Tag Archives: YouTube

Making the internet work better for everyone in Africa

By 2034 Africa is expected to have the world’s largest working-age population of 1.1 billion—yet only 3 to 4 million jobs are created annually. That means there’s an urgent need to create opportunities for the millions of people on the continent who are creative, smart and driven to succeed. The internet, and technology as a whole, offer great opportunities for creating jobs, growing businesses and boosting economies. But people need the right skills, tools and products to navigate the digital world and to make it work for them, their businesses and their communities.

Google for Nigeria - Sundar
Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, is interviewed by Nigerian journalist Adesuwa Onyenokwe at our Google for Nigeria event in Lagos.

Today, at our Google for Nigeria event in Lagos, we announced progress we’ve made in our products and features for users in Nigeria, including YouTube, Search and Maps. We also announced initiatives focused on digital skills training, education and economic opportunity, and support for African startups and developers.

Digital Skills for Africa

Last year we set out to help bridge the digital skills gap in Africa when we pledged to train one million young people in the region—and we’ve exceeded this target. Through either in-person or online trainings, we help people learn to build a web presence, use Search to find jobs, get tips to enhance their CV, use social media, and so on. Now we’re expanding this program, and committing to prepare another 10 million people for jobs of the future in the next five years. We’ll also be providing mobile developer training to 100,000 Africans to develop world-class apps, with an initial focus on Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

Google.org grants

Our charitable arm, Google.org, is committing $20 million over the next five years to nonprofits that are working to improve lives across Africa. We’re giving $2.5 million in initial grants to the nonprofit arms of African startups Gidi Mobile and Siyavula to provide free access to learning for 400,000 low-income students in South Africa and Nigeria. The grantees will also develop new digital learning materials that will be free for anyone to use.

We also want to invite nonprofits from across the continent to share their ideas for how they could impact their community and beyond. So we’re launching a Google.org Impact Challenge in Africa in 2018 to award $5 million in grants. Any eligible nonprofit in Africa can apply, and anyone will be able to help select the best ideas by voting online.

Launchpad Accelerator Africa

We want to do more to support African entrepreneurs in building successful technology companies and products. Based on our global Launchpad Accelerator program, this initiative will provide more than $3 million in equity-free funding, mentorship, working space and access to expert advisers to more than 60 African startups over three years. Intensive three-month programs, held twice per year, will run out of a new Google Launchpad Space in Lagos—the program’s first location outside of the United States.

Making our products work better in Africa

For people to take advantage of digital opportunities, acquiring the right skills and tools is only part of the equation. Online products and services—including ours—also need to work better in Africa. Today, we’re sharing news about how we’re making YouTube, Search and Maps more useful and relevant for Nigerian users.

YouTube Go

Designed from the ground up, YouTube Go lets you discover, save and share videos you love in a way that’s transparent about the size of downloads. Designed to be “offline” first, the app improves the experience of watching videos on a slower network and gives control over the amount of data used streaming or saving videos. It’s a full YouTube experience, with fresh and relevant video recommendations tailored to your preferences and the ability to share videos quickly and easily with friends nearby.  In June, Nigeria became the second country where we started actively testing YouTube Go. Later this year, we’ll be expanding this to a beta launch of the app, available to all Nigerian users.

Lagos now on Street View in Google Maps

In the last few months, we’ve improved our address search experience in Lagos, by adding thousands of new addresses and streets, outlines of more than a million buildings in commercial and residential areas, and more than 100,000 additional Nigerian small businesses on Google Maps. Today we’re launching Lagos on Street View, with 10,000 kilometers of imagery, including the most important historic roads in the city. You can virtually drive along the Carter Bridge to the National Stadium or across the Eko Bridge, down to the Marina—all on your smartphone.

Faster web results

When you’re on a 2G-like connection or using a low storage device, pages can take a long time to load. We previously launched a feature that streamlines search results so they load with less data and at high speed.  Today we’re extending that feature to streamline websites you reach from search results, so that they load with 90 percent less data and five times faster, even on low storage devices.  

More local information in Search

We’ve also made several updates to Search to bring more useful, relevant answers and information to people in Nigeria:

  • Knowledge Panels: We’re connecting people with easy access to the answers to things they care about, displaying knowledge cards for everything from local football teams to Nigerian musicians and actors.

  • Health Cards: Later this year we’ll launch more than 800 knowledge cards detailing common symptoms and treatments for the most prevalent health conditions in Nigeria. We’ve partnered with the University of Ibadan to ensure that answers have been reviewed by Nigerian doctors for local relevance and accuracy. Nigeria is one of the first countries where we’re providing locally tailored health answers on Search.  

  • Posts on Google: Posts makes it possible for musicians, entertainers and other public figures to share updates, images and videos directly on Google, for people to see while they explore on the web. Nigeria is the third country where we’ve made this feature available and some of the country’s popular musicians are already using it.

The things we’re announcing today are what drive us—building platforms and products that are relevant and useful for billions, not just the few, and helping people to succeed in the digital economy. That’s why we hope to equip more people, in Africa and elsewhere, with digital skills and tools. We’re excited to be part of Africa’s evolving digital story.

Source: Google LatLong


Bringing new Redirect Method features to YouTube

A month ago, we told you about four new steps we’re taking to combat terrorist content on YouTube. One of our core areas of focus is more work to counter online violent extremism. As a first step we’re now rolling out features from Jigsaw’s Redirect Method on YouTube.


