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YouTube has ramped up its efforts to remove harmful content over the last quarter, as a new report shows the company removing over 100,000 individual videos. 

That is nearly 5 times the number of videos removed in the first quarter of the year, reflecting a big shift in activity following a new hate speech policy introduced in June. 

Additionally, the company says it has removed over 17,000 channels and 500 million comments in Q2. 

Notably, YouTube says a large amount of the harmful content is flagged using machine learning technology to remove the content before it is ever seen by actual users. According to the company’s data, more than 87% of the videos removed in Q2 were first flagged by YouTube’s automatic systems. 

The report also mentions that an update to YouTube’s spam detection tools has driven a 50% increase in the number of channels removed for violating the platform’s spam guidelines. 

YouTube says the report is only the first in a four-part series which will cover the company’s guiding principles:

  • Remove content that violates policies
  • Raise up authoritative voices
  • Reward eligible creators
  • Reduce the spread of borderline content

As such, you can expect to see more details about how YouTube is working to curate the best platform possible in the near future.

A new survey sheds some light into the real reasons why consumers like, share, and follow brands on social media.

As Yes Marketing reports, their survey of 1,000 consumers reveals:

  • 63% of consumers follow retailers on social to learn about sales.
  • 60% follow retailers to keep up with new products.
  • 29% follow to show support for the retailer.
  • 23% follow because the retailer shares funny and interesting information.
  • 23% follow because the retailer has a positive reputation
  • 16% follow because they agree with the retailer’s stance on social and political issues.

When it comes to specifically why customers engage with content from retailers on social media, here’s what people had to say:

  • 36% engage with content because the retailer promises a discount for sharing the post.
  • 36% engage in order to share a product update or sale with their followers.
  • 35% engage because they agree personally with the content of the post.
  • 30% engage because the post is funny or interesting.
  • 29% engage in order to share positive feedback with the retailer.
  • 20% engage in order to share negative feedback with the retailer.

As for which demographics are active on which social networks, the respondents broke down as follows:

  • Gen Z consumers are more likely to have YouTube (77%) and Instagram (77%) accounts than a Facebook account (74%).
  • Millennials (89%) and Gen X (88%) are most likely to be on Facebook.
  • More Gen Z consumers (56%) are on Twitter compared to Millennials (50%) and Gen X (39%).
  • Snapchat is the least used social network among all respondents (30%), followed by Twitter (36%).
  • Only 11% of respondents are not on any of the major social networks.

Get the full report here to learn more.

Hashtag YouTube

Hashtags are coming to YouTube. The video platform has begun displaying hashtags on videos to help users search and discover other videos on similar topics.

The hashtags appear on any video that has been optimized with the tags in web browsers and the YouTube Android app. So far, the hashtags are not being shown in the iOS app.

Up to three hashtags can be shown in blue text above videos’ titles and can be clicked on to open a search containing related videos.

Hashtags can be used to conduct manual searches for any video containing that hashtag, even if it is just in the video description. Hashtags can also be included in video titles.

There are a few restrictions on how hashtags can be used on YouTube, most of which are common sense. YouTube’s policies explicitly prohibit using hashtags to promote harassment or hate speech, as well as to mislead people about content.

Additionally, the platform discourages users from over-tagging their videos, which would be defined as using 15 or more tags on a single video.

Breaking these rules could lead to a variety of punishments depending on how severe the infraction is or whether someone has committed a previous offense. These could include having your hashtags be ignored, videos being removed from search results, or a video being removed from YouTube altogether.

For now, using hashtags to search provides pretty limited search results. But, I expect that will change as creators begin to optimize their channels.

YouTube Live

YouTube is arguably the largest online video platform on the internet (though Facebook is providing some tough competition), so it is interesting that the platform has been one of the slowest to provide a widely available way to live stream.

That may be starting to change, however, as YouTube is significantly lowering the number of subscribers a user needs before being able to stream.

YouTube only introduced its public live streaming feature back in February, although it has partnered with large events to provide live streams for years. Even then, a user needed to have at least 10,000 subscribers before they were allowed to start streaming.

Over the past week, that threshold was quietly reduced to just 1,000 subscribers. Rather than announce the change, it was only discovered after a change to one of YouTube’s help pages.

The subscriber requirement is just one of a couple different stipulations required for streaming. Users must also have a verified channel and have not received any live stream restrictions in the past 90 days. Live stream restrictions are punishments placed against channels that have violated YouTube’s terms of services.

To start a live stream, follow these simple steps:

  • Tap the camera icon
  • Grant permissions allowing the YouTube app to access the Camera, Mic, and Storage.
  • Verify your account if you have not previously.
  • Tap GO LIVE.
  • Name your live video and set the privacy setting for your stream
  • Tap FINISH when you’re ready to end the stream

YouTubeAds

Finding the right length for video ads can be a tricky balancing act. Too short and you can’t get your message across. Too long and you annoy or lose your viewers’ interest. Apparently, 30-second ads fail this tightrope walk, as YouTube has officially announced it will be doing away with 30-second unskippable ads starting next year.

In place of these ads, Google says it will focus on more interactive or user-based advertising.

“We’re committed to providing a better ads experience for users online. As part of that, we’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers,” a YouTube spokesperson told AdWeek via email.

Of course, this doesn’t mean YouTube is ridding itself of all unskippable ads. The platform will still sell 15-second and 20-second ads that don’t give viewers the option to skip to their content. Additionally, viewers are likely to see an influx of six-second “bumper ads” instead of full-length ads that you can skip after five seconds.

Ultimately, 30-second unskippable ads lose too many viewers along the way. Some get distracted during the interval, while others entirely refuse to wait that long for their content. There is still plenty of time to make use of any ad campaigns you’ve been planning, but the decision to move away from this ad format underscores the ineffective nature of the format.

YouTube has been teasing its plans to expand its live streaming services for over eight months, and that plan is finally coming to fruition. The video platform says it is bringing mobile live streaming to its biggest content creators, with plans to share the feature with everyone soon.

YouTube is also releasing a new chat tool known as Super Chat to help creators monetize live streams.

Mobile Live Streaming

YouTube has built mobile live streaming directly into its mobile app, with a single catch. You must have at least 10,000 subscribers to use it. If you happen to already have a sizable following, launching a mobile live stream is as simple as opening the app and tapping the capture button.

The company plans to bring the tool to everyone in the coming months, but there is currently no firm estimate of when to expect it.

In the announcement, YouTube says streamed videos will have all the features you expect from normal YouTube videos. Streamed videos will be:

  • Searchable.
  • Discoverable via recommendations and playlists.
  • Protected from unauthorized use (using Content ID).

Super Chat

To accompany the release of mobile live streaming YouTube has also launched Super Chat, aimed at monetizing live content.

Super Chat essentially lets any viewer purchase a chat message that will be especially prominent in the chat feed and can be pinned to the top of the chat window for up to five hours. Super Chat messages will also be highlighted with a color and other viewers can see the amount paid.

CameoFlow

Super Chat is now live to creators with 10,000 subscribers across 20 countries and viewers in over 40 countries.

YouTube Ads

YouTube may be one of Google’s largest platforms, but it gets treated a bit like the black sheep when it comes to Google’s ad services. Targeting has been limited compared to typical AdWords options, and ad options have been built around desktop functionality first.

This is all starting to change, as Google says it is rolling out several updates aimed to make advertising on YouTube better on both mobile and desktop. The announcement also mentioned that over 50% of YouTube videos are now happening on mobile, which likely motivated the change in how they think about ads on the platform.

Target Advertising

Google is now allowing YouTube ads to utilize information associated with users’ Google accounts like their search history, demographic information, and whether the viewer has engaged with an advertiser in the past to better target who sees your ad.

More Focus on Mobile

In response to the increasingly mobile viewership of YouTube, Google is shifting away from a desktop-first mindset. To do this, they are moving from using cookies and pixels because they were not designed for targeting users on YouTube’s mobile, TV, and set-top box apps. The hope is to make tracking and ad functionality more accurate across all devices.

Better Control of What Ads You See

Not all of the new changes are limited to advertisers. Google is also introducing the option for users to device what ads they see on both Google and YouTube from one location. For example, if a user mutes a specific advertiser in Search, the advertiser will also be muted for the user when they watch videos on YouTube.

YouTube Mobile

The internet is becoming more mobile every day, and that goes for how we engage with videos every day. To help advertisers accommodate mobile video consumption, YouTube has announced a new ad format designed specifically to be quickly consumed in a matter of seconds.

