Tag Archives: YouTube

YouTube Music App now preinstalled on Android 10 devices

YouTube Music is your personal guide through the complete world of music—whether it’s a hot new song, hard to find gem, or an unmissable music video. Music fans on Android phones can now easily unlock the magic of YouTube Music, which will come installed on all new devices launching with Android 10 (and Android 9), including the Pixel series.
Music listeners on Android devices are now just a few taps away from streaming their go-to tracks and discovering new music. From the gym, to the car, to work—it’s all here, right in your back pocket. Discover official songs, albums and playlists, music videos, remixes, live performances, hard-to-find music, and more. Whatever your mood, we’ve got you covered.
Once you’ve started your new device, just look for the YouTube Music icon and start listening! And if you don’t have Android 10 yet, don’t stress—simply visit the Play Store to get the app.
In addition to YouTube Music, Android 10 brings new features like suggested actions in Smart Reply, improved Digital Wellbeing tools, Dark theme, and much more. Google Play Music listeners with new Android 10 devices can continue to enjoy Google Play Music by downloading it from the Play Store and logging in to their accounts.
Brandon Bilinski, Product Manager - YouTube Music
Brandon recently listened to The Man Who Married a Robot / Love Theme by The 1975.

Source: YouTube Blog


Appeal of Conscience Foundation Remarks

The following speech was delivered last night by Susan Wojcicki at the Appeal of Conscience Foundation Awards Dinner. Founded in 1965, the Appeal of Conscience Foundation is an interfaith coalition of business and religious leaders that works to promote religious freedom and human rights throughout the world.



It’s an honor to be here tonight.

You’ve helped create a more peaceful world, and your work to bring diverse voices together is particularly important to me.

I have a deep appreciation for interfaith discussions, since I saw them around the kitchen table in my childhood. My mother came from a religious Jewish family and my father came from a Polish Catholic family. And as a result, I grew up learning to accept and appreciate so many different points of view.

For more than 50 years, the Appeal of Conscience Foundation has promoted mutual understanding.

At YouTube, we haven’t been around quite as longjust 14 years, to be exact. But we have a similar mission. We’re enabling understanding through digital dialogue, and we’re bringing people together with shared interests in virtual communities.

I was lucky I was one of the few people in the world to see online videos when this medium started. The first video I saw was of some purple puppets singing in a foreign language. I wasn’t sure what to think. When it ended there was a long pause because none of us knew what to think. And then my kids shouted, “Play it again!”

As more videos came online there were wacky and funny videos, but also many videos of people talking directly to the camera sharing something important about their livesa passion, a funny moment or a hard day.

It was immediately clear to me that people wanted to share their stories with others. But what surprised me even more is that so many other people wanted to hear these stories. From the very beginning, I could see that YouTube was a place for coming together in new ways and sharing our humanity.

Today, two billion people come to YouTube every month. Their reasons are differentsome want to connect with others around a shared passion like woodworking or see the latest in fashion. Others want to watch the hottest music video, learn a foreign language, listen to religious sermons of all faiths, or perfect a job skill.

For the first time in history, with a phone and an internet connection, everyone can access a global video library and anyone can post videos and find a global audience. We call the people who publish videos “creators.”

There are more than 500 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute by creators.

Collectively, creators have generated the world’s largest video library of How To contentfrom how to play an instrument to how to fix an appliance. And they’ve created new mediums like vlogging, gaming and music mashups.

But we know that with this scale comes responsibility. That’s why responsibility is my number one priority.

Before I talk further about our important work on this front, I’d like to share a few examples of how online spaces foster dialogue and help build mutual understanding.

When I watched my first YouTube video, I could never have imagined that someday a teenager named Claire Wineland would start a YouTube channel out of her bedroom in California to cope with the complications of living with cystic fibrosis.

Claire saw the way we treat illness in our society, and she wanted something different. Claire passed away last year, but she leaves behind a legacy of videos to help us understand how to support someone who is struggling with serious medical issues.

