Author Archives: YT Creators

U.K. General Election: Join the #PowerToDecide challenge

The U.K. General Election is being held on 8 June 2017. This is a great opportunity for young people, in particular, to have their voices heard and to shape the future of this country. We want them to take this opportunity to go out and vote!

So here is our question to our U.K. Creators: What are you doing to get the message out to vote? How about getting involved in the #PowerToDecide challenge!

Here’s how it works:

Not voting is the same as letting others decide for you what happens to the country.

We want you to get this point across to your fans by making a video where you leave an important decision in someone else’s hands. You can have a stranger choose your next video topic or some crazy outfit you wear for a day. Get creative!

End your video by talking about how giving up control like this made you feel. Encourage your fans not to give up their #PowerToDecide and to go out and vote on 8 June. You can also tag three other creators to take part in the challenge!

We’ll use highlights from these challenge videos to create a campaign video that millions of people across the U.K. will see. Want to have your video considered? Submit it to our agency partner at powertodecide@wearesocial.net by 9 a.m. 24 May!

Final note: To vote in the General Election on 8 June, make sure to register by 11:59 p.m. on 22 May!

The winners of the US and Canada YouTube NextUp class of 2017 are in!



A few weeks ago, we opened applications to our latest NextUp program at YouTube Space NY which features a new twist: exclusive workshops and skill-sharing sessions designed and led by NBCUniversal’s prestigious creative executives.

We’ve been thrilled by the applications so far - more channels entered the NextUp contest this year than ever before - and now, we’re excited to announce the winners who will be attending the camp in New York later this month:


These creators will join us for week-long creator camp during the week of May 22 where they will learn new camera, lighting, and sound techniques, and receive coaching from the YouTube Partnerships team on how to grow their audience. As part of this NextUp program, they will also be eligible to receive a voucher for production equipment.

Through our collaboration with NBCUniversal, we’re also giving our NextUp winners access to some cool new sessions. These creators will join NBCUniversal executives for an exclusive fireside chat on the comedy development process which will cover the journey from ideation to completion and every stage in between. They will also have the opportunity to get an inside peek at the creative pitch process, which will include helpful tips on how creators can make their content even more compelling for commercial opportunities.

If you’re in France, India or Japan and would like to join us over at an upcoming NextUp program, we’re currently accepting entries through Wednesday, May 17th. For more information, visit youtube.com/nextup and follow the action on Twitter with #YTNextUp.

Caitlin Morrissey, Senior Partner Manager, recently watched “How Far I’ll Go - Disney’s Moana - Live Performance by 4-year-old Claire Ryann” from a previous NextUp winner

An update on Restricted Mode

It’s been a few weeks since we posted about Restricted Mode so we wanted to give everyone an update on where things are. Restricted Mode is designed to be an optional feature that would help filter out more mature content from view, so that institutions like schools and libraries as well as people who prefer a more limited experience would feel comfortable offering access to YouTube. We want to clarify that Restricted Mode should not filter out content belonging to individuals or groups based on certain attributes like gender, gender identity, political viewpoints, race, religion or sexual orientation.

What we’re fixing
Back in March, we discovered our systems were not working as intended. After a thorough investigation, we’ve started making several improvements to Restricted Mode. On the engineering side, we fixed an issue that was incorrectly classifying videos for this feature, and now hundreds of thousands of additional videos of all types from entertainment to news -- including 300,000 featuring LGBTQ+ content -- are available in Restricted Mode.

We’re listening 
We’ve also spent time over the last few weeks talking with creators and third-party organizations to better understand their experiences and questions. One thing we heard loud and clear was people’s desire to report videos they believed were being inappropriately removed from Restricted Mode. Starting today, we’re providing a form to allow creators and viewers alike to give us feedback about this. We will use this input to help improve our automated system going forward.

More transparency about how Restricted Mode works 
We also heard that many people simply wanted to know what gets a video taken out of Restricted Mode. Here are some clearer guidelines creators should think about if they want their videos to appear in Restricted Mode:

Discussion and depiction of mature topics:

  • Drugs and alcohol: If you’re talking about drug use or abuse, or if you’re drinking alcohol in your videos, your videos will likely not be available in Restricted Mode. 
  • Sex: While educational, straightforward conversations about sexual education may be included in Restricted Mode, overly detailed conversations about sex or sexual activity will likely be removed. This is one of the more difficult topics to train our systems on, and context is key. If your music video features adult themes like sex [or drug use], that video will likely not make it into Restricted Mode. 
  • Violence: If your video includes graphic descriptions of violence, violent acts, natural disasters and tragedies, or even violence in the news, it will likely not appear in Restricted Mode. 
  • Mature subjects: Videos that cover specific details about events related to terrorism, war, crime, and political conflicts that resulted in death or serious injury life may not be available on Restricted Mode, even if no graphic imagery is shown. 
  • Profane and mature language: Inappropriate language including profanity like “F bombs” and “bulls#@t” will also likely result in your video not being available in Restricted Mode. 


Thanks to you, our community of fans and creators, we’ve made progress over the last few weeks. Though Restricted Mode will never be perfect, we hope to build on our progress so far to continue making our systems more accurate and the overall Restricted Mode experience better over time. 

Johanna Wright, VP of Product Management, YouTube

An update on Restricted Mode

It’s been a few weeks since we posted about Restricted Mode so we wanted to give everyone an update on where things are. Restricted Mode is designed to be an optional feature that helps filter out more mature content from view, so that institutions like schools and libraries as well as people who prefer a more limited experience would feel comfortable offering access to YouTube. We want to clarify that Restricted Mode should not filter out content belonging to individuals or groups based on certain attributes like gender, gender identity, political viewpoints, race, religion or sexual orientation.

What we’re fixing
Back in March, our community alerted us that our systems were not working as intended, in particular, that we were unintentionally filtering content from Restricted Mode that shouldn't have been. After a thorough investigation, we started making several improvements to Restricted Mode. On the engineering side, we fixed an issue that was incorrectly filtering videos for this feature, and now 12 million additional videos of all types -- including hundreds of thousands featuring LGBTQ+ content -- are available in Restricted Mode.

We’re listening
We also spent time over the last few weeks talking with creators and third-party organizations to better understand their experiences and questions. One thing we heard loud and clear was people’s desire to report videos they believed were being inappropriately excluded from Restricted Mode. Starting today, we’re providing a form to allow creators and viewers alike to give us feedback about this. We will use this input to help improve our automated system going forward.

More transparency about how Restricted Mode works
We also heard that many people simply wanted to know what gets a video taken out of Restricted Mode. Here are some clearer guidelines creators should think about if they want their videos to appear in Restricted Mode:

Discussion and depiction of mature topics:
  • Drugs and alcohol: If you’re talking about drug use or abuse, or if you’re drinking alcohol in your videos, your videos will likely not be available in Restricted Mode.
  • Sex: While some educational, straightforward conversations about sexual education may be included in Restricted Mode, overly detailed conversations about sex or sexual activity will likely be removed. This is one of the more difficult topics to train our systems on, and context is key. If your music video features adult themes like sex or drug use, that video will likely not make it into Restricted Mode.
  • Violence: If your video includes graphic descriptions of violence, violent acts, natural disasters and tragedies, or even violence in the news, it will likely not appear in Restricted Mode.
  • Mature subjects: Videos that cover specific details about events related to terrorism, war, crime, and political conflicts that resulted in death or serious injury may not be available on Restricted Mode, even if no graphic imagery is shown.
  • Profane and mature language: Inappropriate language including profanity like “F bombs” will also likely result in your video not being available in Restricted Mode.
Thanks to you, our community of fans and creators, we’ve made progress over the last few weeks. Though Restricted Mode will never be perfect, we hope to build on our progress so far to continue making our systems more accurate and the overall Restricted Mode experience better over time.

Johanna Wright, VP of Product Management, YouTube

Introducing Expanded YouTube Partner Program Safeguards to Protect Creators

For millions of creators, making videos on YouTube isn’t just a creative outlet, it’s a source of income. We set up the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) in 2007. Today, more creators are making a living on YouTube than ever before. However, with this growth we’ve started seeing cases of abuse where great, original content is re-uploaded by others who try to earn revenue from it. To help protect creator revenue, we recently made it easy for anyone to report an impersonating channel. To date, this change has helped us terminate hundreds of thousands of channels violating our policies. Now, we're taking another step to protect creators by updating the thresholds required to join the YouTube Partner Program.

