Category Archives: YouTube Blogs

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#ProudToBe standing with LGBTQ+ and Creators for Change

Happy Pride everyone! The LGBTQ+ community has been a vital part of YouTube for a long time, and as our CEO, Susan Wojcicki, stated last week, we want to continue supporting creators around the world who are championing the right to be themselves, love who they love, and share that experience proudly with people all across the globe.

We see firsthand how creators can be tremendous forces for good and for change. That’s why we want to shine a light on the inspirational LGBTQ+ community on YouTube who do this every day by highlighting some of their voices through our Creators for Change program. Today, YouTube Creators for Change is proud to launch #ProudToBe, our fifth annual Pride campaign.

The videos from this community are as varied and exceptional as the group of people making them: they’re encouraging, challenging, honest, fiery, tender, celebratory, funny, and totally badass. Thanks to these voices, people around the world can turn to YouTube to find a connection when they need it -- especially if they live in a place where they don’t have the freedom to be themselves.


With that in mind, this year we hope people around the world will join us in celebrating these all-important everyday acts of bravery and courage – some public, some personal – that make the world better for LGBTQ+ people. If you want to be a part of our #ProudToBe campaign, simply share a video or post about the first time you decided to express yourself in a way that felt truly authentic, despite what anyone said or thought.

Whatever it was, we’re here to help share your story. Because this year we’re celebrating those moments (big and small) that unlock the Pride you feel, inspire Pride in others, and show the world what makes you #ProudToBe.

Marly Ellis, Head of YouTube Brand, recently watched “A Matter of Life or Death: LGBTQ+ Refugees | Chosen Family | Part 5.”

Source: YouTube Blog


Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube Announce Formation of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism

Today, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube are announcing the formation of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, which will help us continue to make our hosted consumer services hostile to terrorists and violent extremists.

The spread of terrorism and violent extremism is a pressing global problem and a critical challenge for us all. We take these issues very seriously, and each of our companies have developed policies and removal practices that enable us to take a hard line against terrorist or violent extremist content on our hosted consumer services. We believe that by working together, sharing the best technological and operational elements of our individual efforts, we can have a greater impact on the threat of terrorist content online.

The new forum builds on initiatives including the EU Internet Forum and the Shared Industry Hash Database; discussions with the U.K. and other governments; and the conclusions of the recent G7 and European Council meetings.  It will formalize and structure existing and future areas of collaboration between our companies and foster cooperation with smaller tech companies, civil society groups and academics, governments and supra-national bodies such as the EU and the U.N.


The scope of our work will evolve over time as we will need to be responsive to the ever-evolving terrorist and extremist tactics. Initially, however, our work will focus on:  


  1. Technological solutions: Our companies will work together to refine and improve existing joint technical work, such as the Shared Industry Hash Database; exchange best practices as we develop and implement new content detection and classification techniques using machine learning; and define standard transparency reporting methods for terrorist content removals.
  2. Research: We will commission research to inform our counter-speech efforts and guide future technical and policy decisions around the removal of terrorist content.
  3. Knowledge-sharing: We will work with counter-terrorism experts including governments, civil society groups, academics and other companies to engage in shared learning about terrorism. And through a joint partnership with the U.N. Security Council Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (U.N. CTED) and the ICT4Peace Initiative, we are establishing a broad knowledge-sharing network to:
    1. Engage with smaller companies: We will help them develop the technology and processes necessary to tackle terrorist and extremist content online.
    2. Develop best practices: We already partner with organizations such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Anti-Defamation League and Global Network Initiative to identify how best to counter extremism and online hate, while respecting freedom of expression and privacy. We can socialize these best practices, and develop additional shared learnings on topics such as community guideline development, and policy enforcement.
    3. Counterspeech: Each of us already has robust counterspeech initiatives in place (e.g., YouTube’s Creators for Change, Jigsaw’s Redirect Method, Facebook’s P2P and OCCI, Microsoft’s partnership with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue for counter-narratives on Bing, Twitter’s global NGO training program). The forum we have established allows us to learn from and contribute to one another’s counterspeech efforts, and discuss how to further empower and train civil society organizations and individuals who may be engaged in similar work and support ongoing efforts such as the Civil society empowerment project (CSEP).

We will be hosting a series of learning workshops in partnership with U.N. CTED/ICT4Peace in Silicon Valley and around the world to drive these areas of collaboration.

Further information on all of the above initiatives will be shared in due course.

Source: YouTube Blog


From creation to community: creator updates from VidCon 2017

With creators flying in from all over the world to meet one another, celebrate what they’ve accomplished, and get in some quality time with their fans, VidCon is one of our favorite events of the year. Aside from being just plain fun, it gives us a chance to show you what we’ve been working on at YouTube. In fact, just today we presented a bunch of new ways we’re hoping to support creators’ growth on the platform and now we want to tell you too.

Sneak peek at YouTube Studio Beta

Many of you use YouTube Creator Studio on desktop to help manage your channel. And while the current site has some useful tools (that won’t be going anywhere), we’ve decided it’s time to rebuild Creator Studio from the ground up. The new experience will be called YouTube Studio (easier, right?). It’s gonna be awesome, and we hope you’ll help us make it even awesome-r by joining our beta.

The overall plan with YouTube Studio is to let you do more in less time. The design will be refined (like… a lot), and we’ll add a number of new features that creators have already been asking for. A smart inbox that houses personalized suggestions for engaging with fans, collaborating with creators, and more is only one of a series of features we’re working on. And we’re going to need your help to make them better!

If you’re interested in being one of the first people to try out the beta, you can sign up here. The fact is, no one knows YouTube better than creators, so we want you to be the ones to tell us what’s working, what’s not quite working, or what you think is missing.


More love for comments

The relationship creators develop with their community is what makes YouTube unique. And since comments are such an important way for you to connect with your fans, we’re working hard to make them better – and your feedback’s already been a huge help.

First up, a few months ago we introduced a new feature called creator hearts. With just one click, you can now heart a favorite comment and show some love to the person who wrote it. You can also pin comments you like to the top of your feed to be sure that all your fans can see them. And we’ve seen that viewers love this kind of personal attention--they open these notifications at a rate that’s 3x higher than regular ones. We’ve also made it easier to manage the tone of the conversations on your channel thanks to a series of tools that let you delegate moderation to trusted members of your community, as well as a beta feature that automatically holds potentially inappropriate comments for your review.

Finally, we’re working on a new approach to comments that can help your fans get even more out of your channel. We call them comment topics, and they give viewers a way to browse comments according to (you guessed it) the topics being discussed. It's a great way to automatically highlight what's unique and interesting about the conversations on your channel. It’s also totally optional, so if you don’t feel like having comment topics, don’t worry, you can disable them or delete individual topics.


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And now… making money

Over the last few months we’ve been really happy to hear that creators are using (and liking!) our new monetization tool called Super Chat. Designed to let you interact directly with your fans even more, Super Chat also represents a totally new way to make money on YouTube. Here’s how it works: during live streams, fans can purchase highlighted chat messages that stand out from the crowd. And over 65% of channels that use Super Chat have more than doubled their income during live streams. Super Chat’s already available for creators in 21 countries and today we’re adding 17 new countries to that list!

As you can tell, there’s a lot going on in the world of creator product updates – and a lot of it is thanks to you! We promise to keep working hard, and we hope you’ll keep helping us make YouTube the best place for you to share your voice, see the world, and connect with the communities that matter to you.

Posted by Manuel Bronstein, Vice-President of Product Management

Updates from VidCon: more users, more products, more shows and much more

I just got off stage after a great conversation with Rhett and Link at VidCon, where we announced a number of exciting new updates. We spoke about VR, YouTube TV, new original series and a number of improvements to the core YouTube experience. Let’s talk about that!
  • An update on our viewers: A question I get all the time is “How many people actually watch YouTube?” Today, I’m pleased to announce that we crossed a big threshold: 1.5 billion logged in viewers visit YouTube every single month. That’s the equivalent of one in every five people around the world! And how much do those people watch? On average, our viewers spend over an hour a day watching YouTube on mobile devices alone.
  • Making VR for everyone: I also spoke about how we want to make VR more accessible and more affordable for viewers and creators. The reality is, filming 360-degree VR videos isn’t easy for most creators and some VR cameras are expensive. That’s why I’m thrilled that YouTube and Daydream have worked together on a new format, VR180, and new cameras, which make it easy and affordable for anyone to make VR videos. This format delivers 3-D video while capturing 180-degrees around you. Creators only have to worry about recording what’s in front of them while viewers get an awesome, immersive experience with a VR headset, or a video that looks just as great on a phone as any other video. Best of all, we’re working with camera manufacturers like LG, Yi and Lenovo to build new VR180 cameras for as little as a couple hundred dollars—comparable to what you’d pay for a point-and-shoot.

  • A new look for our app and desktop site: We want to make sure YouTube gives you the best experience when it comes to creating and watching videos. Perhaps our most important job is to show off your videos in the best possible way, no matter what format you choose to shoot them in. Who cares if they’re vertical or horizontal? Shot on a mobile phone or DSLR? Square, 4:3 or 16:9?
    In the coming weeks, the YouTube mobile app will dynamically adapt to whatever size you choose to watch it in. That means if you’re watching a vertical, square or horizontal video, the YouTube player will seamlessly adapt itself, filling the screen exactly the way they should.
    We want things to look just as good on your desktop, too. Last month, we opened up a preview of a new desktop experience. The new design is clean and fresh, and it has new features, such as a super cool Dark Theme that gives videos more of a cinematic look.
flexy-demo-fullres.gif
  • Sharing is caring: We’re making it a whole lot easier for you to share your favorite YouTube videos with friends. Last year, we announced a new sharing feature that lets you share videos right from the YouTube app. In a couple weeks, it’ll be available in Latin America and then throughout the U.S. soon after that.


  • More markets for YouTube TV: We are really excited about YouTube TV and pleased that it will be expanding to ten more markets in just a couple of weeks, including: Dallas-Fort Worth, Washington, D.C., Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne and Charlotte. YouTube TV was built for the YouTube generation that loves live TV but wants it delivered in a way that suits their mobile and flexible lifestyles. In fact, we see more Millennials using YouTube TV than any other generational group. Now - with this expansion - millions more people will be able to stream their favorite live sports and must-see shows from top broadcast and cable networks. Sign up to find out when we launch in your market.
  • New slate of YouTube Red Originals: To date, we've launched 37 original series and movies on YouTube Red, and they've generated nearly a quarter billion views. We are excited about working with our partners to help them create incredible content that delights their fans. Today, we shared details on 12 new projects coming to YouTube Red—here's the preview: Watch the latest shows from YouTube's biggest stars
I always have an incredible time at VidCon and this year is no different. I met amazing fans and inspirational creators and I experienced, first-hand, the wonderful sense of community and belonging between them. I hope some of these features and announcements will make their YouTube experience—and yours—better than ever.

Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube recently watched Good Mythical Morning — What’s All Over My Body (CHALLENGE)

Source: YouTube Blog


The world as you see it with VR180

Virtual reality helps creators bring their audiences to new, amazing, and even impossible-to-visit places. As a viewer, you get a whole new angle on shows, sports, and concerts you care about. You can walk around the Eiffel Tower, dive to the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef, or get a new perspective by meeting people face-to-face in a way that isn’t possible with a flat view of the world.

We know that virtual reality videos can be really powerful, which is why we invested in supporting 360 and VR formats for over two years. And today, VR video is the most popular way to experience VR. But, we’ve heard from creators and viewers that you want to make and see even more immersive videos on YouTube. So, we’ve been working with Google's Daydream team on a brand new video format, called VR180, that we believe will make VR content even easier to create.

VR180 video focuses on what’s in front of you, are high resolution, and look great on desktop and on mobile. They transition seamlessly to a VR experience when viewed with Cardboard, Daydream, and PSVR, which allow you to view the images stereoscopically in 3-D, where near things look near, and far things appear far. VR180 also supports livestreaming videos so creators and fans can be together in real time.



For creators, you’ll be able to set up and film your videos the way you normally would with any other camera. And, soon, you'll be able to edit using familiar tools like Adobe Premiere Pro. From vlogs, to makeup tutorials to music videos - your videos will work great in VR.

But supporting the format is just the beginning. We want to make cameras that are easy to work with too. The Daydream team is working with several manufacturers to build cameras from the ground up for VR180. These cameras are not only great for creators looking to easily make VR content, but also anyone who wants to capture life’s highlights in VR. They will be as easy to use as point-and-shoot cameras, for around the same price. Videos and livestreams will be easy to upload to YouTube. Cameras from YI, Lenovo, and LG are on the way, and the first ones will hit shelves this winter. For other manufacturers, we’re opening up a VR180 certification program and Z CAM will be one of our first partners. Learn more and sign up for updates at vr.google.com/vr180. If you can’t wait to try these out, eligible creators can apply to loan a VR180-enabled camera from one of our YouTube Spaces around the globe.

VR180 will unlock opportunities for anyone looking to easily make VR memories. We're just starting to scratch the surface of what is possible and look forward to seeing your new videos!

Frank Rodriguez, Product Manager, recently watched "What's Inside Marshmello Helmet?"

Source: YouTube Blog


#MoreThanARefugee

At YouTube, our mission is to give everyone a voice and show them the world -- particularly those who are underrepresented and whose voices and experiences are not always heard.

That’s why for World Refugee Day, YouTube Creators for Change – a global initiative supporting creators who tackle social issues and promote awareness, tolerance and empathy – has teamed up with the International Rescue Committee to create a new video series highlighting refugee voices from around the world. The IRC, which provides vital on-the-ground support to refugees in more than 40 countries and 28 U.S. cities, helped seven YouTube creators meet refugees in five different countries to help shine a light on their stories and to collaborate with them on videos depicting their unique experiences.

Over the past few weeks, Mama Bee from Eh Bee Family, Tyler Oakley, Jouelzy, Fly with Haifa, Francis Maxwell of The Young Turks, Suli Breaks, and Greg and Mitch from AsapSCIENCE traveled to Jordan, Serbia, Uganda, Greece and to cities in the U.S. to meet scientists, artists, mothers, and students who also happen to be refugees.

The stories they share go beyond the crisis coverage you see on the news and offer a look at the people behind the label--beautiful, courageous and fascinating people, each of whom is #MoreThanARefugee.



Each creator found they had much in common with the remarkable people they got to spend time with: Don and Suli are both artists; Mama Bee and Amira are both mothers who love their children fiercely; Catherine and Francis have always loved to play football to escape from everyday life; Haifa and Maryam are both dreamers who believe in the beauty of life. Our circumstances may be different, but our shared humanity is much greater than anything that sets us apart.

This humanitarian crisis has displaced tens of millions of people, and we hope these videos can help those of us who are not directly affected empathize with people experiencing life as a refugee. Parents and children, athletes and foodies, students and professors, businesspeople, artists and everything in between, these incredibly brave people have all been forced to flee their homes and endure tremendous challenges in search of safety.

If you want to stand with refugees, we stand with you. You’ll see donation cards for the IRC enabled on these videos, and over the next week, YouTube and Google.org will match your donation up to $500,000. The IRC provides humanitarian aid for people fleeing crisis and disaster, and more than 90 percent of all money donated to the IRC goes to programs and services that directly benefit refugees and displaced people.

Danielle Tiedt, Chief Marketing Officer, YouTube, recently watched the full series of #MoreThanARefugee stories.

Source: YouTube Blog


A Message on Pride and LGBTQ Initiatives

June is a very important time for us here at YouTube. Since our earliest years, YouTube has come together to celebrate Pride and honor the contributions that LGBTQ creators and fans have made to our platform. From the It Gets Better campaign, to the thousands of inspiring coming out videos, to the emergence of popular transgender creators, the voices of our LGBTQ community have been key to pushing society in a more understanding and tolerant direction.

While we stand by that proud legacy, we realize that our commitment to give all LGBTQ creators a voice was unfortunately impacted by our Restricted Mode feature. Restricted Mode was originally designed as an optional feature for public institutions like libraries and schools to prevent the viewing of mature content on YouTube. But in looking more closely at the feature, we found that there was LGBTQ (and other) content that should have been included in Restricted Mode but was not, like kissing at weddings, personal accounts of difficult events, and speaking out against discrimination.

Our intention was never to limit this kind of content; having spoken to LGBTQ creators and YouTube employees, I understand just how important it is that teens and students be able to view it. That’s why we’ve updated our policies to explicitly allow these videos in Restricted Mode -- it still won’t work perfectly but over time our systems will get better. We apologize for these issues and want to reaffirm our commitment that YouTube is a place where all voices can be heard.

To offer a little more detail, here's the latest on our progress on Restricted Mode:

  • Our teams worked with dozens of volunteer LGBTQ employees and select LGBTQ creators to get feedback on our policies and we incorporated that feedback into our processes moving forward.
  • To date, over 12 million additional videos of all types—including hundreds of thousands featuring LGBTQ content—are now available in Restricted Mode.
  • We’ve published and broadened Restricted Mode guidelines to ensure that non-graphic, personal accounts of difficult events are available. For example, personal accounts of individuals who suffered discrimination or were impacted by violence for being part of a protected group will now be included in Restricted Mode, provided they don’t contain graphic language or content. Soon we'll have new content in Creator Academy to describe in detail how to make videos that will meet the criteria for Restricted Mode.
  • To help our systems get better, we invite creators and users to submit instances where they think we got it wrong. We review EVERY video submitted, and in those instances where we make changes to include videos in Restricted Mode, those lessons make our systems better.

On a separate note, earlier this year many creators, including LGBTQ creators, expressed confusion and concern about revenue fluctuations in the wake of advertiser concerns around where their ads are placed on YouTube. These were separate issues that unfortunately happened at the same time. As advertisers paused their spend on YouTube it impacted a broad range of creators. We have rigorous training to ensure that anyone who reviews content that’s been flagged for review ensures all content is treated fairly. For more information, please see our Advertiser-Friendly Content Guidelines in the Help Center.

Looking beyond Restricted Mode, we want to reiterate that YouTube is committed to enabling and promoting LGBTQ voices and resources on our platform.

  • To celebrate Pride, we’re promoting LGBTQ creators and their content as part of the launch of our fifth annual #ProudToBe campaign. Over the course of the next year, we'll celebrate LGBTQ History Month and International Transgender Day of Visibility. And on June 27, we will also introduce a permanent shelf on our US Spotlight channel to showcase LGBTQ videos throughout the year refreshed on a weekly basis.
  • Recognizing the specific needs of at-risk LGBTQ youth, we’re also partnering with the leading organization for crisis intervention services for this community, The Trevor Project. We’re investing in Trevor’s channel growth as well as audience development, to expand their reach. We’re also working with 25 global suicide prevention organizations to help surface assistance via phone and text at the time of need.
  • We're partnering to celebrate LGBTQ history with the NYC LGBT Community Center. Google.org recently announced a $1 million grant to the New York City's LGBT Community Center to support the Stonewall National Monument, the first LGBTQ dedicated landmark in the United States. As a part of this support, we're excited to announce opportunities in the near future for YouTube creators to share LGBTQ history with their audience through the Stonewall initiative.

Most importantly, our recent experience has taught us that we need to do a better job of listening to and communicating with our LGBTQ community.

  • Over the next few months we will be hosting a series of six Creator Roundtables in YouTube Spaces (in NYC, LA, Toronto, Paris, Berlin, London) focused on discussing initiatives that impact the LGBTQ community and on gathering your feedback to improve our products and programs.
  • We’ll also host Creator Council Advisory Sessions, both in person and virtual, to get further feedback throughout the year.

At YouTube, we’re proud to stand with the LGBTQ community to support equal rights. Through Pride month and beyond, we will continue to honor the goal of making YouTube a place that celebrates your voices and community. We want YouTube to remain a place where LGBTQ people and their families, friends and supporters can express themselves, empower others and find a place to belong.

Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube 


Hot and Cold: Heatmaps in VR

As creators, you're always thinking about new and unique experiences you can share with your audience. From prehistoric perspectives to epic battles, you've blazed a trail with VR to produce hundreds of thousands of videos that can transport viewers to far-off places and thrilling adventures.

When creating content in VR, it’s helpful to know what your viewers are focused on. Today we’re introducing heatmaps for 360-degree and VR videos with over 1,000 views, which will give you specific insight into how your viewers are engaging with your content. With heatmaps, you’ll be able to see exactly what parts of your video are catching a viewer’s attention and how long they’re looking at a specific part of the video.



We want to help you create your next immersive video. So using this tool, we’ve done some early research on what makes an engaging 360-degree video. Here are a few findings:

  • Focus on what’s in front of you: The defining feature of a 360-degree video is that it allows you to freely look around in any direction, but surprisingly, people spent 75% of their time within the front 90 degrees of a video. So don’t forget to spend significant time on what’s in front of the viewer.
  • Get their attention: While a lot of time is spent focusing on what’s in front, for many of the most popular VR videos, people viewed more of the full 360-degree space with almost 20% of views actually being behind them. The more engaging the full scene is, the more likely viewers will want to explore the full 360-degree view. Try using markers and animations to draw attention to different parts of the scene.
  • Keep different experiences in mind: The context in which people are viewing VR videos matters too. Some might be watching on a mobile and portable Cardboard, while others are watching on a desktop computer. For instance, we found viewers usually need a couple seconds to get situated in Cardboard, which isn’t needed for other devices. So make sure to give your viewers a few seconds before jumping into the action.

We’re also excited to announce that for creators who want to go all in on VR and hone their skills, we’re launching our first ever VR intensive program at YouTube Space LA called the VR Creator Lab. Applications are open starting today.

It’s still early days in VR, and as we continue to add new tools to the platform, we’re excited to see all the awesome things you create.

Frank Rodriguez, Product Manager, recently watched Inside ‘Fusterlandia’: Cuba’s Kaleidoscopic Neighborhood from The New York Times

Game on!: YouTube at E3 2017

From the hotly anticipated reveal of Xbox’s Project Scorpio to the breathtaking trailer of Hideo Kojima’s “Death Stranding,” gamers around the world joined together in celebration at last year’s E3. It’s the most anticipated event of the year for us gamers, where we get to hit refresh on every blog, website and gaming stream to see what the next year has in store.

This year, YouTube is back again to give gamers around the world a front row seat to everything at E3 on our YouTube Gaming hub. Yesterday we began our exclusive two-day, 17-hour livestream hosted by Geoff Keighley and brought to you by Totino’s Pizza Rolls™. We saw the reveal of the Xbox One X and made live Tiltbrush Art in mixed reality, all in 4K Ultra HD. We're back today at 1 p.m. PT with more press releases, exclusive interviews, and discussion with YouTube's biggest names.

But the YouTube E3 coverage doesn’t stop there! From Tuesday, June 13, to Thursday, June 15, Rooster Teeth takes over with nonstop discussion of the big announcements, interviews with your favorite developers, and game demos from the show, presented by “War for the Planet of the Apes,” in theaters July 14.

Finally, YouTube.com/e3 will host the Trailer Battle for its ninth year in a row. With our annual showcase of the hottest trailers released at and around E3, you can watch and vote for your favorite trailers, collect items, and build your inventory to save the multiverse! Be sure to come back the following week to see if your favorites made the top 5.

See you soon at E3!

Ryan Wyatt, Global Head of Gaming Content & Partnerships, recently watched "Sidemen vs YouTube All-Stars Live."

Source: YouTube Blog


You have the #PowerToDecide

Every day you show us how strong your voice is. Whether you’re campaigning about climate change, or supporting your favourite creator to raise money for a cause you care about, or just being downright funny, we’re never in doubt of your passion or power to make yourself heard.

The General Election on the 8th of June is an opportunity for people to have their voices heard -- by walking into poll booths and casting their votes. Tons of you are watching the election debates, chewing over the issues and thinking about who to vote for. And we encourage people - especially young people - to use their #PowerToDecide and make themselves heard in Westminster next week.


From Humza Arshad to Suli Breaks to FunForLouis, creators from across YouTube are lending support to the #PowerToDecide campaign and uploading their own videos, like the Mandeville Sisters to rally their fans to vote in the run up to polling day.
Use your #PowerToDecide. Vote on 8th June.

Alina Dimofte, Public Policy at YouTube just watched Election blind dates: Toff and Jack Monroe

Source: YouTube UK Blog