When I watched my first YouTube video, I never could have imagined that someday Jenny Doan, a mother of seven in Missouri, would create a business out of quilt making by posting How To Quilt videos on YouTube.

Ten years after her son first encouraged her to post a tutorial, her channel has helped to transform her town into what they now call "the Disneyland of quilting"creating jobs and drawing thousands of tourists every month who share a passion for quilting.

Every day, there are many more stories like these unfolding on YouTube.

And that’s why I’m so focused on our responsibility. It’s critical that we get this right.

Our responsibility efforts are focused on the 4 Rs:


  • Our first RRemove. We’re removing content that violates our policies as quickly as possible. In the last quarter alone, we removed 9 million videos, the majority of which were first flagged by machines and removed before even getting a single view.



  • Second, Raise: we raise up authoritative voices in searches and recommendations for news and information,



  • Third, Reduce: we’re reducing recommendations of the content that brushes up against our policies,



  • And finally, Reward. We set an even higher bar for videos on YouTube that make money on our site.


We’re working hard to implement all of the four Rs in a way that’s both fair and transparent for all our users and creators.

That’s why we’re continuing to invest in cutting-edge machine learning technology and why we’ve dedicated more than 10,000 people across Google to take on problematic videos.

These are historic times. Never before have we had the opportunity for so many around the globe to connect online, express their points of view, and create virtual communities, all under the same roof.

Having a digital town square where the world can come together and discuss everything has created some challenges…but it has also created extraordinary opportunities.

It’s these opportunities that inspire me every day. As we take on these complicated and unprecedented issues of responsibility at scale, I think about the decisions of today through the lens of the future. What will the critics say when they write their commentaries about this unique period of time?

I want to be sure that we’re on the right side of history, providing a blueprint for open platforms to protect but also empower the next generation of storytellers.

Thank you to the Appeal of Conscience Foundation for your efforts, and for encouraging all of us to make the world a better place.

Source: YouTube 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

Maintaining credibility and consistency on YouTube: Revisions to YouTube Music Charts and 24-hour record debut policy

From “American Bandstand” to “TRL,” every generation naturally finds its own barometer to measure the hottest songs and artists of the moment. For this generation, it’s YouTube. There is simply no better current measure of the world’s music listening than YouTube. Every day, we strive to showcase and celebrate the hottest artists, songs and music videos from around the world.

Today, we’re sharing some important changes made to YouTube Music Charts, the go-to destination to see what’s popular, what’s rising and trending both locally and globally on YouTube, and updates to how we determine videos that are eligible for 24-hour record debuts on YouTube.

YouTube Music Charts have become an indispensable source for the industry and the most accurate place for measuring the popularity of music listening behavior happening on the world’s largest music platform. In an effort to provide more transparency to the industry and align with the policies of official charting companies such as Billboard and Nielsen, we are no longer counting paid advertising views on YouTube in the YouTube Music Charts calculation. Artists will now be ranked based on view counts from organic plays.

Over the last few years, fans, artists, and their teams have touted the number of views a video receives on YouTube within the first 24 hours as the definitive representation of its instant cultural impact. It’s a great honor and one we take very seriously. As we look to maintain consistency and credibility across our platform, we’ve made some necessary revisions to our methodology for reporting 24-hour record debuts.

Our goal is to ensure YouTube remains a place where all artists are accurately recognized and celebrated for achieving success and milestones. Videos eligible for YouTube’s 24-hour record debuts are those with the highest views from organic sources within the first 24 hours of the video’s public release. This includes direct links to the video, search results, external sites that embed the video and YouTube features like the homepage, watch next and Trending. Video advertising is an effective way to reach specific audiences with a song debut, but paid advertising views on YouTube will no longer be considered when looking at a 24-hour record debut. The changes will not impact YouTube’s existing 24-hour record debut holders.

Staying true to YouTube’s overall mission of giving everyone a voice and showing them the world, we want to celebrate all artist achievements on YouTube as determined by their global fans. It’s the artists and fans that have made YouTube the best and most accurate measure of the world's listening tastes, and we intend on keeping it that way.

Additional information on how YouTube Music Charts are calculated can be found here and additional details about YouTube Views and ads can be found here.

Source: YouTube Blog


Welcome to YouTube.com/Fashion!

Exciting day for fashion fans: Today, we’re launching YouTube.com/Fashion, a single destination for style content on YouTube. My team likes to call this new hub “slash fashion” and it’ll feature original content from the biggest names in the industry, as well as the popular content that users have come to expect from the world of YouTube. Each shelf is chock-full of compelling videos from fashion and beauty creators, industry professionals, publishers, and luxury fashion brands.




When I joined YouTube a little more than a year ago, I immediately saw the platform’s insatiable desire for more fashion and beauty! And the data backs it up: From 2014 to 2018, the number of Fashion & Beauty channels on YouTube has grown over 6x, generating billions of views in the last year alone.

My response? Give the people what they want! The aim for /Fashion is to create an ultimate destination for style content that bridges both our fabulous endemic creator community and the more traditional worlds of fashion and beauty. My hope is that anyone looking for all things style will now have a place to come and be inspired by what they see.


Here’s what to expect:

Style content from your favorite YouTube creators


Creators are, and always will be, the heartbeat of our platform and /Fashion is no exception. We’ll have a featured section dedicated to creators where you can get ready with Camila Coelho, join Jenn Im for a Fendi fashion show in Rome, watch Ingrid Nilsen attend the CFDA Awards with Chanel, and comment on style challenges from Safiya Nygaard. Looking for the latest in beauty? Check out our ‘Beauty Today’ section where you can find content from gurus such as Jackie Aina and Huda Beauty.

Industry collaborations


One of the most thrilling parts of the new Fashion & Beauty department has been to foster collaborations between fashion brands and our creators. Look no further than Louis Vuitton, who teamed up with Emma Chamberlain and the Dolan Twins; and Dior, who invited Wengie, the Merrell Twins, Dulceida and Juanpa Zurita to their shows in the past 12 months to create fabulous fashion content. We’ve also helped established creators welcome new fashion professionals onto the platform, like when RuPaul’s Drag Race winner (and fledging YouTube creator) Violet Chachki teamed up with Gigi Gorgeous for a makeup makeover.

Straight from the Runway


Just in time for the kickoff of September Fashion Month, we’ll be livestreaming the latest collections straight from the runway, including Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Dior and more. We’ll also take you behind-the-scenes with “Stories of Style,” giving you an inside look into the industry with content from fashion favorites, such as Alexander Wang, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Alexa Chung. (PS. While I have you, check out this vlog comedian Pete Davidson did of walking the Wang runway this summer.)

Industry access


We’re also excited to bring new voices onto YouTube from across the industry, including fashion professionals, publishers and brands. One of our breakouts has been ‘Being Naomi,’ Naomi Campbell’s new channel that covers everything from her preflight routine to her emotional return to the Valentino runway. Go behind-the-scenes with LOVE Magazine and British Vogue for fresh takes on industry icons and join Gucci for their ‘Second Summer of Love’ collaboration with Frieze.

Our goal is to make YouTube.com/Fashion a diverse and inclusive place, filled with the latest fashion and beauty trends, content and more. We’ll be working over the coming months to bring more international voices to the page and to localize for global markets. We can’t wait for you to explore our new offering, get inspired by all the great content, and share your favorites with friends. Be sure to come back often, as we have a lot more to come!

Derek Blasberg, Director of YouTube Fashion and Beauty

Source: YouTube Blog


Google helps a nonprofit train young storytellers

Georgia is the number one filming location in the world, with a film and television industry worth $7 billion a year—a huge economic opportunity for local communities. On the flip side, Georgia is also home to about 180,000 disconnected youth. Disconnected (or opportunity) youth is defined as people ages 16-24 who are neither in school nor working. In Georgia, they represent 13.5 percent of people in that age range, two percentage points above the national average. Training programs to develop media production skills could give a new opportunity to thousands of young adults in the state.