Starting today, we will no longer serve ads on YPP videos until the channel reaches 10k lifetime views. This new threshold gives us enough information to determine the validity of a channel. It also allows us to confirm if a channel is following our community guidelines and advertiser policies. By keeping the threshold to 10k views, we also ensure that there will be minimal impact on our aspiring creators. And, of course, any revenue earned on channels with under 10k views up until today will not be impacted.

In a few weeks, we’ll also be adding a review process for new creators who apply to be in the YouTube Partner Program. After a creator hits 10k lifetime views on their channel, we’ll review their activity against our policies. If everything looks good, we’ll bring this channel into YPP and begin serving ads against their content. Together these new thresholds will help ensure revenue only flows to creators who are playing by the rules.

If you’re a new creator who’s just started building your channel, our YouTube Creator Academy has tips on making great original content and growing your audience to help you get to 10,000 views and beyond. Once you’ve applied for YPP, you can check your application status in the Channel tab in Creator Studio, under Monetization. We want creators of all sizes to find opportunity on YouTube, and we believe this new application process will help ensure creator revenue continues to grow and end up in the right hands.

Ariel Bardin, VP of Product Management

Hello world: How to translate your videos with your community

YouTube is home to over a billion users across the world. It’s where anyone can find a community, even beyond their geographic borders. YouTube creators and viewers speak nearly every language under the sun -- 76 languages to be exact. While that’s great for building global audiences, it means your content can sometimes get lost in translation. That’s why we built translation tools so you can easily connect with audiences who don’t speak your native tongue.

Since 2015 when we introduced community-contributed subtitles and other tools, we’ve been inspired by how creators and viewers across the globe have partnered to break language barriers. Today, we’re excited to announce that you can now use Community Contributions to translate your video’s titles and descriptions in addition to your captions. This means you’re only a few clicks away from having viewers translate your videos so more people around the world easily discover, understand, and ultimately fall in love with your content.

We wanted you to hear directly from creators who have rallied their communities to use these new translation tools. A great example is Alex Dainis. She’s a science vlogger who's passionate about spreading her love for biology and genealogy around the world.



“I turned on the Community Contributions tool after a subscriber asked me to so that he could translate my videos and share them with his friends,” Alex said. “Knowing that my community valued my content enough to want to share it, and to go the extra mile to do so, really meant a lot to me.” Alex’s videos have since been translated to Mandarin, French, Hebrew and more.

But who’s behind those translations? We also wanted to hear from passionate viewers who translate content for creators they love. To date, over 900K contributors have helped translate videos on YouTube. This includes people like Tee Ponsukcharoen, a Stanford student who spends an average of 10 hours a week translating content on YouTube. In the past year, he’s written translations for over 2,500 videos. “Translating content to me now is like washing my face, brushing my teeth, or working out. It's a part of my daily routine that I do without thinking much,” Tee said.

“There are three components that drive my motivation to translate videos: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Translating content on YouTube serves all three,” he said. “I can choose videos that I am interested to translate. I sharpen my English, Thai, and the subject of the video every time that I translated. Finally, I know that my translation will be beneficial to other people. Some Thai students who don't know English well can use my subtitles to learn better. Our work can be used as language educational examples.”

Alex and Tee may have never met in person but they’ve made the world feel like a smaller place. They helped create communities on YouTube that go beyond language barriers. If you’re a creator, try Community Contributions. It only takes a few seconds to activate. Not only is it is a great way to reach global audiences, but it’ll allow you to make your community feel more invested in the process. To help, we’ve also put together a special Creator Academy Boot Camp to provide more hands-on learning on how to use translation tools and grow your audience.

Aviad Rozenhek, Product Manager, recently watched Banana Sprite Challenge

Strengthening YouTube for advertisers and creators

At YouTube, we believe everyone should have a voice. Since our founding, free expression has been one of our core values, allowing creators to share their ideas with over a billion fans from around the world. We also believe that creators should have an opportunity to earn a living from their channels and we are proud that many do. For almost a decade, we’ve shared advertising revenue with our creators based on the success of their videos and that revenue has created a vibrant new economy, where anyone with a camera or a phone can turn their creativity into a career.

But there’s a difference between the free expression that lives on YouTube and the content that brands have told us they want to advertise against. Our advertiser-friendly content policies set the tone for which videos can earn revenue, ensuring that ads only appear where they should. To make sure we apply this process fairly, we also give creators the chance to appeal if they feel any of their videos have been unfairly demonetized. We take these steps because advertiser confidence is critical to the financial success of our creators.

After listening to strong feedback from our advertisers, today we announced a number of actions and we want to explain what these changes might mean for you, our YouTube creators:
  • Tougher stance on hate speech: Both creators and advertisers are concerned about hate speech and so are we. To protect the livelihoods of our creators and to strengthen advertiser confidence, we will be implementing broader demonetization policies around videos that are perceived to be hateful or inflammatory. This includes removing ads more effectively from content that is harassing or attacking people based on their race, religion, gender or similar categories.
  • Strengthening advertiser controls for video and display ads: In the coming weeks, we will add new advertiser controls that make it easier for brands to exclude higher risk content and fine-tune where they want their ads to appear.
  • Accelerating appeals: Today, any creator whose video is demonetized can launch an appeal to have their video reviewed. Moving forward, we plan to improve the process so that reviews can happen even faster.
  • Safeguarding creators in our YouTube Partner Program: Since we rolled out the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) ten years ago, it has enabled millions of creators to earn revenue and build a new generation of emerging media businesses. We want to protect our creators so we will be introducing new YPP safeguards to prevent abuse that hurts their earnings, like the impersonation of their channels.
  • Restating our commitment to diversity: Groups that have long been underrepresented in traditional media have used YouTube to reach new audiences, increasing empathy and tolerance while providing a lifeline of support to diverse communities. We stand by our diverse creators and communities and their right to express themselves. Recently, we’ve heard concerns that some LGBTQ content may be restricted from the small subset of users who have optionally chosen to enable YouTube’s Restricted Mode. Earlier today we posted a blog that further explains how this feature works and we’re committed to ensuring our systems don’t discriminate.
We want YouTube to remain a place where creators can express themselves while earning revenue, where fans can discover new voices, and where advertisers have a place to reach engaged audiences. To keep that incredible dynamic going, advertisers have to feel confident their ads are only appearing where they should. Although ad restrictions can feel limiting, they’re essential to protecting the livelihood of creators. While YouTube will always be home to videos that meet our community guidelines, today’s measures will help ensure the virtuous cycle between creators, fans and advertisers remains strong for years to come.

Posted by Ariel Bardin, VP Product Management

Restricted Mode: How it works and what we can do better


Over the last several months, and most definitely over the last few days from LGBTQ and other communities, we’ve gotten lots of questions around what Restricted Mode is and how it works. We understand that this has been confusing and upsetting, and many of you have raised concerns about Restricted Mode and your content being unfairly impacted. The bottom line is that this feature isn’t working the way it should. We’re sorry and we’re going to fix it.

We introduced Restricted Mode back in 2010 as an optional feature to help institutions like schools as well as people who wanted to better control the content they see on YouTube. We designed this feature to broadly restrict content across more mature topics, whether these are videos that contain profanity, those that depict images or descriptions of violence, or discussion of certain diseases like addictions and eating disorders. Today, about 1.5 percent of YouTube’s daily views come from people who have Restricted Mode turned on. But we know this isn’t about numbers; it’s about the principle of anyone having access to important content and different points of view. You can read more about how Restricted Mode works here.

Our system sometimes make mistakes in understanding context and nuances when it assesses which videos to make available in Restricted Mode. For instance, the following videos are examples of where we got it wrong: Ash Hardell’s “Her Vows,” Calum McSwiggan’s “Coming Out To Grandma,” Jono and Ben’s “Woman interrupted during BBC interview,” and Tegan and Sara’s “BWU [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO].”

While the system will never be 100 percent perfect, as we said up top, we must and will do a better job. Thanks to your feedback, we’ve manually reviewed the example videos mentioned above and made sure they’re now available in Restricted Mode -- we’ll also be using this input to better train our systems. It will take time to fully audit our technology and roll out new changes, so please bear with us. There’s nothing more important to us than being a platform where anyone can belong, have a voice and speak out when they believe something needs to be changed. We truly appreciate your help keeping the YouTube community active and engaged on topics that matter to creators and YouTube fans alike.

Posted by Johanna Wright, VP of Product Management, YouTube

Keep fans engaged with Cards & End Screens as we say goodbye to Annotations Editor


We’re committed to helping you reach more fans and keep them engaged. That’s why we built products like Cards and End Screens, which are mobile-friendly tools that let you poll your audience, link to merchandise, recommend videos, and more.

Based on your feedback, we’ve made Cards and End Screens even better over time. You told us you wanted Cards to link to videos within a playlist. So we made it happen. For End Screens, you asked for the ability to import End Screens from other videos and use smart elements. So we incorporated it. We’ll continue to listen to your inputs, as always.

As adoption of End Screens and Cards has grown, the use of annotations has decreased by over 70 percent. For this reason, the time has come to discontinue Annotations Editor. Effective starting May 2, you’ll no longer be able to add new or edit existing annotations, only delete them. Existing annotations will continue to show when using a desktop computer. We wanted to give you advanced notice so you can adjust. So why now?

  • End Screens and Cards work on mobile: Annotations Editor launched in 2008, before the world went mobile. With 60 percent of YouTube’s watchtime now on mobile, why go through the work of creating annotations that won’t even reach the majority of your audience? End Screens and Cards work on mobile and desktop, giving you more bang for your buck.
  • End Screens and Cards are more engaging for your viewers: End Screens and Cards generate seven times more clicks across YouTube than annotations. In fact, viewers generally don’t love annotations, and on average they close 12 annotations before they click on one of them. And more and more viewers turn off annotations altogether.
  • End Screens are easier to create: You told us that adding annotations at the end of your videos is hard. With End Screens that process is now much quicker and easier -- in fact, up to ten times quicker. You can now import End Screens from other videos or use dynamic overlays to save yourself even more time.

If you haven’t already, join the many creators who are using End Screens or Cards. As always, thank you for helping build a better YouTube.

Posted by Muli Salem, Product Manager, recently watched "Asian Safari Adventure."

Mobile Live Streaming + Super Chat = Live (Streaming) the Dream

This post originally appeared on the YouTube Official Blog

A huge focus for us here at YouTube is to find new ways to let creators and viewers interact with each other and the videos they watch. And that's why we’ve supported live streaming since, well, before Beyoncé even had a baby – way back in 2011! And in 2016, we witnessed the most-viewed political live streams of all time – the 2016 U.S. presidential debates – and we launched the world’s first 360-degree live streaming support with full 4K video, at scale and for free.

So what’s next? The roll out of our new mobile live streaming feature to every creator with more than 10,000 subscribers (the rest of you will have it soon!). It’s a launch that’ll put the power of live streaming in the hands of hundreds of thousands of talented creators, giving them a more intimate and spontaneous way to share their thoughts, lives, and creativity.



Mobile live streaming has been built directly into the YouTube mobile app. All you have to do to start streaming is open YouTube, hit the capture button, and you’re live! Streamed videos will have all the same features as regular YouTube videos. They can be searched for, found via recommendations or playlists, and protected from unauthorized use. Our mobile live streaming uses YouTube’s rock-solid infrastructure, meaning it’ll be fast and reliable, just the YouTube you know and love. And we’ve been working hand-in-hand with hundreds of creators to refine the mobile streaming experience while they stream from a boat or take live calls from their fans. Based on their feedback, we did things like slowing down live chat (it turns out receiving 2,000 messages per second is a little too fast!) and pushing for better streaming quality across devices.

Show me the money

To help creators earn revenue from live streaming, we’re also excited to launch Super Chat, a new live stream monetization tool available to creators in more than 20 countries (and viewers in more than 40 countries). Super Chat is like paying for that front-row seat in the digital age: it lets any fan watching a live stream stand out from the crowd and get a creator’s attention by purchasing chat messages that are highlighted in bright colors and stay pinned to the top of the chat window for up to five hours. Super Chat gives viewers a chance to add a little visual flair to their chats and gives creators a new way to keep connected to their fans while earning a little money on the side, let’s say for example, while shopping at Target or playing video games :)


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Stream you soon. :-)

Product Managers Barbara Macdonald, recently streamed a horror game, and Kurt Wilms, recently watched "Bored at Target."