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YouTube is previewing its latest upcoming features for users, creators, and brands in a new blog post shared by the company’s Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan.

While Mohan was light with actual details – likely because these features are still in development – the post teases new shopping features, ways to share content, and more coming to YouTube this year.

New Ways To Shop On YouTube

YouTube is preparing to double down on its shopping features with a dedicated section and a number of new partnerships and features. 

For example, Mohan says the team is currently working on making videos across the platform more shoppable through user-created tags in existing content. 

YouTube Shopping Preview

The company is also testing Live Shopping, which mixes the experience of the Home Shopping Network with a livestream hangout. For an idea of what to expect when this goes live, Mohan suggests looking to the weeklong Holiday Stream and Shop event hosted on the platform last November. 

Updates to YouTube Shorts

Unsurprisingly, Mohan says the company is planning to focus on expanding its popular Shorts format. Following the smash success of TikTok in 2021, social networks are rushing to establish their own versions of the short-video format. 

YouTube is working to improve its own take on the format with new effects, improved editing tools, better viewer engagement features, and even monetization options. The monetization features mentioned range from implementing BrandConnect with Shorts, expanding the Super Chat feature so users can stand out on live chats, and adding the ability to shop products directly from a Short.

Other Updates

Mohan also hinted at a number of other features and improvements coming to YouTube this year. 

For creators, the blog post says that new insights are coming which will help not only understand your current videos’ performance on the platform but also help “generate concrete content ideas for upcoming videos.”

Channels will soon also be able to establish their own guidelines for community interaction, letting creators set the tone for the conversations occurring on their channel.

Meanwhile, brands may be excited to try out Collaborate Livestreaming, which allows multiple creators or partners to go live together – rather than hosting independent streams on their own channels. 

More To Come

The blog post is just a taste of the many features and updates YouTube is working on and anything previewed by Neal Mohan today could change significantly before they reach the public.

Still, these features give a clear idea of the company’s priorities for the upcoming year, including how it plans to address the continued growth of TikTok.  

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 recently revealed new ways to see what search queries are leading viewers to videos, including both videos on your own channel and across the wider YouTube audience through an experimental new feature called Search Insights.

Additionally, Search Insights can help creators identify content gaps where users aren’t finding content ideal for their searches, to plan your future content around.

What Is YouTube Search Insights?

As detailed on the YouTube Creator’s Insider channel last week, YouTube Search Insights allows users to explore search data across the platform from the past 28 days, provided there is enough data.

The feature is split across two tabs. The first tab focuses on your channel and how users find your content, while the second shows keyword data from thousands of topics on the platform.

Along with the expected query data, such as search volume and high volume search topics, YouTube is also experimenting with identifying “content gaps”. This is when a viewer can’t find the content they were looking for with a query.

Do You Have Access?

As an ongoing test, YouTube has not opened these new features to all users. 

To see if you have access to Search Insights, first, log into YouTube Studio and select “Analytics” from the menu on the left.

Within the Analytics tab, look for a section called “Research”. If you have access to Search Insights, you will then see three tabs: “Your viewers’ searches”, “searchers across YouTube”, and “saved searches.”

While the new feature is in its early stages, YouTube says it will have more information in the future when it expands access to more users or you can watch the full announcement 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 is launching a series of new features which aim to make community posts more engaging and give creators data on how their community posts are performing.

Since their creation in 2019, creators have had very little information on how many people are seeing their posts, instead having to rely entirely on likes, dislikes, and comments directly on the posts. 

Along with finally providing analytics data on these posts, YouTube is adding the ability to include more images in community posts, as well as letting iOS users schedule their posts ahead of time. 

Let’s explore all these new updates in more depth:

YouTube Community Posts Get Analytics Data

Creators can finally see data on their community posts directly in YouTube Analytics, after years of waiting. 

Specifically, the analytics suite will start showing information on how many times your posts have been shown and how the content is performing without having to look at individual posts. 

For the moment, these metrics are exclusive to the desktop version of YouTube Analytics, though the company says it will be bringing them to its Studio Mobile app at some point in the future. 

As the video announcing the features explained, the company wants to help creators who have been asking for community post analytics better understand their content’s performance and use this information to help create more engaging posts in the future. 

Add Multiple Images To YouTube Community Posts

Since their launch, YouTube community posts have limited creators to just a single banner image which was used as a thumbnail for each post. Thankfully, that is starting to change.

Creators can now add up to 5 pictures per each community post, allowing you to express yourself more, better engage readers, and create an experience more in-line with other social platforms. 

For example, you can use a post to tease an upcoming project with preview images, show the process behind your videos, or even showcase your experiences interacting with fans or clients directly in your content. 

At launch, this ability will only be available to users on Android devices. Support for iOS and desktop should arrive later this year. 

Schedule Community Posts on iOS

The last update is short and simple, but it has been something Apple device users have been begging for. Creators can now schedule their community posts ahead of time from iOS versions of the YouTube app. 

This feature has been available on desktop and Android for some time, so this means post scheduling is now available to everyone with the ability to create community posts. 

How To Create YouTube Community Posts

If you’re unfamiliar, community posts are a type of social content found in a channel’s “Community” tab which creators can share between or alongside proper video uploads. 

These posts can contain images, videos, text, playlists, GIFs, and even polls – making them a great way to directly connect with your audience. 

The only requirement to be able to create community posts is having 1,000 subscribers on your channel. Once you have hit that benchmark, the process to create a post is simple:

  • Sign in to YouTube
  • Click the “Create” button
  • Click “Create Post”

Though community posts might not be the most visible content on YouTube, they allow a way to directly communicate with your community without having to stream or record a full video on your channel. Additionally, this is where many turn for information about when to expect videos, what you’re cooking up, and find out exactly what your viewers are most interested in.

That makes these new features – all of which are available now to those eligible to share community posts – a valuable tool to build a robust community around your content. 

For more, check out the creator Insider video below:

YouTube is the most popular social network among American adults according to a large new study from Pew Research Center.

The new report includes findings on social media use among adults from a nationally representative phone survey conducted earlier this year.

Overall, the results showed that social media usage has largely remained stagnant over the past few years, with just two notable exceptions.

“YouTube and Reddit were the only two platforms measured that saw statistically significant growth since 2019,” the reports stated.

Out of all platforms, YouTube had the highest usage with 81% of adults who used any kind of social media saying they used the video streaming service. 

Facebook unsurprisingly came not far behind, with 69% saying they use the platform. In third place was Instagram with 40% of respondents saying they use the social network. 

You can see the full list of social networks and the percent of US adults who use them below:

  • YouTube (81%)
  • Facebook (69%)
  • Instagram (40%)
  • Pinterest (31%)
  • LinkedIn (28%)
  • Snapchat (25%)
  • Twitter (23%)
  • WhatsApp (23%)
  • TikTok (21%)
  • Reddit (18%)
  • Nextdoor (13%)

As the report concludes:

“YouTube is the most commonly used online platform asked about in this survey, and there’s evidence that its reach is growing. Fully 81% of Americans say they ever use the video-sharing site, up from 73% in 2019. Reddit was the only other platform polled about that experienced statistically significant growth during this time period – increasing from 11% in 2019 to 18% today.”

Beyond these broad findings, the report also includes demographic breakdowns for each platform and other findings, which you can see below:

YouTube Usage Statistics

  • 95% of US adults ages 18 to 29 say they use YouTube
  • 91% of US adults ages 30 to 49 say they use YouTube
  • 49% of US adults ages 65 and older say they use YouTube
  • 54% of YouTube users say they visit the site daily
  • 36% of YouTube users say they visit the site several times a day

Facebook Usage Statistics

  • 70% of US adults ages 18 to 29 say they use Facebook
  • 77% of US adults ages 30 to 49 say they use Facebook
  • 73% of US adults ages 50 to 64 say they use Facebook
  • 50% of US adults ages 65 and older say they use Facebook
  • 70% of Facebook users say they visit the site daily
  • 49% of Facebook users say they visit the site several times a day

Instagram Usage Statistics

  • 71% of US adults ages 19 to 29 say they use Instagram
  • 52% of Hispanic Americans say they use Instagram
  • 49% of Black Americans say they use Instagram
  • 35% of White Americans say they use Instagram
  • 59% of all Instagram users say they visit the site daily
  • 73% of 18- to 29-year-old Instagram users say they visit the site every day
  • 53% of 18- to 29-year-old Instagram users say they visit the site several times a day

Other Usage Statistics

  • 46% of Twitter users say they visit the site every day
  • 65% of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use Snapchat
  • 2% of adults ages 65 and older say they use Snapchat
  • 50% of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use TikTok
  • Those with higher levels of education are more likely to use LinkedIn than those with lower levels of education
  • 51% of US adults with a bachelor’s or advanced degree say they use LinkedIn
  • 28% of US adults with only some college experience say they use LinkedIn
  • 10% of US adults with a high school diploma or less say they used LinkedIn
  • 46% of women use Pinterest, compared to 16% of men
  • Adults living in urban (17%) or suburban (14%) areas are more likely to say they use Nextdoor
  • 2% of rural Americans say they use Next-door

To view the full report, click 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.

For the longest time, the conventional wisdom has held that Facebook is where people spend the majority of their screen time while using apps. According to a new report from App Annie, however, that has shifted over the past year.

For the first time ever, TikTok has taken the lead as the social app with the longest time spent per user.

Year-over-year, TikTok has leapt 325% in time spent, officially knocking Facebook out of the top spot.

Notably, this does not necessarily mean people are spending less time on Facebook. In fact, nearly every app in every market included in the report has seen increases in the time spent on their platform – likely due to the Coronavirus and social distancing measures.

Still, TikTok’s growth over the past year far outpaced any other platform, allowing it to take the lead compared to any other social app.

With this in mind, it is not a surprise to see that TikTok also took the top spot as the #1 breakout app of 2020 based on monthly active user growth.

Another key finding is that TikTok has risen to the #2 non-gaming apps when it comes to consumer spending. In addition to the traditional advertising services TikTok offers, it brings in additional revenue with purchasable digital goods. Surprisingly, this appears to have been a hit with users, contributing to a swell of revenue.

While this may be one of the most important takeaways from the report for brands trying to keep up with shifting audiences, the report also includes a few other interesting findings:

Mobile Adoption Leaps Forward

Based on App Annie’s data, mobile adoption has leapt forward by 2-3 years over the past year. Nearly every metric related to mobile use spiked.

This includes a 7% year-over-year increase in mobile app downloads, an 8%, which translates to 218 billion app downloads. 

This year also marks the first time Americans have spent more time on their mobile devices than they have spent watching TV. People spent 8% more time on their mobile devices compared to TVs (4 hours a day on mobile vs 3.7 hours watching TV).

People Watch 4x More YouTube Than Netflix

Based on app usage, YouTube is the unquestioned leader in video streaming. The app received more than 4x the time spent on the app per user compared to any other platform. Even Netflix was miles behind Google’s video platform.

Every month, the average user watches 23 hours of content on YouTube, compared to just 5.7 hours of Netflix shows or movies. This makes it clear that YouTube is the platform to focus on if you want to get video content in front of your target audience, whether it takes the form of advertisements or regular content.

YouTube announced a pretty big change to how it manages ads for longer videos across the platform. Effective immediately, the video streaming platform is turning post-roll ads on by default for all monetized videos that run over 10 minutes long.

This means any video over that length will automatically include these ads, unless you explicitly opt-out. 

The news came as part of the first news update of 2021 from YouTube’s Creator Insider channel. 

In the video, a YouTube representative tells creators:

“For monetizing creators, any videos over 10 minutes in length will automatically have post-roll ads turned on by default.”

What Are Post-Roll Ads?

When it comes to online videos and video advertising, there are essentially three different types of ads: pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll. 

Pre-roll ads run before your video ever starts. Mid-roll ads interrupt your content, similar to TV commercials appearing in the middle of your favorite show. Post-roll ads run after your video has completed. 

The obvious benefit to post-roll ads is that they are the least intrusive to the viewing experience. The viewer loses nothing by moving on to a different video.

Importantly, for any type of ad to be shown on your videos, you must have applied for and been accepted to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). 

How This Might Affect You

With this change, all types of ads are now turned on by default. That means viewers will be shown ads before, during, and after your video.

Even if it is a 20-minute long video or longer, that can add up to be a whole lot of advertising for online audiences. 

This can cause burnout or frustration, potentially pushing viewers away from your channel over time. 

On their own, there is nothing inherently wrong with including post-roll ads on your videos. They may even become the preferred ad placement for many content creators. 

However, this change makes it more important than ever to strategically manage where ads will appear on your videos and take more active control of your advertising settings. 

If you’d like to find out more about post-roll ads or YouTube’s new ad policy, check out the Creator Insider video below:

YouTube is giving video publishers new insights into where their views are coming from with a new report in YouTube Analytics. 

As explained in the latest update on the Creator Insider channel, YouTube’s team says the new report will make it easier to see where people are finding your videos along with what is overperforming and underperforming. 

The new data is directly viewable in the Overview area of the Analytics tab in YouTube Studio. 

In the section called “How viewers found this video”, you’ll find details on the percentage of views generated by each traffic source along with the overall number of viewers from each source. 

Currently, the sources in the report include: 

  • Notifications
  • Subscriptions feed
  • YouTube recommendations
    • YouTube Home
    • Up next
  • Channel pages

There is also a category labeled “Other” which would include any other traffic sources like links sent between friends or random placements. 

Along with the raw data on traffic sources, the report includes a green arrow, grey arrow, or dash next to each source. This reflects how the traffic source is performing compared to other videos on your channel. 

A green upward pointing arrow indicates the traffic source is performing better than usual. A sash or no indicator would suggest either the traffic source is performing about the same as usual, or the system does not have enough data to estimate the relative performance of that source. 

Lastly, a grey downward arrow says that source is underperforming. 

While it is perfectly normal for the traffic sources for each video to vary based on a number of factors, consistently low numbers from a source may show you need to invest efforts to improve in that area. 

For example, you might find that subscribers are not returning to your latest videos – suggesting your latest topics are not as relevant to their interests. 

Also mentioned – New Free YouTube Audio Library

In the same video, the Creator Insider channel revealed that YouTube is providing creators with a free collection of thousands of songs and sound effects to use in your videos. 

This should make it immeasurably simpler for video creators to find copyright-free music and ensure your video will not be penalized or removed for licensing issues. 

Most importantly for those driving revenue through YouTube, you can still monetize videos when using the licensed audio from the YouTube audio library.