Founded in 2014 in Atlanta, re:imagine/ATLis a nonprofit that trains the next generation of representative storytellers, to create a safe, inclusive and equitable workforce in the film and digital media industry. Partnering with schools and opportunity youth in metro Atlanta over the past five years, re:imagine/ATL has trained more than 3,000 young people who have produced more than 100 movies, documentaries, podcasts and other digital content.

Where I'm From | Westside Storytelling Competition

Where I'm From | Westside Storytelling Competition

This video produced by re:imagine/ATL is featured on the Best of Social Impact playlist in the YouTube Social Impact channel.

Google for Nonprofits spoke to re:imagine/ATL’s Executive Director Kimberlin Bolton to understand how they use Google products.

What’s one Google product that helped you explore new frontiers in storytelling?

Cardboard has been instrumental. Since 2015 we’ve offered three virtual reality training events per year. We hope to produce more 360 content and use Cardboard during screening events for the public.

How has Google for Nonprofits helped you become more visible?

We use Ad Grants for advertising our summer camp, in-school program and events. Through Ads we’ve reached new audiences. For example, a library in Doraville, Georgia, discovered our mobile workshops, and we provided an acting class for their filmmaking club. We had not previously considered libraries as a venue for our programming, and Doraville is outside of our usual service zone.

Our YouTube Channel is our primary distribution platform and has been a place to amplify youth voices and the next generation of leaders. The content our students create using Google products helps us raise awareness about different social issues in the community. Whether a video makes it to a film festival, a curated platform, or even network TV, they all begin on YouTube.

Any secret tips or tricks to share with other nonprofits?

We are using Google Alerts to discover every time we’re mentioned in the media. It also allows us to stay updated on the issues we care about most, find opportunities and celebrate our film and media community.

For an afterschool workshop, we used Google’s free CS First computer science curriculum to teach students to create animations using code. We are also starting to use Classroom for our film fellowship program, “No Comment.” Classroom allows us to send out assignments, track progress and communicate with all of our students, taking a great deal of administrative load off of our teachers.

How did G Suite for Nonprofits impact the way you work?

We rely on Sheets to track donations, program and operations budgets as well as student demographics and participation. Docs has been the bedrock of our administrative processes. In Docs we have our letterhead, we write grants and proposals collaboratively  and we plan programs and agendas. We also created a shared company calendar to coordinate equipment and space efficiently, or to know when employees are traveling.


Having a unified professional email system that is separate from our personal inboxes has made such a difference. G Suite for Nonprofits provides security for us and our constituents, communicates professionalism, and makes information more compartmentalized and easy to find.

An update on kids and data protection on YouTube

Responsibility is our number one priority at YouTube, and nothing is more important than protecting kids and their privacy. We’ve been significantly investing in the policies, products and practices to help us do this. From its earliest days, YouTube has been a site for people over 13, but with a boom in family content and the rise of shared devices, the likelihood of children watching without supervision has increased. We’ve been taking a hard look at areas where we can do more to address this, informed by feedback from parents, experts, and regulators, including COPPA concerns raised by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General that we are addressing with a settlement announced today.

New data practices for children’s content on YouTube


We are changing how we treat data for children’s content on YouTube. Starting in about four months, we will treat data from anyone watching children’s content on YouTube as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user. This means that we will limit data collection and use on videos made for kids only to what is needed to support the operation of the service. We will also stop serving personalized ads on this content entirely, and some features will no longer be available on this type of content, like comments and notifications. In order to identify content made for kids, creators will be required to tell us when their content falls in this category, and we’ll also use machine learning to find videos that clearly target young audiences, for example those that have an emphasis on kids characters, themes, toys, or games.


Improvements to YouTube Kids


We continue to recommend parents use YouTube Kids if they plan to allow kids under 13 to watch independently. Tens of millions of people use YouTube Kids every week but we want even more parents to be aware of the app and its benefits. We’re increasing our investments in promoting YouTube Kids to parents with a campaign that will run across YouTube. We’re also continuing to improve the product. For example, we recently raised the bar for which channels can be a part of YouTube Kids, drastically reducing the number of channels on the app. And we’re bringing the YouTube Kids experience to the desktop.

Investing in family creators


We know these changes will have a significant business impact on family and kids creators who have been building both wonderful content and thriving businesses, so we've worked to give impacted creators four months to adjust before changes take effect on YouTube. We recognize this won’t be easy for some creators and are committed to working with them through this transition and providing resources to help them better understand these changes.

We are also going to continue investing in the future of quality kids, family and educational content. We are establishing a $100 million fund, disbursed over three years, dedicated to the creation of thoughtful, original children’s content on YouTube and YouTube Kids globally.

Training our teams


Championing the protections we have in place for children is a shared responsibility across the company. To that end, we are introducing new, mandatory annual training for our teams about our requirements in this area.

Today’s changes will allow us to better protect kids and families on YouTube, and this is just the beginning. We'll continue working with lawmakers around the world in this area, including as the FTC seeks comments on COPPA. And in the coming months, we’ll share details on how we’re rethinking our overall approach to kids and families, including a dedicated kids experience on YouTube. I have the privilege of working alongside parents who deeply care about protecting kids. We know how important it is to provide children, families and family creators the best experience possible on YouTube and we are committed to getting it right.

Susan Wojcicki

Source: YouTube Blog


The Four Rs of Responsibility, Part 1: Removing harmful content

Over the past several years, we’ve redoubled our efforts to live up to our responsibility while preserving the power of an open platform. Our work has been organized around four principles:




Over the next several months, we’ll provide more detail on the work supporting each of these principles. This first installment will focus on "Remove." We've been removing harmful content since YouTube started, but our investment in this work has accelerated in recent years. Below is a snapshot of our most notable improvements since 2016. Because of this ongoing work, over the last 18 months we’ve reduced views on videos that are later removed for violating our policies by 80%, and we’re continuously working to reduce this number further.1




Developing policies for a global platform


Before we do the work of removing content that violates our policies, we have to make sure the line between what we remove and what we allow is drawn in the right place — with a goal of preserving free expression, while also protecting and promoting a vibrant community. To that end, we have a dedicated policy development team that systematically reviews all of our policies to ensure that they are current, keep our community safe, and do not stifle YouTube’s openness.

After reviewing a policy, we often discover that fundamental changes aren’t needed, but still uncover areas that are vague or confusing to the community. As a result, many updates are actually clarifications to our existing guidelines. For example, earlier this year we provided more detail about when we consider a “challenge” to be too dangerous for YouTube. Since 2018, we’ve made dozens of updates to our enforcement guidelines, many of them minor clarifications but some more substantive.

For particularly complex issues, we may spend several months developing a new policy. During this time we consult outside experts and YouTube creators to understand how our current policy is falling short, and consider regional differences to make sure proposed changes can be applied fairly around the world.

Our hate speech update represented one such fundamental shift in our policies. We spent months carefully developing the policy and working with our teams to create the necessary trainings and tools required to enforce it. The policy was launched in early June, and as our teams review and remove more content in line with the new policy, our machine detection will improve in tandem. Though it can take months for us to ramp up enforcement of a new policy, the profound impact of our hate speech policy update is already evident in the data released in this quarter’s Community Guidelines Enforcement Report:



The spikes in removal numbers are in part due to the removal of older comments, videos and channels that were previously permitted. In April 2019, we announced that we are also working to update our harassment policy, including creator-on-creator harassment. We’ll share our progress on this work in the coming months.

Using machines to flag bad content


Once we’ve defined a policy, we rely on a combination of people and technology to flag content for our review teams. We sometimes use hashes (or “digital fingerprints”) to catch copies of known violative content before they are ever made available to view. For some content, like child sexual abuse images (CSAI) and terrorist recruitment videos, we contribute to shared industry databases of hashes to increase the volume of content our machines can catch at upload.

In 2017, we expanded our use of machine learning technology to help detect potentially violative content and send it for human review. Machine learning is well-suited to detect patterns, which helps us to find content similar (but not exactly the same) to other content we’ve already removed, even before it’s ever viewed. These systems are particularly effective at flagging content that often looks the same — such as spam or adult content. Machines also can help to flag hate speech and other violative content, but these categories are highly dependent on context and highlight the importance of human review to make nuanced decisions. Still, over 87% of the 9 million videos we removed in the second quarter of 2019 were first flagged by our automated systems.

We’re investing significantly in these automated detection systems, and our engineering teams continue to update and improve them month by month. For example, an update to our spam detection systems in the second quarter of 2019 lead to a more than 50% increase in the number of channels we terminated for violating our spam policies.

Removing content before it’s widely viewed


We go to great lengths to make sure content that breaks our rules isn’t widely viewed, or even viewed at all, before it’s removed. As noted above, improvements in our automated flagging systems have helped us detect and review content even before it’s flagged by our community, and consequently more than 80% of those auto-flagged videos were removed before they received a single view in the second quarter of 2019.

We also recognize that the best way to quickly remove content is to anticipate problems before they emerge. In January of 2018 we launched our Intelligence Desk, a team that monitors the news, social media and user reports in order to detect new trends surrounding inappropriate content, and works to make sure our teams are prepared to address them before they can become a larger issue.

We’re determined to continue reducing exposure to videos that violate our policies. That’s why, across Google, we’ve tasked over 10,000 people with detecting, reviewing, and removing content that violates our guidelines.



For example, the nearly 30,000 videos we removed for hate speech over the last month generated just 3% of the views that knitting videos did over the same time period.

Last week we updated our Community Guidelines Enforcement Report, a quarterly report that provides additional insight into the amount of content we remove from YouTube, why it was removed, and how it was first detected. That report demonstrates how technology deployed over the last several years has helped us to remove harmful content from YouTube more quickly than ever before. It also highlights how human expertise is still a critical component of our enforcement efforts, as we work to develop thoughtful policies, review content with care, and responsibly deploy our machine learning technology.





1 From January, 2018 - June, 2019

2 Nov 16, 2016; https://youtube.googleblog.com/2016/11/more-parental-controls-available-in.html

2 June 18, 2017; https://www.blog.google/around-the-globe/google-europe/four-steps-were-taking-today-fight-online-terror/

2 July 31, 2017; https://youtube.googleblog.com/2017/07/global-internet-forum-to-counter.html

2 Aug 1, 2017; https://youtube.googleblog.com/2017/08/an-update-on-our-commitment-to-fight.html

2 Dec 4, 2017; https://youtube.googleblog.com/2017/12/expanding-our-work-against-abuse-of-our.html

2 April 23, 2018; https://youtube.googleblog.com/2018/04/more-information-faster-removals-more.html

2 Dec 1, 2018; https://youtube.googleblog.com/2019/06/an-update-on-our-efforts-to-protect.html

2 Jan 15, 2019; https://support.google.com/youtube/thread/1063296?hl=en

2 Feb 19, 2019; https://youtube-creators.googleblog.com/2019/02/making-our-strikes-system-clear-and.html

2 Feb 28, 2019; https://youtube-creators.googleblog.com/2019/02/more-updates-on-our-actions-related-to.html

2 June 5, 2019; https://youtube.googleblog.com/2019/06/our-ongoing-work-to-tackle-hate.html

2 July 1, 2019; https://support.google.com/youtube/thread/8830320

2 Aug 21, 2019; https://support.google.com/youtube/thread/12506319?hl=en

2 Coming soon; https://youtube.googleblog.com/2019/06/taking-harder-look-at-harassment.html

Source: YouTube Blog


Abbreviated public-facing subscriber counts

Following our announcement in May, we'll be abbreviating subscriber counts across YouTube, starting the week of September 2; and the public YouTube Data API Service, starting the week of September 9. Read more about what this means for the public YouTube Data API Service in this updated Help Community post.

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