Category Archives: YouTube Creators

The Official YouTube Partners and Creators Blog

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 :)


CameoFlow.gif

Stream you soon. :-)

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

Thanks for Another Incredible Year – Here’s to an exciting 2017!

Dear YouTubers,

After what’s felt like a very long year, more than anything, I just wanted to say thanks. Thanks for entertaining us, for educating us, for thrilling us and for inspiring us. Your channels continue to fill the lives of over a billion people around the world with creativity and joy, all because of the effort you put into the videos you make. And you’re succeeding like never before—over 1,000 creators earned Gold Play Buttons last year by reaching a million subscribers. That’s more than double what we saw in 2015!

One of the best parts of my job is interacting with all of you, whether that’s in person or reading your tweets and comments. And one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t hold back! You haven’t been shy about telling us what we can improve or do better and for that I’m really grateful. Your feedback has led us to make some important changes and investigate and tackle several thorny issues, all of which have made YouTube a better place. We know there’s more to be done, but below is a summary of some of things we worked on last year to improve the platform for all of you.

Strengthening our Community
There’s no question, what makes YouTube special is our community, so we focused on giving creators better ways to connect with their fans. 

  • Quick responses from real people. Because every creator has different needs, we’ve worked to ensure that every single creator who’s enabled monetization on their channel (and there are tens of millions of you!) can reach out to YouTube with a question and hear back from a real human being in one business day. 
  • Improved comments. We’re continuing to improve comments to make sure conversations are more personal and set the right tone. We’ve rolled out the ability to pin and love comments, highlight comments from channel owners and delegate moderation to people you trust. 
  • Easing the burden of disputes and strikes. We announced steps to ensure that no creator would lose money while Content ID disputes are being resolved on their videos. We changed the way copyright strikes are applied to channels so that channels aren’t unfairly penalized and reduced the time they last from six months to 90 days.
  • A brand new Creator Hub. We completely redesigned our creator support resources, to make them easier to access. Our redesigned Creator Hub at youtube.com/creators is your one-stop-shop for updates, news and support, and is available in 23 different languages.
  • The Community Tab. We created an entirely new “Community” tab that will give creators new ways to connect with their fans. The feature is still in beta, but eventually all creators will be able to post gifs, text, live videos and more to their tab, giving them quick and easy ways to engage with fans in between uploads.

Supporting the Creative Economy
Whether you’re an emerging or established creator, YouTube is here to support you.

  • Sustained Revenue Growth. For nearly a decade, we’ve paid out the majority of our ad revenue to our creators and partners because we believe they should earn money for the traffic they generate. In fact, for the last three years, partner’s share of revenue has grown by an average of 50%.
  • Rewarding rightsholders with Content ID. Content ID has allowed our community to celebrate their favorite songs and videos, while earning revenue for creators and artists. Over the past five years, we’ve paid out over $2 billion to partners who choose to monetize through Content ID.
  • Building New Business Models for Musicians. Even as music subscriptions grow quickly, advertising has become another powerful driver of revenue for musicians. In the last twelve months, we’ve paid out over $1 billion to the music industry from advertising alone—that’s not including revenue from YouTube Red, our growing subscription service. 


Investing in Cutting-Edge Creation
While we work to improve YouTube today, we’re also giving you the tools to create for tomorrow. 

  • Live streaming. While creators have been able to livestream on YouTube for years, we wanted to make it easier and faster. In June, we announced our new mobile live streaming feature that lets anyone broadcast to the world with just a few taps. It’s still in beta, but we’re busy rolling it out to more creators every day. We also became the first major video site to support live streaming in 360-degrees and in 4K resolution. 
  • HDR video, spatial audio, and a new VR app. We now support High Dynamic Range video, offering fans the most stunning quality we’ve ever streamed! We also introduced support for spatial audio, so you can not only see videos in 360-degrees, but hear them surround you as well. YouTube’s collection of VR video is the largest in existence—in fact, you can watch any video on YouTube in VR. And we gave viewers an even more immersive way to enjoy the world’s largest collection of VR video—a custom-built YouTube VR app. 


Furthering Creative Ambition
Finally, we want to make sure that we’re doing all we can to help YouTubers realize their creative ambitions on the platform. 

  • YouTube Originals. In less than one year, we released 24 original series and films, covering nearly every genre from documentaries to dramas to animated series. This year, we’ll release even more new original titles, investing in the creative ambitions of many top creators, on the platform where their fanbases already live.
  • International expansion of YouTube Red. We’ve worked hard to bring our subscription service to new markets, including Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea. We’ll continue to roll out YouTube Red in new markets throughout 2017, giving creators another meaningful way to earn revenue from their content and fans access to brand new original series and films. 
  • Global YouTube Spaces. We launched a brand new YouTube Space in Toronto and continue to work on a new Space in Rio, set to open in 2017. We also partnered with several institutions throughout the world to establish YouTube Pop Up Spaces in cities like Moscow, Sydney, Jakarta, Madrid, Dubai, Warsaw, Taipei and Rome. We have several more YouTube Pop Ups planned for 2017.
  • Music Artist Campaigns. To shine a light on the music of both emerging and established artists, we collaborated with them on customized campaigns, helping them connect with fans from around the world through the creation of unique and innovative video projects.
When I look back at this list, the thing that excites me most is how closely we worked with many of you to make these things a reality -- there were focus groups and feedback sessions where many of you could share directly with our teams what would make these features and updates better. We’re planning a lot of new things for this year, but one thing that will continue is the spirit of collaboration we’ve developed with all of you. No matter what new steps we take, I’m proud of the fact that we’re taking them together. 

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, recently watched Khalid’s “Location”

Can we chat? Hello Super Chat!

This post originally appeared on the YouTube Official Blog

We’re always trying to help creators share their stories, deepen relationships with their fans and succeed. In order to help out with the business part of the equation, over the last few years we’ve developed and released several tools to help creators monetize their videos and live streams in a variety of ways.

Today, we are introducing our latest tool for fans and creators to connect with one another during live streams: Super Chat. Anybody watching a live stream can purchase a Super Chat: a highlighted message in the chat stream that stands out from the crowd to get even more of your favorite creator’s attention. And Super Chats remain pinned to the top of chat for up to 5 hours, giving more airtime for your messages.

For creators, this means Super Chat does double duty: keeping their conversations and connections with (super) fans meaningful and lively while also giving creators a new way to make money. We’re excited to start the Super Chat beta today with a few creators, such as iHasCupquake and Great Library (buzzbean11 and Alex Wassabi. And we plan to broadly launch Super Chat on January 31 for creators in 20 countries and viewers in more than 40 countries.




As we welcome a new tool for fans and creators, we bid farewell to an old one: Fan Funding. We launched Fan Funding in 2014 to let viewers make voluntary payments to support creators directly. While we were really excited about Fan Funding, it never achieved widespread usage outside of live streams, where we saw the majority of revenue. Fan Funding will stop accepting new sign-ups today, but can continue to be used on enabled channels until February 28, when it will be discontinued.

We are super (get it ;) excited to see how our new creator funding tool keeps the conversation going.

Barbara Macdonald, Product Manager, recently watched “David S. Pumpkins.”

A New Way To Discover Up-And-Coming Creators & Artists

More great videos are uploaded to YouTube today than ever before. New formats are being created and new stars and artists are being born every moment. With more than 1,000 creators crossing the 1,000 subscriber threshold every single day, new talent is constantly emerging. We want to celebrate these up-and-coming creators and artists and help them build a bigger audience.

Starting today, we’ll highlight creators and artists who are “On The Rise” in a new section of our Trending Tab in the United States. Each week, four different creators and artists will be highlighted and featured for a full day on Trending with the following badges: Creator on the Rise or Artist on the Rise (music content).



Any creator or artist with over 1,000 subscribers is eligible to be featured. On The Rise creators and artists will be highlighted based on a bunch of factors including viewcount, watchtime and subscriber growth. Our team is also involved in the process to help select which eligible creators will be featured.

Two creators and two artists will be highlighted each week; we’ll let them know when they are featured so they can share the moment with their fans, old and new! We hope this will help the world discover inspirational new creators.

Posted by Jon Youshaei, Product Marketing Manager, recently watched "Months Before Corporate: The Introduction"

Improving Custom URLs on YouTube

At YouTube, we want to make it as easy as possible for fans to find and watch your channel. That's why we've spent years building the tools to help your audience stay on top of your videos -- from subscriptions, to notifications, and even custom URLs.

Last year, we announced that YouTube no longer requires a Google+ profile when you want to upload, comment, or create a channel. As part of this change, today we’re launching a new custom URL system that works independently from Google+ and also unifies your identity across YouTube.

Currently, we have two systems for claiming a custom URL:
  • A YouTube system that generates URLs in this format: youtube.com/ChannelName
  • A system integrated with Google+ that generates URLs like this: youtube.com/c/ChannelName
With these two systems in place, we began to see instances where two channels could request URLs with similar names in these two different formats. This is confusing for fans, and not a great experience for creators either.

Our new system will fix that problem. With today’s launch, both URLs from the older systems will now point to the same channel. This means that, in our previous example, users can now reach the same channel with either youtube.com/ChannelName or youtube.com/c/ChannelName. And with a new system in place, we’ll also avoid duplicating channel names in the future. This also means that claiming a new YouTube custom URL does not involve a custom URL for your Google+ profile, and vice versa.

