Category Archives: YouTube Creators

The Official YouTube Partners and Creators Blog

An Update on Our 2018 Priorities

Dear YouTube Creators,

At the beginning of the year, I wrote a letter to you outlining five key priorities for YouTube in 2018. Among those priorities was to communicate more frequently with all of you, and in that spirit, I plan to share updates with the creator community every quarter.

As you can imagine, the last two weeks have been incredibly difficult for the people who work at YouTube, myself included. As challenging as the experience has been for our YouTube family, the outpouring of support and kindness from creators has bolstered our spirits and reminded us why this work is so important.

We know the last year has not been easy for many of you. But we’re committed to listening and using your feedback to help YouTube thrive. Our community continues to grow at a healthy, responsible rate. Over the last year, channels earning five figures annually grew more than 35 percent, while channels earning six figures annually grew more than 40 percent. While we’re proud of this progress, I know we have more work to do.

1. Transparency and Communication
At the beginning of the year, we committed to communicate more with all of you through social media. This year, we increased our replies 600 percent and improved our reply rate by 75 percent to tweets addressed across our official handles: @TeamYouTube, @YTCreators, and @YouTube. We've also more than doubled the number of creators receiving personalized update emails. We’re communicating in unofficial ways too, like Creator Insider, an employee-run channel that offers behind-the-scenes information about things we are working on.

The YouTube leadership team has also made it a priority to connect with YouTube audiences across the globe. At SXSW, Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music, delivered a speech about his life serving artists and the role YouTube plays for them today and in the future. Robert Kyncl, our Chief Business Officer, sat down with Casey Neistat and later took questions from YouTube Creator Noor Stars. This is just the beginning.

2. Supporting your success
When it comes to creators, supporting your growth and success is incredibly important to me and my entire team. In February, we made the tough decision to set a new eligibility criteria to monetize on YouTube. While we know some creators found this change frustrating, it strengthened advertiser confidence, making monetization and the broader community on YouTube stronger for creators building their business on the platform. For those who have not yet met the new threshold, keep creating and building your audience. We have resources to help you learn and grow. We’ve also heard from you that delays in the application process are frustrating. We are working to make this faster.

We know that it’s frustrating when the monetization icon changes back-and-forth between green and yellow. In February, we released an update to our systems to improve overall accuracy and significantly decrease icon flip-flopping by 90 percent. Hopefully, many of you have already noticed this. On our side, we’re seeing that the volume of monetization appeals is down 50 percent as a result.

Many of you have said you’re willing to provide more feedback on what’s in your video if it meant you didn’t have to worry about false-positives in our monetization system. This month, we’re launching a pilot with a small set of creators to test a new video upload flow that will ask creators to provide specific information about what’s in their video as it relates to our advertiser-friendly guidelines. In an ideal world, we’ll eventually get to a state where creators across the platform are able to accurately represent what’s in their videos so that their insights, combined with those of our algorithmic classifiers and human reviewers, will make the monetization process much smoother with fewer false positive demonetizations.

Creators have also told us they want more alternatives to make money beyond ads. We recently began testing sponsorships with a limited set of creators. This lets fans set up recurring sponsorships that can help fund their favorite creators. Many sponsored creators saw substantial increases in their overall YouTube revenue, so we plan to expand this to many more creators in the coming months.

3. Giving people more ways to engage
We know that engaging with your fans is important, so we’re working on new tools to encourage the conversation.
  1. We expanded Community to many more creators, and we’ve been fine tuning how and to whom posts are distributed across your Home and Subscribers feed. We’ve greatly improved ranking and targeting to make sure we are showing the right posts to the right users at the right time.
  2. We updated live streaming features to make it easier to go live and interact with your fans. We added live chat replays, automatic captions and location tags, and we expanded Super Chats to include an IFTTT (If This, Then That) function.
  3. We also launched YouTube Go in over 140 countries. This is a version of the YouTube app built for the next billion users and designed for people in places with poor Internet connectivity or expensive cellular data.
4. Tightening and enforcing our policies
One of the biggest challenges we face is balancing the freedom of expression with our responsibility as a community. We value the incredible diversity of voices on our platform and want to focus our policy changes on where we believe there can be real harm. In February, we announced new steps, beyond our existing strikes system, that we may take in the rare event that one creator’s actions risk harming the entire community. Our goal is to strengthen the community, and we hope to rarely use these new steps.

We’ve heard great creator feedback on how we can address abuse on the platform, especially when it comes to comments and spam. Through new comment moderation tools, we’ve given creators the power to review comments before they’re public. We’ve seen more than a 75 percent drop in comment flags on the channels that have enabled it, and we’re soon planning to expand this to 10 languages. We’ve done the same for live chat, allowing creators to hold inappropriate live chat messages for review in all languages.

5. Learning and education
YouTube is an incredible force for good, particularly when it comes to education. This month, we saw the power of learning on YouTube through the hashtag #YouTubeTaughtMe. For instance, a dad in New York said he used YouTube to both bake a cake and study for his paramedic exams while a number of creators tweeted that YouTube helped them to feel more comfortable being their true selves.

Finally, we’re working to make sure that our free educational resources, including the Creator Academy, are focused on the topics of most interest to you. We launched a Creator Academy Master Class about creator burnout, and we're hosting a talk at VidCon on ways creators can maintain well-being. We’re also working on other courses for early summer to encourage wellness.

Looking forward
Every day I am inspired by the power of the YouTube community--and your support over the last two weeks has reinforced that. Our entire team is committed to your success and your input informs every step we take. Please continue to let us know what we can do better.

Susan Wojcicki

YouTube Space Dubai: A new home for creators in the Middle East and North Africa

Creators are the heartbeat of YouTube. They make it the platform where more than one billion people around the world come to laugh, learn, and think. Over the past few years we watched as Arabic content on YouTube evolved to span hundreds of channels followed by millions of people. This transformation was spearheaded by a diverse and growing community made up of creators from almost every corner in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Today, I am proud to announce that this community now has a new home in the YouTube Space at Dubai Studio City, a facility dedicated to them and all their production needs.

Lowi SahiMaha JaafarNoor Naem, and Omar Farouq during a panel moderated by Head of YouTube Partnerships in MENA Diana Baddar
One of the things we’re proudest of at YouTube is that this is a platform where experiments are born. Some fail to take off, and some move on to position themselves to be part of popular culture such Saudi wives making hilarious sketches about everyday life or powerful social experiments that tell important stories. This appetite to experiment with new formats of storytelling and narratives is something we want to support, and the Space is our way of celebrating this creativity.

The Spaces program is designed to have something to offer all creators. Channels just starting out on YouTube with more than 1,000 subscribers will be welcome to sit in on workshops and events we will be holding at the Space. Creators that passed the 10,000 subscriber mark will be able to book the Space’s studios and production equipment.

The common area at YouTube Space Dubai
YouTube Space Dubai is the 10th Space in the world after London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York, Mumbai, Toronto, Paris, Berlin, and Sao Paulo. Since the first Space opened in 2012, we’ve had more than 400,000 people visit us to attend events, workshops, or to make their videos.

The Space comes at an important time for the Arab world as it experiences an increase in the number of channels uploading from MENA countries by 160% in the past three years. Today, there are over 30,000 channels with more than 10,000 subscribers.

Another big indicator of how far we’ve come is the fact that there are now more than 200 channels in MENA that crossed the million subscriber mark, with 1 in every 4 creator channel being female-led. Five years ago, MENA had less than five million-subscriber channels, and we’re just beginning to scratch the surface.

Over the next couple of months, slots will be limited while we work with creators to study the needs of the local community to best provide the programmes and tools and ensure we provide the best support we can to our visitors. Creators will be able to book their production slots by early June.

To all the creators out there, start thinking of what your next video is going to be about. You might just shoot it at the YouTube Space at Dubai Studio City where we look forward to welcoming you and your ideas.

Posted by Dana Baddar, YouTube Space Dubai Manager.

Making It Easier to Go Live

Today we're making it easier to go live and interact with your community from your computer and phone.

First, if you’ve ever tried to set up a live stream from your computer using an encoder, you know there can be a few steps involved. Today, we’re making the process as easy as a couple of clicks. Just head over to youtube.com/webcam or click on “Go live” in the YouTube header to start your stream. You don’t need any additional streaming software or extra set up.

Creators who tested early versions have been using it for live beauty tutorials, fan updates and product reviews. This feature is available on Chrome today, and we’ll be expanding to more browsers soon.



We also want to make streaming from your phone just as easy too. In the coming months, you’ll be able to start a live stream directly from the camera app in select devices from Asus, LG, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung. Our goal is to bring this feature to even more device manufacturers throughout the year through the new YouTube Mobile Live deep link.

So whether you want to hold a mini concert, teach snowboarding or celebrate a milestone with fans, these tools will make it easier to share and interact with your community live. Check out the YouTube Live channel to discover the latest streams and get inspired by other live creators.

Vadim Lavrusik, Live Video Product Manager, recently watched "Jazz Piano Chords with Good Voice Leading."

YouTube Studio: Better Insights, New Metrics & Faster Access to News

One of the most important tools for creators is the Creator Studio: the hub where you upload videos, manage your channel, and grow your community. In June of last year we announced a new beta version, renamed YouTube Studio. Hundreds of thousands of creators have been using the beta and providing invaluable feedback, which we've been implementing to make YouTube Studio a more efficient, empowering and enjoyable tool for you. Over the coming weeks, we’ll begin to make YouTube Studio the default experience for many creators (but will still give you the option to go back to Creator Studio Classic if you want to).

YouTube Studio’s most anticipated features include three new metrics that will give you better understanding of how your videos perform, and an all new Dashboard that shows you personalized news and information for your channel.

New ways for creators to understand their reach on YouTube

Moving forward, you’ll see three new metrics in YouTube Analytics – Impressions, Impressions click-through rate, and Unique Viewers – that give a deeper understanding of your reach on YouTube. These new metrics are rolling out to a small group of creators today and will be available to everyone in YouTube Studio within a few weeks. A couple of weeks after that they will be available in Creator Studio Classic.



Impressions

An Impression is counted when a viewer on YouTube sees one of your video thumbnails. Impressions tell you the potential reach of your content on YouTube, since each impression is an opportunity to earn a view.



It’s important to note that the impression metric only reflects impressions generated by your thumbnails on YouTube, including thumbnails on the homepage, subscription feed, search, and “up next” section. This help center article describes in detail what is and isn’t included in the impressions metric.

Impressions click-through rate

We’re also adding Impressions click-through rate, which shows you the percentage of your impressions on YouTube that turned into views. Different factors affect your click-through rate. For example, effective thumbnails and titles that attract your target audience may drive this rate up. This metric can help you make more informed decisions on how to optimize your titles and thumbnails, especially when you look at how this metric changes between past videos. For more best practices, we recommend you read this help center article.

Unique viewers

Unique viewers shows the estimated number of different people who watch your videos over a period of time. Whether they watch on desktop, mobile phone or watched more than one of your videos, that person will count as one unique viewer.
You can use this data to compare your audience size to your subscriber base, and identify videos that helped reach a wider audience. This information can also help guide your content strategy, and showcase your true reach when discussing brand deals and sponsorships.



We encourage you to check out our Creator Insider VideoCreator Academy lesson and help center articles for additional tips on how to use these metrics.

Introducing the YouTube Studio Dashboard

You’ve asked us for a “one stop shop” for data, insights and news so you don't have to spend time searching for it. The new dashboard will now provide a snapshot of your latest upload, personalized recommendations, and instant access to news.



What you'll see:
  • Video Snapshot: You'll get a snapshot of how your newest video is performing compared to your previous uploads over the same time period. Previously, you had to pull this data from multiple sources and calculate it on your own.
  • Personalized Recommendations: Here we'll surface Creator Academy content based on the specific needs of your channel. In the future we’ll also help you understand why certain videos perform better than others so you can adapt your plans for future videos.
  • News: You shouldn’t have to search for the news; it should come to you. With this feature, you’ll get the latest updates from across YouTube so you can easily stay up to speed on everything that affects the creator community.
The Dashboard will roll out to all channels over the next couple of weeks and we’ll continue to add more content based on your feedback. We're dedicated to making YouTube one of the best places for creators and hope these new features help make that possible.

Posted by Assaf Reifer, Product Manager for YouTube Analytics and Ezequiel Baril, Product Manager for YouTube Studio.

Updates to YouTube Live Streaming


Cross-posted from the YouTube blog.




Together, we've experienced the biggest music, sports, science, culture and gaming events unfold live on YouTube. Now we’re introducing more ways to watch live videos and interact with your community in real time.



Catching up on the latest



Live chat plays a key role in creating connections between creators and their community. Today we are starting to roll out chat replay to YouTube, so you can follow the conversation even after a live stream is over. Live chat replays will show up alongside the video, exactly as it appeared live.




Making live streams more accessible



We launched automatic captions back in 2009, and since then, we’ve auto-captioned a staggering 1 billion videos. We’re now bringing English automatic captions to live streams.





When professionally provided captions aren’t available, our new live automatic captions provide creators a quick and inexpensive way to make live streams accessible to more people. With our live automatic speech recognition (LASR) technology, you’ll get captions with error rates and latency approaching industry standards. We'll roll this out in the coming weeks, and will continue to improve accuracy and latency of automatic captions.



More fun features for live streamers



Creators can now add a location tag to their mobile live streams and video uploads and share all their favorite hot spots with viewers. You can explore other videos with the same location tag by simply clicking on it. You can also use the location filter on the search results page to find other videos from a specific spot.









Last year, we introduced a way for Super Chats to trigger real life events. Now creators can set this up for their channels using IFTTT (If This, Then That). Over 600 internet-connected services and devices (like lights, pet feeders and confetti cannons!) can be connected to Super Chat. Super Chat is already available on desktop and Android devices, with support for iOS devices rolling out starting today.



With live streams, you’ve found more intimate and spontaneous ways to share your thoughts, lives, and creativity. Take these features for a spin and show us your world!


Kurt Wilms, Live Video Product Lead, recently watched "Falcon Heavy Test Flight."

Preventing Harm to the Broader YouTube Community

Recently, we faced situations where the egregious actions of a handful of YouTubers harmed the reputation of the broader creator community among advertisers, the media industry and most importantly, the general public. In light of this behavior—and our commitment to tighten our policies and communicate them more quickly and transparently—we’re introducing new consequences to apply in the rare event when one creator’s actions harm the entire community.

When one creator does something particularly blatant—like conducts a heinous prank where people are traumatized, promotes violence or hate toward a group, demonstrates cruelty, or sensationalizes the pain of others in an attempt to gain views or subscribers—it can cause lasting damage to the community, including viewers, creators and the outside world. That damage can have real-world consequences not only to users, but also to other creators, leading to missed creative opportunities, lost revenue and serious harm to your livelihoods. That’s why it’s critical to ensure that the actions of a few don’t impact the 99.9 percent of you who use your channels to connect with your fans or build thriving businesses.

We’ve long had a set of Community Guidelines that act as rules of the road for what creators can share on our platform and a set of Ad-Friendly Guidelines for what they can monetize. We also have a system of strikes we use to enforce those guidelines which can ultimately result in a channel’s termination. But in very rare instances, we need a broader set of tools at our disposal that can be used more quickly and effectively than the current system of guidelines and strikes.

Today, we’re outlining additional steps we may take beyond our current strike systems when channels upload videos that result in widespread harm to our community of creators, viewers and advertisers.
  1. Premium Monetization Programs, Promotion and Content Development Partnerships. We may remove a channel from Google Preferred and also suspend, cancel or remove a creator’s YouTube Original.
  2. Monetization and Creator Support Privileges. We may suspend a channel’s ability to serve ads, ability to earn revenue and potentially remove a channel from the YouTube Partner Program, including creator support and access to our YouTube Spaces.
  3. Video Recommendations. We may remove a channel’s eligibility to be recommended on YouTube, such as appearing on our home page, trending tab or watch next.

In the past, we felt our responses to some of these situations were slow and didn’t always address our broader community’s concerns. Our ultimate goal here is to streamline our response so we can make better, faster decisions and communicate them clearly.

We believe strongly in the freedom of expression and we know that the overwhelming majority of you follow the guidelines and understand that you’re part of a large, influential, and interconnected community. But we also know that we have a responsibility to protect the entire community of creators, viewers, and advertisers from these rare but often damaging situations. We expect to issue these new consequences only in a rare handful of egregious cases, but hope they will help us prevent the actions of a few from harming the broader community.

Ariel Bardin, Vice President of Product Management at YouTube

My Five Priorities for Creators in 2018

Dear YouTube Creators,

I want to start off 2018 the same way I want to see it through: with a spirit of openness, transparency and enthusiasm. So to kick off the year, I wanted to share our top priorities with you for 2018.

1. Prioritizing Transparency and Communication

In 2018, we want to do everything we can to strengthen the trust that our community places in YouTube through open and frequent communication. Last year we communicated a lot through blog posts and product forums, but going forward, we’ll also use our @YTCreators and @TeamYouTube handles to keep you informed, answer your questions, and respond quickly to issues. We’ll also use email to notify you of news or updates, so be sure to sign up here.

We often ask creators for feedback before launching updates and new features and we’ll be doing even more of this to make sure our changes are informed by your perspective. Personally, I always try to meet with creators at industry events and when I travel to a new country so I can hear your feedback directly and relay any issues to the right teams at YouTube. Since I can’t meet with most creators in person, I started a YouTube channel as a way to share my perspective. Though I haven’t shared much yet, I plan to use my channel more in 2018 to engage with creators and the community.

2. Supporting Your Success

We were pleased that in 2017 the number of creators making six-figures a year grew by 40 percent. But even as our platform continues to do well around the world, too many of you unfortunately had to learn a new word in 2017: “demonetization.”

We understand the frustration you feel when one of your videos is demonetized or age-gated and the impact it has on your views and your revenue. While we worked hard this year to provide an appeals system and quicker responses to creators when a video is demonetized, we’ve heard loud and clear that we need a better system. We’re currently working on a more accurate solution that includes more human review of your content, while also taking your own input into account (since you know your videos best). Addressing your concerns about demonetization is a top priority of ours and we’ll continue to share updates with you throughout the year.

At the same time, we’re working on giving you more ways to earn money from your channels beyond advertising. We launched Super Chat as a way to help you earn revenue during livestreams and acquired FameBit to help you partner with brands for influencer marketing partnerships. This year, you’ll see us make a big push to launch YouTube Red, our subscription offering, and a revamped YouTube Music experience in new markets. We’re also currently giving fans the ability to sponsor some of their favorite gaming creators for a monthly fee and plan to expand that option to more channels later this year. And we’re testing new ways for creators to earn revenue or raise money right on your channel through donations, merchandise and ticketing sales.

3. Giving People More Ways to Engage With Video

YouTube has transformed video viewing from a one-way broadcast to a two-way conversation. This year we will continue to build out all the ways you and your fans can connect on our platform to help build meaningful interactions, connect people with shared interests, and strengthen our community. Currently, we offer some fundamental ways for creators and fans to interact, including the ability to like, comment, or share a video and subscribe to channels. In fact, the number of viewers subscribing to creators and engaging with their channels every day grew 70 percent in the last year.

But there’s a much larger opportunity to build engagement around video. Some of the features we’ve begun to roll out include giving more creators access to our community tab and Reels, our new way to create fast, lightweight stories. We will also push new innovations in AR and VR to create more immersive experiences. Stay tuned.

4. Tightening and Enforcing Our Policies

The nature of an open platform means we never know what trends or moments are going to arise next. But the same creativity and unpredictability that makes YouTube so rewarding—like the fact that a reggaeton song can become the most popular video in history—can also lead to unfortunate events where we need to take a clear, informed, and principled stance.

Some of our policies are no-brainers, like preventing people from impersonating other channels or using misleading thumbnails. But others are far more nuanced and unique to YouTube. We realize we have a serious social responsibility to get these emerging policy issues right, so we seek advice from dozens of expert advisors and third-parties. For example, on issues of hate speech we work with the Anti-Defamation League in the U.S. and on issues of self-harm, we work with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. These third-parties have been essential in helping us refine our policies and we will continue to work with them throughout 2018.

We’ll also improve the enforcement of our policies through a combination of human review and machine learning technology. In 2018, our goal is to bring the total number of people across YouTube and Google working to address content that might violate our policies to over 10,000. Using machine learning, we now also allow creators to automatically review and hold potentially offensive comments.

In 2017 we also made progress to better surface content from authoritative news sources, both on the homepage in a new “Breaking News” section and in search. Because the role news plays in our lives is so critical, we’ll seek to work closely with our news partners to roll out more solutions in this area in 2018.

And we’re also currently developing policies that would lead to consequences if a creator does something egregious that causes significant harm to our community as a whole. While these instances are rare, they can damage the reputation and revenue of your fellow creators, so we want to make sure we have policies in place that allow us to respond appropriately.

5. Investing More in Learning and Education

Learning and educational content drives over a billion views a day on YouTube. That is a remarkable statistic, and to me, it represents the incredible work our creators have done to help usher in a new way of learning. I’m passionate about education because it’s an area where YouTube can be transformative and really benefit the world. It can help people who don’t have the time, money, or access to take a class to still learn something new. And it can help transform learning from something we only invest in when we’re young to something that becomes a lifelong pursuit.

Personally, YouTube creators have helped me learn new things, from fixing appliances in my home, to raising chickens, to answering my kids’ questions about black holes or dark matter. And millions more turn to YouTube every day for job skills, from learning to use Excel to acing an interview.

The potential of our creators to enhance education and learning is incredible, so we’re going to do more to take advantage of the massive, modern-day video library that YouTube has become. That includes working with our educational creators to bring more of their content to the platform as well as expert organizations like Goodwill to provide and feature even more high-quality job skills videos on YouTube.

As YouTube grows, I want to remain focused on our mission to give everyone a voice and show them the world. It’s my commitment in 2018 to ensure we do this responsibly, with greater openness, smarter policies, more engaging products, more revenue for creators, and a higher emphasis on learning and education. I’m thankful to everyone who’s made our community such a special, inspiring and meaningful place and I feel privileged to be a part of it. I hope all of you are looking forward to YouTube’s best, most transparent and most exciting year yet as much as I am.

Susan

Additional Changes to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) to Better Protect Creators

2017 marked a tough year for many of you, with several issues affecting our community and the revenue earned from advertising through the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Despite those issues more creators than ever are earning a living on YouTube, with the number of channels making over six figures up over 40% year-over-year. In 2018, a major focus for everyone at YouTube is protecting our creator ecosystem and ensuring your revenue is more stable.

As Susan mentioned in December, we’re making changes to address the issues that affected our community in 2017 so we can prevent bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube. A big part of that effort will be strengthening our requirements for monetization so spammers, impersonators, and other bad actors can’t hurt our ecosystem or take advantage of you, while continuing to reward those who make our platform great.

Back in April of 2017, we set a YPP eligibility requirement of 10,000 lifetime views. While that threshold provided more information to determine whether a channel followed our community guidelines and policies, it’s been clear over the last few months that we need a higher standard.

Starting today we’re changing the eligibility requirement for monetization to 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. We’ve arrived at these new thresholds after thorough analysis and conversations with creators like you. They will allow us to significantly improve our ability to identify creators who contribute positively to the community and help drive more ad revenue to them (and away from bad actors). These higher standards will also help us prevent potentially inappropriate videos from monetizing which can hurt revenue for everyone.

On February 20th, 2018, we’ll also implement this threshold across existing channels on the platform, to allow for a 30 day grace period. On that date, channels with fewer than 1,000 subs or 4,000 watch hours will no longer be able to earn money on YouTube. When they reach 1,000 subs and 4,000 watch hours they will be automatically re-evaluated under strict criteria to ensure they comply with our policies. New channels will need to apply, and their application will be evaluated when they hit these milestones.

Though these changes will affect a significant number of channels, 99% of those affected were making less than $100 per year in the last year, with 90% earning less than $2.50 in the last month. Any of the channels who no longer meet this threshold will be paid what they’ve already earned based on our AdSense policies. After thoughtful consideration, we believe these are necessary compromises to protect our community.

Of course, size alone is not enough to determine whether a channel is suitable for monetization, so we’ll continue to use signals like community strikes, spam, and other abuse flags to ensure we’re protecting our creator community from bad actors. As we continue to protect our platform from abuse, we want to remind all of you to follow YouTube’s Community Guidelines, Monetization Basics & Policies, Terms of Service, and Google AdSense program policies, as violating any of these may lead to removal from the YouTube Partner Program.

While this change will tackle the potential abuse of a large but disparate group of smaller channels, we also know that the bad action of a single, large channel can also have an impact on the community and how advertisers view YouTube. We'll be working to schedule conversations with our creators in the months ahead so we can hear your thoughts and ideas and what more we can do to tackle that challenge.

One of YouTube’s core values is to provide anyone the opportunity to earn money from a thriving channel, and while our policies will evolve over time, our commitment to that value remains. Those of you who want more details around this change, or haven’t yet reached this new 4,000 hour/1,000 subscriber threshold can continue to benefit from our Creator Academy, our Help Center, and all the resources on the Creator Site to grow your channels.

Even though 2017 was a challenging year, thanks to creators like you, it was full of the moments that make YouTube such a special place. Creators large and small, established and emerging, transformed their talent and originality into videos that captivated over a billion people around the world. They made us laugh, taught us about our world and warmed our hearts. We’re confident the steps we’re taking today will help protect and grow our inspiring community well into the future.

Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer and Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer

Protecting Our Community

Dear creators,

Every year, I'm reminded of how unique and special our YouTube community is and 2017 is no different. This was a year of amazing growth and innovation, but I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on what has also been a very tough year for our creator community. In the past year, we saw a significant increase in bad actors seeking to exploit our platform, from sharing extremist content and disseminating misinformation, to impersonating creators, to spamming our platform with videos that masquerade as family-friendly content, but are not. These actions harm our community by undermining trust in our platform and hurting the revenue that helps creators like you thrive.

In light of this, we’ve just announced new actions to protect our community from inappropriate content. We want to give creators confidence that their revenue won’t be harmed by bad actors while giving advertisers assurances that their ads are running alongside content that reflects their brand’s values.

To do that, we need an approach that does a better job determining which channels and videos should be eligible for advertising. We’ve heard loud and clear from creators that we have to be more accurate when it comes to reviewing content, so we don’t demonetize videos (apply a “yellow icon”) by mistake. We are planning to apply stricter criteria and conduct more manual curation, while also significantly ramping up our team of ad reviewers to ensure ads are only running where they should. This will help limit inaccurate demonetizations while giving creators more stability around their revenue. We will be talking to creators over the next few weeks to hone this new approach.

As I’ve said many times over the years, creators are the lifeblood of YouTube’s community. It is their originality, authenticity, talent and dedication that attracts a global audience to YouTube. It is their passion and presence that turns casual viewers into devoted fans who are eager to learn, share and come together. And it is their inclusiveness that gives over a billion people who visit YouTube every month a place to belong.

Though it’s been a difficult year, time and again, we’ve seen our creators come together to do incredible things on YouTube. We saw an acceleration in channel subscriptions, bringing the total number of channels to hit the 1 million subscriber milestone to well over 5,000. We saw a Reggaeton song explode in global popularity, becoming the most-watched YouTube video in history. And we saw our creators rally their fans after natural disasters in Mexico City and Houston to raise millions for relief, or engage world leaders from Joko Widodo to Jean-Claude Juncker on important issues.

These stories are at the heart of what makes YouTube’s community so special. It’s a place where creators and fans can come together to reach new heights, break records and turn an online audience into a real-world movement. That’s why we need to do all we can to protect this community, to counter threats from bad actors and to ensure that YouTube remains a place where all creators can thrive.

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube

Expanding Community on YouTube

Community has always been at the heart of YouTube. From supporting each other, to touring the world, to making each other laugh, you and your audience have established strong bonds on YouTube. This connection goes beyond video, so about a year ago we invited a few creators to test out a new place to connect with fans in-between uploads with polls, pictures, text, GIFs, and more. We called this place Community. Creators have been doing amazing things with it, such as Anitta sharing behind-the-scenes photos, Marshmello teasing sneak preview GIFs, and Vidya polling subscribers for ideas. So starting today we're excited to expand Community to creators with over 10,000 subscribers.

We’ve been working closely with creators to build, test and refine this product. Now, we want to take this opportunity to share some of our learnings and updates.

  • Involve your community: Fans love to participate in the creative process! Grav3yardgirl has been using Community to connect with her eight million strong swamp family, and gather input for what videos they'd like to see. She let her fans choose what to unbox next and heard them loud and clear that they wanted her to bring back the much-loved “Wreck It Wednesdays".
  • Bring fans backstage: Creators have been using Community posts to build anticipation for a new video or upcoming big production. Lele Pons shares GIFs that act as a trailer for her next video, while Kevin Durant posts photos on NBA gameday.
  • Increase your reach: We’ve seen creators successfully cross-promote other channels and creators they love through Community, such as Anwar, Hannah, Lele helping drive traffic to Rudy’s first music video launch.
  • Improved discoverability: As with videos, we want to show the right Community post to the right user, so we’ve made updates to how these posts reach your audience across YouTube. Your most engaged viewers can now see Community posts in the Home feed, whether they’re subscribed to your channel or not. We’ve also optimized our notifications so that your fans are eligible to receive them, but they won’t necessarily get a new notification for every new Community post.
  • New formats: We want to do even more to give you easy ways to express yourself and engage with fans, so today we’re also unveiling a new feature. Reels are YouTube’s spin on the popular “stories” format, but designed specifically for YouTube creators. We learned that you want the flexibility to create multiple Reels and have them not expire, so we’ll give you those options. We’re also bringing creator-focused features like linking to YouTube videos and YouTube-y stickers. Just like we did with Community, we’ll be experimenting with a beta version of Reels to learn and improve the product before expanding to more creators.





We’re super excited about building Community on YouTube and we can’t wait to see how you further grow and engage your audience! If you want some ideas and inspiration for your channel, we've created a Creator Academy lesson to help you out.

Posted by Roy Livne, Senior Product Manager, recently watched Interact with your community | Master Class ft Meghan Tonjes