With YouTube’s “little haikus of video ads”, which are officially called ‘Bumper Ads’, advertisers can run short, unskippable ads up to six seconds long that run before videos. While these are similar to YouTube’s skippable TrueView ads, Bumper ads are capped at six seconds and aimed at catching people’s short attention spans on mobile devices.

The new ad format will start rolling out to advertisers this month and can be purchased through the normal AdWords platform.

You can see two examples of Bumper ads below – one from Audi Germany and another for Atlantic Records advertising a new album from English band Rudimental.

“Bumper ads are ideal for driving incremental reach and frequency, especially on mobile, where ‘snackable videos’ perform well,” Zach Lupei, product manager of video ads at Google, said in a blog post. “In early tests, Bumpers drove strong lift in upper funnel metrics like recall, awareness and consideration—complementing TrueView’s strength in driving middle and lower funnel metrics like favorability and purchase intent.”

FBVidVsYouTube

The war between YouTube and Facebook for the most popular online platform for sharing and watching videos is heating up, and Facebook may win a major victory this weekend.

With the Super Bowl upon us, everyone is gearing up for one of the greatest competitions of the year – the fight for the most watched Super Bowl ad. But, more Super Bowl ads and teaser videos are being shared online ahead of the big game, and TV ad analytics company iSpot.tv says may be the new place for watching the biggest ads of the year online.

It is a close fight, with Facebook barely pulling ahead of YouTube, but it is a big win for the company either way. YouTube dominated online Super Bowl ads last year, but Facebook has pushed their video platform heavily over the year and seen massive increases in both views and shares.

Source: Marketing Land

Source: Marketing Land

According to iSpot.tv’s data counting video views through Tuesday, February 2, approximately 75 million super bowl ads videos have been viewed on Facebook, compared to 74.9 million on YouTube. As the published report on Marketing Land shows, the numbers are neck-and-neck. But, it is a huge change from last year where YouTube received 87.6 million to Facebook’s 45.5 million.

In most cases, an argument can be made to explain the discrepancy. Facebook counts video views when a user watches for just three seconds, but YouTube doesn’t count until “around” 30 seconds in. However, iSpot.tv says it uses a three-second standard for counting views on both platforms.

YouTube Logo

2015 is coming to a close, and Google has begun their end-of-the-year celebrations by highlighting the most popular videos of the year. The past year has been an especially big one for YouTube, which has been celebrating its 10th birthday all year long.

It has also been the first year that YouTube has seen true competition. Facebook’s video platform has given the service a run for its money, by giving videos a wider platform and more prominent place in news feeds.

Despite this challenge, YouTube continues to be one of the largest platforms in the world, and is still synonymous with internet video. The past year, the service has helped drive a dance craze that swept the nation, become the new home of Super Bowl ads, and helped promote equality with these videos:

Google’s Top Trending Videos of 2015

1. Silento- Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) #WatchMeDanceOn by Tianne King

2. Clash of Clans: Revenge (Official Super Bowl TV Commercial) by Clash of Clans

3. Crazy Plastic Ball PRANK!! by RomanAtwood

4. Love Has No Labels | Diversity & Inclusion | Ad Council by Ad Council

5. Lip Sync Battle with Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart and Jimmy Fallon by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvRypx1lbR4

6. Justin Bieber Carpool Karaoke by The Late Late Show with James Corden

7. 6ft Man in 6ft Giant Water Balloon – 4K – The Slow Mo Guys by The Slow Mo Guys

8. Golden boy Calum Scott hits the right note | Audition Week 1 | Britain’s Got Talent 2015 by Britain’s Got Talent

9. Dover Police DashCam Confessional (Shake it Off) by Dover Police

10. Mean Tweets – President Obama Edition by Jimmy Kimmel Live

To help reminisce about 2015, YouTube also gathered over 150 YouTube creators for the latest installation of YouTube’s annual Rewind video, showcasing everything from dance prodigies, TV personalities, and even an insane plastic ball fight.

YouTube is certain to be a huge part of all of our lives for the years to come and these videos show the wide variety of videos you can find across the site. If you have a video you want seen in 2016, especially business related videos, YouTube is the place to look.