Over the past years, Jigsaw partnered with Moonshot CVE to conduct extensive research to understand how extremist groups leverage technology to spread their message and recruit new members. From there, they created the Redirect Method, which uses curated video content to redirect people away from violent extremist propaganda and steer them toward video content that confronts extremist messages and debunks its mythology. Today, YouTube is rolling out a feature using the model proven by the Redirect Method: when people search for certain keywords on YouTube, we will display a playlist of videos debunking violent extremist recruiting narratives.


This early product integration of the Redirect Method on YouTube is our latest effort to provide more resources and more content that can help change minds of people at risk of being radicalized. Over the coming weeks, we hope to build on this by:

  • Expanding the new YouTube product functionality to a wider set of search queries in other languages beyond English.
  • Using machine learning to dynamically update the search query terms.
  • Working with expert NGOs on developing new video content designed to counter violent extremist messaging at different parts of the radicalization funnel.
  • Collaborating with Jigsaw to expand the “Redirect Method” in Europe.

This work is made possible by our partnerships with NGOs that are experts in this field, and we will continue to collaborate closely with them to help support their research through our technological tools. We hope our work together will also help open and broaden a dialogue about other work that can be done to counter radicalization of potential recruits.


As we develop this model of the Redirect Method on YouTube, we’ll measure success by how much this content is engaged. Stay tuned for more.


The YouTube Team

Source: YouTube Blog


YouTube spotlight on “Country Foods”

Everyday young professionals in India move out of their small towns to the big cities in search of their dream jobs and to earn a steady income. Srinath and Laxman did the same and they were employed by a well established media company, earning a good income to take care of their families back home.

They lived together in a small rented apartment and cooked on their own. They made their traditional recipes but frequently used YouTube to try out new cuisines. They were awestruck to see the millions of views for recipe videos on YouTube. With a background in post production, they decided to explore the opportunity for themselves and in August 2016 launched a traditional Indian recipes channel on YouTube.

Despite concerns from their families, they quit their jobs and decided to pursue this as a full-time career. When they partnered with Laxman’s 106-year-old grandmother - Mastanamma - their channel skyrocketed. Her delicious traditional recipes have received audience attention all around the world. We spoke with Srinath about their passion for food, the power of YouTube, and what lies ahead:

How did your family and friends react when you told them about your plans to quit your job and start a YouTube channel?

When I first told my wife about my plans to quit my job to start a YouTube channel, she was not very happy. At the time, I had a good job and a decent salary - we also have kids so she was not supportive of my decision and didn’t understand why I wanted to do this. But both Laxman and I were convinced that we wanted to do this - so we quit our jobs and started the channel and became YouTube creators.

What were your expectations?

We were blessed that our channel started doing well pretty quickly and we started making a similar amount of money as we were in our past jobs. This gave my family some confidence in what I was doing. But after four months, we realized that we needed to do something different to sustain our growth.

At any point did you think that this may not work?

We were visiting Laxman’s village called Gudiwada and since it’s a small village, everybody was aware of our YouTube channel. They were all very happy for us but they had no idea that we were looking for new ideas to build on our start.

That’s when Laxman’s mother suggested that we should try the recipes of Laxman’s grandmother, Mastanamma, because she makes really authentic and delicious dishes. At first we didn’t think much of it but we decided to try her food. Her food was amazing and it was not like anything we had tried before so we decided to record a few videos with her.

Our first video with her was a hit and received 3 million views. We uploaded another video titled “Watermelon Chicken by My Granny” and that went viral! We couldn’t believe that this recipe video hit over 8 million views. There truly is magic in her recipes and the food she makes, and that magic is now available on YouTube for everyone to enjoy. She is 106 years old and still enjoys cooking herself and for everyone. Because of YouTube, she’s able to share that passion on a global scale.

What does Mastanamma think about having her own food channel that is now popular all over the world?

Having a YouTube channel has given her new experiences that none of us ever thought were possible. She was even recently interviewed by the BBC! She doesn’t completely realize what she has created but it’s something that is connecting people all around the world. We now visit her once a month and shoot new videos for two or three days of the newest recipes she wants to share on YouTube.



Have you thought about what you want to do next?

We never expected to come this far but we’re delighted that we took a chance and our families are now very happy and supportive of our work. Our income has also gone up tremendously and our viewership comes from all over the world. We want to build on this success and are already working on a new animation channel for kids and families. We’re excited to create something unique in that space as well.

What advice does Mastanamma have for her viewers?

She says that there is no better food than the food you make yourself. Everyone should learn to cook because it’s healthier and brings people together.

Source: YouTube Blog


#ProudToBe standing with LGBTQ+ and Creators for Change

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

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

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


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

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

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

Source: YouTube Blog


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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

Source: YouTube Blog


From creation to community: creator updates from VidCon 2017

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

Sneak peek at YouTube Studio Beta

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

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

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


More love for comments

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

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

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


comment topics hero.png












And now… making money

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

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

Posted by Manuel Bronstein, Vice-President of Product Management

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

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

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


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

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

Source: YouTube Blog


The world as you see it with VR180

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

Source: YouTube Blog


#MoreThanARefugee

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

Source: YouTube Blog


A Message on Pride and LGBTQ Initiatives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube