts to TikTok clips or the popular Stories format found on several other platforms. This is because YouTube Shorts share a number of features with the increasingly trendy format:

  • Users can create and upload short videos of 15 seconds or less.
  • Edit your videos with a range of creative tools.
  • Stitch several short clips together with a multi-segment editor.
  • Add licensed music to your videos through YouTube’s music library.
  • Speed up or slow down your video footage for dramatic effect.
  • Use timers and countdowns to plan your video shoots.

Additionally, the company says it is introducing a carousel on the YouTube homepage dedicated completely to Shorts.

YouTube Shorts Aim To Make Content Creation Easier For All

One of YouTube’s biggest goals with the new video format is to make the barrier to content creation and exposure on the platform lower for new creators:

“Every year, increasing numbers of people come to YouTube to launch their own channel. But we know there’s still a huge amount of people who find the bar for creation too high.

That’s why we’re working on Shorts, our new short-form video tool that lets creators and artists shoot snappy videos with nothing but their mobile phones.”

With YouTube Shorts users can immediately start creating their own content without the need for high-quality equipment or editing skills.

Even more enticing, YouTube says it is going to count Shorts views the same way as regular video views – creating a fast pathway for big metrics for new users. This will also make it easier for new users to reach the milestones needed to monetize content through the YouTube Partner Program.

More is sure to come in the next few weeks as YouTube seems poised to prioritize Shorts in big ways. 

In the next few weeks, the company is launching a dedicated biweekly Shorts Report to highlight all the latest updates and provide useful tips to users. Keep your eyes peeled as new info as the biweekly reports start arriving and YouTube Shorts finally come to the US.

YouTube’s Trending section is one of the most coveted areas for video creators to appear, as it introduces countless users to entirely new channels and topics every day. As it is one of the few areas on YouTube which isn’t influenced by users’ watch histories, opening the opportunity for people to find things they otherwise never would have watched. 

Perhaps most importantly, the list of videos is the same for users across an entire country, meaning a video creator could theoretically reach every American user if they manage to get into the YouTube Trending section. 

Of course, as the section content creators most aspire to be in, the Trending section has also developed its fair shares of myths and misunderstandings about how it works over the years.

From the idea you have to pay someone to get in, to the belief that there is an ideal time to publish your video, YouTube’s Creator Insider channel recently debunked some of the biggest myths surrounding the prized YouTube Trending section.

Myth 1: Preferential Treatment

Perhaps the oldest myth about the YouTube Trending section is that it’s all about who you know or who you pay. Unless you have connections at YouTube or you are willing to grease some palms, you won’t break into the VIP-esque Trending section. 

Now, this is obviously not true. There is no one you can pay or buddy up to in order to get into the Trending section. 

While YouTube’s algorithms are extremely complex and can be hard to decipher, it is clear there is a method to the madness. Specifically, YouTube considers these factors when selecting the latest Trending videos:

  • View count
  • How quickly the video is generating views
  • Where the views are coming from (including off YouTube)
  • The age of the video
  • How the video performing compared to recent uploads from the same channel

Additionally, videos have to be free of excessive profanity, violence, mature, or disparaging content to appear in the Trending section. 

Myth 2: You’ve Got To Be Well-Known

Due to its nature, there is a commonly held belief that the Trending section is dominated exclusively by famous comedians, talk-show hosts, and influencers with massive followings like Jake Paul or PewDiePie. 

Not only is that not how the Trending section works, it goes against the actual purpose of the list. 

While many recognizable faces regularly appear in YouTube Trending, the company actually works to guarantee at least half of the videos at any given time come from smaller creators. 

In addition to this, the YouTube Trending section also includes areas which specifically showcase a daily “creator on the rise” and “artist on the rise.”

Myth 3: There’s a Perfect Time To Publish

Since YouTube has never revealed the more minute details about the Trending section, many have developed theories about the ideal time and way to publish their video to boost their chances. 

This one falls under mostly false. The YouTube Trending feed updates every 15 minutes, so exactly when your video is uploaded does very little to directly influence your chances. 

However, it is very possible there is a best time to publish for your audience. This is something that can only be discovered through trial, error, and analysis, though, so I wouldn’t spend much energy listening to anyone who says you have to be publishing at a specific time to make it on the Trending list. 


To hear more about these myths and their explanations, check out the full video from YouTube’s Creator Insider channel below:

Since its introduction in 2018, YouTube Premieres has let channels hype up their upcoming videos with countdowns and reminders for subscribers. Now, the platform is revamping the tool with ‘Premieres 2.0’.

With four new features and expanded options available, YouTube says this is the biggest update to the tool since its creation.

How YouTube Premieres Works

The overall goal of YouTube Premieres is to turn the launch of your videos into a collective experience. Not only can you schedule your video ahead of time and share it to hype up your audience, Premieres also allows you to increase the interactivity with live chats or Q&A’s during your videos.

The only catch is that your channel must have at least 1,000 subscribers to take advantage of some more advanced Premieres features, though YouTube says it hopes to make the entire toolset widely available in the future.

New YouTube Premieres Features

Live Redirect

The new Live Redirect feature allows you to connect pre-recorded videos with live streaming events.

With this, you can hold pre-premiere chats or streams to build up excitement or bring a more personal feel to the event. 

Then, when it is time for your video to go live, users will automatically be directed to the new video.

An important caveat here is that Live Redirects can only be set up for videos and streams taking place on the same channel. So, video creators won’t be able to hold interviews or chats on a secondary channel and then automatically direct users to the new video on your channel.

Live Redirects will roll out to users later this month.

Trailers

Rather than having to upload an entirely separate video on your channel to build excitement for your upcoming premiere, YouTube will now let you share previews between 15 seconds and 3 minutes long.

The trailers for your upcoming videos will play for those who open a premiere watch page before the video goes live, giving more incentive to open a video early.

With the current system, you will still have to upload a public video on your channel to act as the trailer, but this new feature makes the Premiere page more effective and engaging. 

Without a trailer, your Premieres will simply show your video’s static thumbnail until the content becomes available.

Trailers for Premieres will be available to users this week.

More Countdown Themes

Although YouTube has provided an automatic countdown for immediately before your videos premiere, there has only been a single theme available. This made all premieres overly similar and many expressed frustration that the theme didn’t accurately reflect their content.

Now, you can select from a collection of 10 countdown themes with a variety of styles and moods.

These themes are aimed to cover everything from serious or educational videos to lighthearted or funny clips.

The new countdown themes will become available early next year.

 Schedule Your Premieres From Mobile

In the past, the only way to schedule a Premiere for your YouTube video was through the desktop platform. Now, for the first time, you will soon be able to schedule and manage your Premieres directly through the mobile app. 

For creators who manage their channels largely through the mobile app, this streamlines the process and makes holding a Premiere more convenient.

For more information, you can check out the video from YouTube below: