Category Archives: YouTube Creators

The Official YouTube Partners and Creators Blog

Updates to YouTube’s verification program

When viewers come to YouTube, it’s important that they know the channel they are watching is the official presence of the creator, artist, public figure or company that it represents. With that in mind, we’re announcing upcoming changes to our channel verification program starting in late October. There are two parts to the new verification program, a new look and new eligibility requirements.



New look




Currently, verified channels have a checkmark next to their channel name. Through our research, we found that viewers often associated the checkmark with an endorsement of content, not identity. To reduce confusion about what being verified means, we’re introducing a new look that helps distinguish the official channel of the creator, celebrity or brand it represents.






As YouTube has expanded features where viewers interact with channels, including community posts, live chats and comments, the checkmark has been displayed inconsistently. The new look will be displayed more consistently across channel pages, search and comments, and is more difficult to replicate, so that viewers can be sure of a channel’s identity. This new look will also replace the existing music note on Official Artist Channels on YouTube.



New eligibility requirements




Under our current eligibility requirements, channels with more than 100,000 subscribers can be verified regardless of need for proof of authenticity. That worked well when YouTube was smaller, but as YouTube has grown and the ecosystem has become more complex, we needed a new way to verify the identity of channels and help users find the official channel they’re looking for.



Our new criteria prioritizes verifying prominent channels that have a clear need for proof of authenticity. We look at a number of factors to determine if a channel meets this criteria, including:




  • Authenticity: Does this channel belong to the real creator, artist, public figure or company it claims to represent?
  • Prominence: Does this channel represent a well-known or highly searched creator, artist, public figure or company? Is this channel widely recognized outside of YouTube and have a strong presence online? Is this a popular channel that has a very similar name to many other channels?




The new criteria will apply for all channels. Channels that meet the new requirements no longer need to apply; we will automatically apply the new verified treatment. For more info about verification and eligibility, check out our Help Center.




Jonathan McPhie, Product Manager

Susan Wojcicki: Preserving openness through responsibility

Dear creators and artists,



As I do every quarter, I’d like to pause and reflect on my priorities and how I can help you be successful on YouTube. But rather than our usual update on this quarter’s highlights and lowlights, I want to take a minute to talk about something that is incredibly important to me personally, and the future of this platform: openness and how we balance that with our responsibility to protect the community.



YouTube is built on the premise of openness. Based on this open platform, millions of creators around the world have connected with global audiences and many of them have built thriving businesses in the process. But openness comes with its challenges, which is why we also have Community Guidelines that we update on an ongoing basis. Most recently, this includes our hate speech policy and our upcoming harassment policy. When you create a place designed to welcome many different voices, some will cross the line. Bad actors will try to exploit platforms for their own gain, even as we invest in the systems to stop them. As more issues come into view, a rising chorus of policymakers, press and pundits are questioning whether an open platform is valuable... or even viable.



Despite these concerns, I believe preserving an open platform is more important than ever.



First, openness leads to opportunity. Today’s creators have built an entire creative economy and are redefining the face of media. They are truly next-generation media businesses, with millions of views and global brands, who are contributing to local and global economies, and creating jobs. These are creators that would not have had a chance to break through in a more closed media landscape. Creators like Swedish robotics enthusiast Simone Giertz and blind lifestyle vlogger Molly Burke, both unconventional in their appeal and passed over by traditional media, are finding huge success on YouTube managing businesses, selling merchandise, creating jobs for other people and creating real economic value in their communities. Or creators like Laura Vitale, Sallys Welt and Helen's Recipes have turned their passion for food into full-time professions, complete with successful channels, cookbooks and more. And they are not alone. A report from Ryerson University found that YouTube creators have created 28,000 full time jobs just in Canada. And 20% of eligible Canadian creators are creating jobs for others. Around the globe, the number of channels earning more than $100,000 continues to climb 40% year over year.



Openness has also helped foster community. On an open platform, a shared experience can unite people in amazing ways. For example, Ryleigh Hawkins from New Zealand started her channel, Tourettes Teen, to spread awareness about what it’s like to live with Tourette’s syndrome. Her informative, joyful and humorous videos have earned her fans around the world and let others with this potentially isolating condition know they are not alone. And teens are sharing their college rejection videos, serving as a reminder that this painful moment happens to everyone and people do bounce back.



And finally, openness leads to learning. As a daughter of two teachers and a lifelong learner, I’ve been especially inspired to see Edutubers like Origin of Everything, Manual do Mundo, Eddie Woo and Excel is Fun turn YouTube into the world’s largest classroom. Every time I meet someone new and ask them about YouTube, I hear a story about something they learned on the site: how YouTube helped a student ace her math homework, a mom fix a broken garage door, or an employee master a new job skill.



Let me be clear, none of this happens without openness. Without an open system, diverse and authentic voices have trouble breaking through. And the voices that do get a platform often sound like those who already have one. That small business built on someone sharing their passion for soapmaking never takes off. That bullied teen can’t find a community that looks and feels like them and lets them know that it gets better. And that curious person obsessed with planetary physics and looking for a few videos is probably out of luck.



A commitment to openness is not easy. It sometimes means leaving up content that is outside the mainstream, controversial or even offensive. But I believe that hearing a broad range of perspectives ultimately makes us a stronger and more informed society, even if we disagree with some of those views. A large part of how we protect this openness is not just guidelines that allow for diversity of speech, but the steps that we’re taking to ensure a responsible community. I’ve said a number of times this year that this is my number one priority. A responsible approach toward managing what’s on our platform protects our users and creators like you. It also means we can continue to foster all the good that comes from an open platform.



Problematic content represents a fraction of one percent of the content on YouTube and we’re constantly working to reduce this even further. This very small amount has a hugely outsized impact, both in the potential harm for our users, as well as the loss of faith in the open model that has enabled the rise of your creative community. One assumption we’ve heard is that we hesitate to take action on problematic content because it benefits our business. This is simply not true — in fact, the cost of not taking sufficient action over the long term results in lack of trust from our users, advertisers, and you, our creators. We want to earn that trust.



This is why we’ve been investing significantly over the past few years in the teams and systems that protect YouTube. Our approach towards responsibility involves four “Rs”:

  • We REMOVE content that violates our policy as quickly as possible. And we’re always looking to make our policies clearer and more effective, as we’ve done with pranks and challenges, child safety, and hate speech just this year. We aim to be thoughtful when we make these updates and consult a wide variety of experts to inform our thinking, for example we talked to dozens of experts as we developed our updated hate speech policy. We also report on the removals we make in our quarterly Community Guidelines enforcement report. I also appreciate that when policies aren’t working for the creator community, you let us know. One area we’ve heard loud and clear needs an update is creator-on-creator harassment. I said in my last letter that we’d be looking at this and we will have more to share in the coming months.
  • We RAISE UP authoritative voices when people are looking for breaking news and information, especially during breaking news moments. Our breaking and top news shelves are available in 40 countries and we’re continuing to expand that number.
  • We REDUCE the spread of content that brushes right up against our policy line. Already, in the U.S. where we made changes to recommendations earlier this year, we’ve seen a 50% drop of views from recommendations to this type of content, meaning quality content has more of a chance to shine. And we've begun experimenting with this change in the UK, Ireland, South Africa and other English-language markets.
  • And we set a higher bar for what channels can make money on our site, REWARDING trusted, eligible creators. Not all content allowed on YouTube is going to match what advertisers feel is suitable for their brand, we have to be sure they are comfortable with where their ads appear. This is also why we’re enabling new revenue streams for creators like Super Chat and Memberships. Thousands of channels have more than doubled their total YouTube revenue by using these new tools in addition to advertising.




The stories I hear from creators like you inspire me every day. The community you’ve created is living proof that an internet that reflects a broad range of ideas can change the world for the better. You’ve built something incredible; it’s our job to strike the right balance between openness and responsibility so that future generations of creators and users can, as well.



Susan Wojcicki

Updates to our manual Content ID claiming policies

In Susan’s April Creator Letter, she shared that improving creators’ experience with copyright claims is one of our top priorities. One concerning trend we’ve seen is aggressive manual claiming of very short music clips used in monetized videos. These claims can feel particularly unfair, as they transfer all revenue from the creator to the claimant, regardless of the amount of music claimed. A little over a month ago, we took a first step in addressing this by requiring copyright owners to provide timestamps for all manual claims so you know exactly which part of your video is being claimed. We also made updates to our editing tools in Creator Studio that allow you to use those timestamps to remove manually claimed content from your videos, automatically releasing the claim and restoring monetization.



Today, we’re announcing additional changes to our manual claiming policies intended to improve fairness in the creator ecosystem, while still respecting copyright owners’ rights to prevent unlicensed use of their content.



Including someone else’s content without permission — regardless of how short the clip is — means your video can still be claimed and copyright owners will still be able to prevent monetization or block the video from being viewed. However, going forward, our policies will forbid copyright owners from using our Manual Claiming tool to monetize creator videos with very short or unintentional uses of music. This change only impacts claims made with the Manual Claiming tool, where the rightsholder is actively reviewing the video. Claims created by the Content ID match system, which are the vast majority, are not impacted by this policy. Without the option to monetize, some copyright owners may choose to leave very short or unintentional uses unclaimed. Others may choose to prevent monetization of the video by any party. And some may choose to apply a block policy.



As always, the best way to avoid these issues is to not use unlicensed content in your videos, even when it’s unintentional music playing in the background (i.e. vlogging in a store with music playing in the background). Instead, choose content from trusted sources such as the YouTube Audio Library, which has new tracks added every month. If you do find yourself with an unintended claim, you can use our editing tools to remove the claimed content and the restrictions that come with it. And, of course, if you feel that your use qualifies for an exception to copyright, like Fair Use, be sure you understand what that means and how our dispute process works before uploading your video.



Our enforcement of these new policies will apply to all new manual claims beginning in mid-September, providing adequate time for copyright owners to adapt. Once we start enforcement, copyright owners who repeatedly fail to adhere to these policies will have their access to Manual Claiming suspended.



We strive to make YouTube a fair ecosystem for everyone, including songwriters, artists, and YouTube creators. We acknowledge that these changes may result in more blocked content in the near-term, but we feel this is an important step toward striking the right balance over the long-term. Our goal is to unlock new value for everyone by powering creative reuse and content mashups, while fairly compensating all rightsholders.



— The YouTube Team

VidCon 2019

Happy 10th annual VidCon, creators! We're here with our Chief Product Officer, Neal Mohan, who's keynoting it up. His main message? All the ways YouTube will continue to support and help drive new opportunities for you in the next decade and beyond. Read how YouTube's planning to do all this — thanks to some of our new initiatives — here.

— The YouTube Team

More information and better tools to resolve manual Content ID claims

As Susan mentioned in her April Creator Letter, we’re making it easier for creators to understand and remove manually claimed content in their videos. We’ve heard from creators that the recent uptick of manual claims, especially for short segments, has led to some confusion, as the claims sometimes lack key information that can help to resolve the issue. While it’s important that creators understand and respect copyright, it’s also important that they have knowledge of who is claiming content in their videos, where it appears, and what they can do about it. Starting today, we will require copyright owners to provide timestamps to indicate exactly where their content appears in videos they manually claim, and we’re improving our video editing tools in Creator Studio to make it easier for creators to remove the content associated with these claims.

Manual Claiming is a tool within Content ID that allows select copyright owners to manually make claims on videos that were not automatically made by our Content ID matching system. Previously, we did not require copyright owners using the Manual Claiming tool to provide timestamps, so it was sometimes unclear to creators which parts of their videos were being claimed and in addition, unlike edits that removed content identified by automated claims, the claims wouldn’t be automatically released.

We’re making the experience better for you in two important ways:

1. Copyright owners must now provide timestamps for exactly what part of your video is being manually claimed.

Just as you would if you receive an automatic claim from our Content ID matching system, you’ll now see timestamps in Creator Studio when you get a manual claim. Check out the Video Copyright Info page in YouTube Studio that offers a visualization of where the manually-claimed content appears in your video, and also, it provides more info about the content being claimed. We’ll be evaluating the accuracy of these timestamps. Copyright owners who repeatedly fail to provide accurate data will have their access to manual claiming revoked.

2. You can use our editing tools to remove the content claimed manually in your video which will now automatically release the claims.

We’ve updated our editing tools to make it easier to remove manually claimed content from your video. If you choose to remove the content, the claim will now be released automatically. Below are some of the options you have without having to edit and upload a new video:
  • Mute all sound when the claimed song plays: If you get a claim for a piece of music in your video, you can now mute the time-stamped segment.
  • Replace the song: If you don’t want to mute the audio entirely, you can instead swap out the music with one of our free-to-use songs from the YouTube Audio Library. We also added new visual indicators below the video player, which show exactly what segment of the video is claimed. This can help you position the audio track in such a way that will remove the claims from your video.
  • Trim out the content: You also have the option to cut out the time-stamped segment from your video using the Trim feature in the YouTube Editor.
We’re still working on several improvements here, like having an explicit Trim option in the Video Copyright Info page that will allow you to trim out the claimed content with just one click. You can learn more about these changes in our Help Center.

Remember, if you receive a claim that you believe is incorrect, you have the right to dispute it. You know the most about the content in your videos and whether it was used appropriately, so we built the dispute process to empower you to escalate any problems to the copyright owner, and even as far as the courts, if you choose. If both you and the person claiming your video are attempting to monetize it, we will continue to show ads on the video during the dispute process and make sure the appropriate party gets the revenue once the dispute is resolved.

Our work won’t stop here. We’re always looking to find ways to improve the creator copyright experience while also balancing the rights of copyright owners. Stay tuned for more to come.



Julian Bill, Product Manager



More information and better tools to resolve manual Content ID claims

As Susan mentioned in her April Creator Letter, we’re making it easier for creators to understand and remove manually claimed content in their videos. We’ve heard from creators that the recent uptick of manual claims, especially for short segments, has led to some confusion, as the claims sometimes lack key information that can help to resolve the issue. While it’s important that creators understand and respect copyright, it’s also important that they have knowledge of who is claiming content in their videos, where it appears, and what they can do about it. Starting today, we will require copyright owners to provide timestamps to indicate exactly where their content appears in videos they manually claim, and we’re improving our video editing tools in Creator Studio to make it easier for creators to remove the content associated with these claims.

Manual Claiming is a tool within Content ID that allows select copyright owners to manually make claims on videos that were not automatically made by our Content ID matching system. Previously, we did not require copyright owners using the Manual Claiming tool to provide timestamps, so it was sometimes unclear to creators which parts of their videos were being claimed and in addition, unlike edits that removed content identified by automated claims, the claims wouldn’t be automatically released.

We’re making the experience better for you in two important ways:

1. Copyright owners must now provide timestamps for exactly what part of your video is being manually claimed.

Just as you would if you receive an automatic claim from our Content ID matching system, you’ll now see timestamps in Creator Studio when you get a manual claim. Check out the Video Copyright Info page in YouTube Studio that offers a visualization of where the manually-claimed content appears in your video, and also, it provides more info about the content being claimed. We’ll be evaluating the accuracy of these timestamps. Copyright owners who repeatedly fail to provide accurate data will have their access to manual claiming revoked.

2. You can use our editing tools to remove the content claimed manually in your video which will now automatically release the claims.

We’ve updated our editing tools to make it easier to remove manually claimed content from your video. If you choose to remove the content, the claim will now be released automatically. Below are some of the options you have without having to edit and upload a new video:
  • Mute all sound when the claimed song plays: If you get a claim for a piece of music in your video, you can now mute the time-stamped segment.
  • Replace the song: If you don’t want to mute the audio entirely, you can instead swap out the music with one of our free-to-use songs from the YouTube Audio Library. We also added new visual indicators below the video player, which show exactly what segment of the video is claimed. This can help you position the audio track in such a way that will remove the claims from your video.
  • Trim out the content: You also have the option to cut out the time-stamped segment from your video using the Trim feature in the YouTube Editor.
We’re still working on several improvements here, like having an explicit Trim option in the Video Copyright Info page that will allow you to trim out the claimed content with just one click. You can learn more about these changes in our Help Center.

Remember, if you receive a claim that you believe is incorrect, you have the right to dispute it. You know the most about the content in your videos and whether it was used appropriately, so we built the dispute process to empower you to escalate any problems to the copyright owner, and even as far as the courts, if you choose. If both you and the person claiming your video are attempting to monetize it, we will continue to show ads on the video during the dispute process and make sure the appropriate party gets the revenue once the dispute is resolved.

Our work won’t stop here. We’re always looking to find ways to improve the creator copyright experience while also balancing the rights of copyright owners. Stay tuned for more to come.



Julian Bill, Product Manager



Breaking down barriers to VR

YouTube is where people go to experience VR videos. With over one million VR videos and experiences, YouTube VR offers a diverse library of immersive content for everyone to enjoy and explore the world from a new perspective.

But to make VR for everyone, we have to continue breaking down barriers on how people create and watch VR content on YouTube. To do this, we’re focused on offering YouTube VR on even more platforms, celebrating award-winning VR content and improving creator education programs.

Offering YouTube VR on even more platforms


Since the initial launch of the YouTube VR app in November 2016, we’ve been focused on bringing the app to as many people with a VR headset as possible. It’s already available on Daydream View, HTC Vive, Playstation VR, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Go and Oculus Rift. And when Oculus Quest becomes available on Tuesday, May 21, the YouTube VR app will be available as a launch title.

Celebrating award-winning VR content on YouTube


VR allows creators to transport their audiences to new, amazing and even impossible places. We’ve partnered with creators to bring immersive experiences to YouTube. And, over the last six months, these VR videos have been recognized with a number of standout awards, including Emmy®, Webby and Streamy awards.



Baobab Studios recently nabbed multiple Emmy® awards for the animated short film, “Crow: The Legend VR.” With a star-studded cast  including John Legend, Oprah, Liza Koshy and Constance Wu  this immersive short film is animated VR content at its best.



But the Emmy® awards didn’t stop there. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory won an Emmy® for their “Cassini's Grand Finale 360°” videos and NASA's first 360° livestream. These 360-degree videos transport viewers to space, unlocking an out-of-this-world experience.



Isle of Dogs: Behind the Scenes (in Virtual Reality)” won two Webby Awards and the Clio Entertainment Gold award. The immersive video takes the audience behind-the-scenes of the film, featuring on-set interviews with the cast and an inside look at the unique craft of stop-motion animation.

Improving creator education through the YouTube VR Creator Lab


As part of our efforts to continue democratizing VR content creation, we’re currently accepting applications for the European edition of the YouTube VR Creator Lab. This three-month, learning and production intensive helps creators embrace YouTube’s VR180 format.

Selected participants get to attend a three-day boot camp at a YouTube Space and receive advanced education from leading VR instructors and filmmakers, ongoing mentoring, a shiny VR180 camera to keep, and $20,000 USD in funding toward the production of their dream projects.



Since the program launched in 2017, we’ve hosted six YouTube VR Creator Labs with over 60 creators across the globe in Los Angeles, London and Tokyo. Participants have gone on to win Emmy and Streamy awards for their VR content created during the lab.

We’re excited to see where VR will bring us next!

Posted by Julia Hamiton Trost, Head of VR/AR Content & Partnerships, who recently watched “Cirque du Soleil's VOLTA Hair Suspension in VR180,” and Kurt Wilms, Product Lead, VR, who recently watched “Engineering for Mars: Building the Mars 2020 Mission (360 video)



Creator Summit: What 6 creators had to say

Photos by Alexander Stein

Over the past couple days, we hosted our fifth annual North American Creator Summit, where we brought together over a hundred of our most influential creators and artists for inspirational conversations. It was candid, it was fun, and there was a lot of latte art. From burning questions posed to YouTube Leadership to meaningful discussions with peers, the creators and artists who joined us fostered a special kind of community this year. There was energy and excitement in the air that was palpable and spirited, which gave the rollerskating extravaganza extra pizzazz.

We caught up with a few creators right after Susan Wojcicki (CEO), Neal Mohan (CPO) and Robert Kyncl (CBO) spoke about how creators and artists are the very heart of YouTube.

“The Internet’s always going to be asking for more, but hearing them talk about it in person — their steps and plans, what they’re planning to do to fix it, and how many people are part of the team to work on very specific issue — it’s comforting to hear them say that and know that they’re on our side,” said Lily Hevesh, the domino artist behind Hevesh5.

Interviews have been condensed for clarity.

Sam Tsui performing at Creator Summit (Photo by Alexander Stein)

Sam Tsui


Sam Tsui is a singer-songwriter who’s been on YouTube since August 2011.
YouTube: Favorite part so far?
Sam Tsui: It’s incredible to have the face-to-face with YouTube, with Susan [Wojcicki], and all the people who make this platform possible. There’s a lot to learn and a lot to know. … It’s always so amazing that YouTube wants us to come out and hear what we think, give us a heads up on what’s coming and all that good stuff. … Between that and all the fun activities, it’s totally amazing, overwhelming, and a ton of fun.
YouTube: Key takeaway after hearing Susan, Neal and Robert on stage?
Sam Tsui: [It’s] wonderful to hear how healthy the platform is. The statistics about the number of creators who have over one million subs is growing, and the engagement, and the fact that this is, as ever, the place for the kind of stuff you want to be doing.
Natalie and Dennis (Photo by Nesrin Danan)

Natalie & Dennis Show

Natalie and Dennis got married in December 2017 after six years of dating. Natalie also has her own separate channel called Natalies Outlet.
YouTube: Favorite part so far?
Natalie: It’s such an honor to be in a room full of some of the most powerful people on the Internet. Especially having the speakers come in and talk to you so genuinely, and without a third wall and so real. Sometimes I think we get caught up in the business of YouTube, and it all comes down to the passion.
Dennis: The hospitality is always so nice. We always have packages when we arrive. We feel cared for.
YouTube: Key takeaway after hearing Susan, Neal and Robert on stage?
Natalie: Sometimes you don’t really see what they’re doing behind-the-scenes. You just think, “Oh, they represent YouTube.” But they really did show that they’re working on policies. They’re working on making sure as creators, we’re continuing to monetize. It’s nice to see that they’re so caring and they answered real questions, even though [the questions are] kind of hot sometimes.

Hyunee (Photo by Nesrin Danan)

Hyunee Eats

Hyunee’s mukbang channel has 1.2 million subscribers, and this is her first year at Creator Summit.

YouTube: Key takeaway after hearing Susan, Neal and Robert on stage?
Hyunee Eats: We complain a lot about the faults that they have, but knowing that they’re working hard to improve everything and actually seeing them talk to us in person has helped us learn about what they actually do behind-the-scenes. ... They’re like real people, like us.

Lily Hevesh (far right) Photo by Alexander Stein

Lily Hevesh of Hevesh5

Lily Hevesh has been making domino art videos since 2009. This is also her first Creator Summit!

YouTube: Favorite part so far?
Lily Hevesh: I don’t really get the opportunity to meet other people who make videos for a living, so bringing all the top creators in one room is super exciting.
YouTube: Key takeaway after hearing Susan, Neal and Robert on stage?
Lily Hevesh: Just seeing them in person and hearing them speak — to me, it felt like they really do deeply care about the creators, fans and advertisers. And they’re trying their best to please all of them. While there are lots of issues with the site, they’re working as hard as they can to try and solve them.

MissRemiAshten (Photo by Nesrin Danan)

MissRemiAshten

Remi Cruz is a 23-year-old lifestyle and wellness creator with 2.5 million subscribers.

YouTube: Favorite part so far?
MissRemiAshten: We’re only on day one, and this has been my favorite one, for sure. Getting to see Julie Rice, the co-founder of SoulCycle, and getting to see her interact with Blogilates, who’s one of my favorite YouTubers and one of my really good friends. I feel like they’re two people I look up to so much, and I live by Soulcycle so I genuinely feel like they tailored a lot of stuff to our interests today.
YouTube: Key takeaway after hearing Susan, Neal and Robert on stage?
MissRemiAshten: There are so many things that go on behind the scenes that I don’t even know about. So it’s interesting to hear that. … It’s nice that YouTube has this whole conference for us in general, because no other platform does it.

— The YouTube Team

Addressing creator feedback and an update on my 2019 priorities

Dear Creators and Artists,

It’s hard to believe it’s only April given all that we’ve already witnessed this year. We’ve seen new creative peaks reached by our global creator community, showing even further that you are the heart of YouTube. But we’ve also faced incredible challenges. And given the scale and impact of YouTube, there’s nothing more important than managing our role as a platform responsibly.

All illustrations by Jing Wei



1. Living up to our responsibility


My top priority is responsibility. We’re always balancing maintaining an open platform with managing our community guidelines. But to combat a number of concerning incidents we’ve seen in the last few months, we’ve had to take more aggressive action.

In February, we announced the suspension of comments on most YouTube videos that feature minors. We did this to protect children from predatory comments (with the exception of a small number of channels that have the manpower needed to actively moderate their comments and take additional steps to protect children). We know how vital comments are to creators. I hear from creators every day how meaningful comments are for engaging with fans, getting feedback, and helping guide future videos. I also know this change impacted so many creators who we know are innocent—from professional creators to young people or their parents who are posting videos. But in the end, that was a trade-off we made because we feel protecting children on our platform should be the most important guiding principle.

The following month, we took unprecedented action in the wake of the Christchurch tragedy. Our teams immediately sprung into action to remove the violative content. To counter the enormous volume of uploaded videos showing violent imagery, we chose to temporarily break some of our processes and features. That meant a number of videos that didn’t actually violate community guidelines, including a small set of news and commentary, were swept up and kept off the platform (until appealed by its owners and reinstated). But given the stakes, it was another trade-off that we felt was necessary. And with the devastating Sri Lankan attacks, our teams worked around the clock to make sure we removed violative content. In both cases, our systems triggered authoritative news and limited the spread of any hate and misinformation.

These issues have also been top-of-mind for policy-makers, press, brands, and advertisers, whom I met with on recent trips to Washington and Asia. I updated them all on the steps we’ve taken around responsibility and also praised the extraordinary talents and importance of our creator economy. You’ve helped drive a remarkable transformation in the media landscape—where we’ve gone from a handful of broadcast networks to millions of channels that connect deeply with each and every person. Your videos not only touch lives, but have created new jobs and the next generation of media companies.


2. Support creator and artist success


Everywhere I go I try to meet with creators. Recently, I sat down with a number of creators in Japan and India and did videos with Korea Grandma in Seoul and Prajakta Koli, or MostlySane, in Mumbai. Back at home, I shared drinks and some honest conversation with Shane Dawson, James Charles, Collins and Devan Key, Ethan and Hila Klein, and Safiya Nygaard. It was inspiring to see how all these creators have invested so deeply in YouTube.



The feedback I heard from these discussions was especially important. A top issue was wanting more clarity around community guidelines and advertiser friendly policies so there’s more predictability on monetization and our recommendation system. They’re also looking for better representation of creators on trending. They’re frustrated with copyright claims that are less than 10 seconds or incidental. And they say the online harassment from fellow creators is growing and needs to be addressed.

I’d like to address these issues one by one. First, we plan to add more detail to our policies so that creators can make the best decisions on their content. Our Self Certification pilot is a great example of why this is so crucial. With this program, creators can self report how their video complies with ad policies and build up trust that our systems adjust to. This helps creators gain a better understanding of our guidelines and delivers clearer results for them and for advertisers. We’ve rolled out this pilot to over one thousand channels and I’m hopeful we will find a way to make it available to more monetizing channels. And on monetization, we’ll continue to focus on increasing the accuracy of the classifiers representing the advertising friendly guidelines, something we know is important for all creators. Since January, we’ve already improved the precision of the classifier by 25%.

On the trending tab, we’ve heard it doesn’t seem to reflect what people are watching on the platform and that too many of the same creators show up time and time again. One thing to keep in mind is that trending is meant to show content that a wide range of viewers would find interesting. So we’re especially careful about the safety of these videos and we ensure they don’t contain profanity or mature content. Eligible videos are then ranked based on a calculation of their “temperature”—how quickly that video is generating views. But we want to better showcase our creators. Going forward, our goal is to have at least half the videos on trending come from YouTubers (with the remainder coming from music and traditional media), something we’re close to already but will expand on. We also plan to make sure this is a diverse set of creators. And we’ll continue to ramp up our Creator on the Rise and Gaming Creator on the Rise initiatives.

We also heard firsthand that our Manual Claiming system was increasingly being used to claim very short (in some cases one second) content or incidental content like when a creator walks past a store playing a few seconds of music. We were already looking into this issue but hearing this directly from creators was vital. We are exploring improvements in striking the right balance between copyright owners and creators.

Finally, I take it very seriously when creators share stories of experiencing harassment on the platform. While criticism from fellow creators can be constructive, any threats or doxing crosses the line. Such behavior is already prohibited by our policies. But stay tuned as we will do more to discourage this from happening on the platform.

To help more creators find their audience, we’ve been ramping up our NextUp creator camps, with recent editions in Jakarta and London. And we’re seeing exciting momentum for YouTube around the world, not just for creators but also artists.


With the launch of YouTube Music in India, Japan, and Argentina, we’ve witnessed musical artists big and small reach new audiences internationally, and the free, ad-supported streaming app is now available in 43 countries, with more to come.

But we are also still very concerned about Article 13 (now renamed Article 17) — a part of the Copyright directive that recently passed in the E.U. While we support the rights of copyright holders—YouTube has deals with almost all the music companies and TV broadcasters today—we are concerned about the vague, untested requirements of the new directive. It could create serious limitations for what YouTube creators can upload. This risks lowering the revenue to traditional media and music companies from YouTube and potentially devastating the many European creators who have built their businesses on YouTube.

While the Directive has passed, there is still time to affect the final implementation to avoid some of the worst unintended consequences. Each E.U. member state now has two years to introduce national laws that are in line with the new rules, which means that the powerful collective voice of creators can still make a major impact.

We must continue to stand up and speak out for open creativity. Your actions have already led to the most popular Change.org petition in history and encouraged people to reach across borders. This is not the end of our movement but only the beginning.

3. Improving communication and engagement


Personally, and as a company, we are committed to listening to your feedback and concerns. Just like last year, we’ll be making a big push to meet creators where they want to communicate— through social, video, and one-on-one sessions. I plan on sitting down with more creators in 2019, focusing on the issues that are most important to you. Let me know who you’d like to see me meet with - I’m open to suggestions!

Hopefully, most of you have tried out YouTube Studio Beta, which we’ve built to give creators even more updates and news. It offers a Known Issues bulletin on the dashboard that lists outages, bugs, or issues going on with YouTube, and a new Analytics experience with long-requested metrics like impressions, thumbnail click-through rates, and unique viewers. We've also recently improved our support of InfoCards and EndScreens in the new Studio, as well as Comparisons in Analytics. Your feedback has been crucial to these improvements, and more real-time data is coming soon.

Since so many creators have told us that the community guidelines strike system felt inconsistent and confusing, we updated our policies to a simpler and more transparent system. Every creator now gets a one-time warning that allows them to learn about our policies before they face penalties on their channel. Each strike, no matter if it comes from the videos, thumbnails, or links, gets the same penalty. On top of adding new mobile and in-product notifications about a strike, our email and desktop notifications will provide more details on which policy was violated.

Like all of you, YouTube is continually adapting to keep up with a fast-changing world. But the one thing that won’t change is the fact that our past, present, and future success starts with our creators. Many of you have been with us since our early days, and have built YouTube into the vibrant community it is today. And that’s why we’re focused on supporting your growing businesses, both through improving responsibility on the platform and by creating more opportunities for you to engage and build audiences.


Being a creator can be rewarding, exhilarating, challenging, and exhausting all at once. But the hard work is worth it. You’re at the cutting edge of culture.Your stories are helping the world to connect and learn. Please continue to share your voice and your feedback with us—it helps us make our platform stronger.

Susan Wojcicki






More updates on our actions related to the safety of minors on YouTube

Dear Creators,

We know that many of you have been closely following the actions we’re taking to protect young people on YouTube and are as deeply concerned as we are that we get this right. We want to update you on some additional changes we’re making, particularly in regards to comments, building on the efforts we shared last week.


We recognize that comments are a core part of the YouTube experience and how you connect with and grow your audience. At the same time, the important steps we’re sharing today are critical for keeping young people safe. Thank you for your understanding and feedback as we continue our work to protect the YouTube community.



Below is a summary of the main steps we’ve taken to improve child safety on YouTube since our update last Friday:



Disabling comments on videos featuring minors




Over the past week, we disabled comments from tens of millions of videos that could be subject to predatory behavior. These efforts are focused on videos featuring young minors and we will continue to identify videos at risk over the next few months. Over the next few months, we will be broadening this action to suspend comments on videos featuring young minors and videos featuring older minors that could be at risk of attracting predatory behavior.



A small number of creators will be able to keep comments enabled on these types of videos. These channels will be required to actively moderate their comments, beyond just using our moderation tools, and demonstrate a low risk of predatory behavior. We will work with them directly and our goal is to grow this number over time as our ability to catch violative comments continues to improve.



Launching a new comments classifier




While we have been removing hundreds of millions of comments for violating our policies, we had been working on an even more effective classifier, that will identify and remove predatory comments. This classifier does not affect the monetization of your video. We accelerated its launch and now have a new comments classifier in place that is more sweeping in scope, and will detect and remove 2X more individual comments.



Taking action on creators who cause egregious harm to the community




No form of content that endangers minors is acceptable on YouTube, which is why we have terminated certain channels that attempt to endanger children in any way. Videos encouraging harmful and dangerous challenges targeting any audience are also clearly against our policies. We will continue to take action when creators violate our policies in ways that blatantly harm the broader user and creator community. Please continue to flag these to us.



Thank you for your understanding as we make these changes,

TeamYouTube