We believe this is a positive change for the millions of channels that have custom URLs today, as well as those who will request one in the future. However, as we make this transition, there is a group of less than 0.02% of channels with custom URLs who will have to claim a new URL due to duplication conflicts -- when youtube.com/ChannelName and youtube.com/c/ChannelName point to different channels. If you are part of this group, you will be notified and can claim a brand new custom URL from your channel’s advanced account settings until May 31, 2017 to make this change.

We are making every effort to work with creators to find a solution that supports their needs on YouTube. That’s why we created custom URLs in the first place and we’re excited about how this change will benefit both fans and creators in the long term.

Posted by Tom Leung, Director, Product Management for Creator, recently watched THE $21,000 FIRST CLASS AIRPLANE SEAT

New Creators for Change ambassadors and resources are here!

This post originally appeared on the YouTube Official Blog

Back in September, we launched YouTube Creators for Change, a global initiative dedicated to amplifying (and multiplying) the voices of YouTube creators who tackle division and hate with videos and stories of hope, connection, and understanding. And as 2016 comes to a close, we’re proud to say that YouTube Creators for Change is growing.

We’ve established local Creators for Change initiatives in Australia, France, Germany, and Turkey, bringing together creators who have uploaded thousands of videos about countering hate through unity. We’ve opened up sets at YouTube Spaces in New York and Los Angeles where creators will record the first video-based StoryCorps interviews. And today, we’re thrilled to introduce our five newest Creators for Change ambassadors: All India Bakchod (India), Cameo Project (Indonesia), Dina Torkia (United Kingdom), Franchesca Ramsey (United States) and John Green (United States). You can learn more about these inspiring creators at the Creators For Change website, which launches today, too!



These new ambassadors will join the six existing ambassadors in engaging their communities on topics like hate speech, xenophobia, and extremism. And to do our part, we’re equipping each one of them with a $25,000 grant to use toward a social impact project of their choice. In fact, this past weekend John Green donated his grant to charity in connection with Project for Awesome, a live-streamed annual fundraiser that brings together video creators from all over the world who support charities that, as the vlogbrothers say, “decrease world suck.”

In the coming months, our 11 ambassadors will also help us choose creators who are already making their voices heard on social issues that matter to them. And as part of our original $1M commitment, each of these emerging creators will be given equipment and production grants. They’ll also receive mentorship support from the program ambassadors and an opportunity to participate in educational workshops at our YouTube Spaces.

Finally, to help all those creators who want to use their voices and videos to take on topics they care about, we’ve collaborated with Upworthy to create a helpful series of best practices for creating effective social-change videos.



You can find this video, information on all our ambassadors and more on the YouTube Creators for Change website. So check it out! And stay tuned for more updates in the coming months.



Juniper Downs, Head of YouTube Public Policy, recently watched "This Christian community opened its heart to new Muslim neighbors."

New tools to shape conversations in your comments section

Your relationship with your community is what makes YouTube unique. Whether your fans are Nerdfighters or Mirfandas, they’ve created a close-knit bond with you and your content. We realize that comments play a key role in growing this connection and we’re dedicated to making your conversations with your community easier and more personal. We've been listening to your feedback and we’re excited to roll out new comment features, including:
  • Pinned comments: promote a specific comment by pinning it to the top of your feed. This lets you highlight great engagement from your fans or share information with your audience.
  • Creator hearts: show some love by giving a heart to your favorite comments. This is a new and easy way to acknowledge comments from your community.
  • Creator usernames: when you comment on your channel, your username will appear under the text with a pop of color around it so your viewers can easily tell that the comment is coming from you. If you are a verified creator, you will still have a verification checkmark appear beside your name.

We also want to continue to help you shape the tone of your conversations on YouTube. Here’s a refresher on some existing tools along with a new beta feature we’re launching in the coming months.

  • Choose moderators: Earlier this year, we launched a new comment feature that lets you delegate moderation, giving people you trust the ability to remove public comments from your videos.
  • Blacklist words and phrases: You may have comments with certain words or phrases held for your review and approval before being published.
  • Hold potentially inappropriate comments for review: We’re introducing a new beta feature that allows you to hold potentially inappropriate comments for review. If you choose to opt-in, comments identified by our algorithm will be held and you have the final decision whether to approve, hide, or report these comments. We recognize that the algorithms will not always be accurate: the beta feature may hold some comments you deem fine for approval, or may not catch comments you’d like to hold and remove. When you review comments, the system will take that feedback into account and get better at identifying the types of comments to hold for review. If you’d like to try this out, submit your channel information here.


We’re excited to see how you use these features to grow stronger communities and have more constructive conversations in your comment sections.

Posted by Courtney Lessard, Product Manager, recently watched I made a robot to help me argue on the internet