YouTube finds inspiration in Tinder with video swiping

Remember scrolling up and down on mobile devices? Pepperidge Farm remembers. But the Tinder technique is spreading through apps from Instagram to YouTube.

Last month Instagram got caught up in a bit of a furore after it leaked out that they were testing a new horizontal approach to their app. Some Instagram users opened up their app to find a single post on their screen that they could swipe left and right to navigate through. It wasn’t supposed to be made public, apparently, and they haven’t implemented it but now YouTube are taking a shine to the swipe approach and adding it to their videos.

YouTube have updated their app on iOS devices so that when you’re watching a video you can swipe right to move on to the next video. According to their developers UX research shows that swiping is easier for users than tapping with a larger area for correct input as tapping your selection requires precision. Additionally 70% of YouTube viewers are now on mobile so YouTube want to increase engagement with their majority users.

The design team say that the feature, referred to internally as ‘swipey watch’ has been 2 years in the making and has has extended testing, but now it’s rolling out to iOS devices this week. Android users will have to wait a bit longer as the team continue to test and refine the feature based on it’s use on iOS.

YouTube brings Coachella to the whole world again this year

Coachella is one of the biggest music festivals in the world but there’s still thousands of people left wishing they could go every year – So YouTube are bringing it to everyone.

YouTube have confirmed that they are the exclusive live-streaming partner for one of America’s biggest popular music festivals; Coachella. The giant festival is renowned around the world for it’s giant scope and eclectic line-ups of the biggest artists all around the world as well as loads of underground favourites.

This is the ninth year in a row that YouTube have exclusively streamed the world-famous festival to people around the world who couldn’t make it and want to watch some of the phenomenal performances there. This year their partnership gets even deeper as YouTube are the exclusive partner for playlists and live-streaming of both weekends, whereas before they only streamed the first weekend.

In 2016 YouTube made it possible to really put yourself there in the festival by making the majority of their performance videos virtual reality compatible. You can look around like you’re really there, and if you have Google Cardboard or a similar setup for 360° degree videos then you can put yourself in the crowd as if you’ve really flown all the way to California for it.

This year YouTube are also upping the ante with special offers on tickets to actually go to the festival. They announced: “Additionally, YouTube Music and YouTube Premium subscribers in the US will have exclusive access to a dedicated allocation of passes for purchase for each weekend. YouTube members will receive access codes via email on January 4 that provide the opportunity to purchase passes from a dedicated YouTube Music member cart, available while supplies last.”

So whether you’re a YouTube subscriber looking for a special pass, or you’re just going to enjoy it from the comfort of your own home; YouTube have you covered for experiencing one of the biggest music festivals of the year.

Here’s the ridiculously packed line-up for 2019:

2019 coachella line up music festival lineup

These were the 10 most trending YouTube videos in 2018

2018 has been another massive year for YouTube with over 673 million views on videos around the world. They’ve revealed the videos that had the most amount of people watching, laughing, sharing and liking.

YouTube have rewound on 2018 to look back at the greatest moments of the year, or at least what people were most interested in.  The most viewed video all year was an 11 minute short film on Kylie Jenner’s baby Stormi, following Jenner’s pregnancy and then the birth of Stormi. It was viewed over 53 million times and became the #1 Top Trending Video of 2018… the list can only get better from there surely. Lets find out!

Top Trending Videos

  1. To Our Daughter
  2. Real Life Trick Shots 2 | Dude Perfect
  3. we broke up
  4. Walmart yodeling kid
  5. Do You Hear “Yanny” or “Laurel”? (SOLVED with SCIENCE)
  6. Portugal v Spain – 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ – MATCH 3
  7. Build Swimming Pool Around Underground House
  8. Cobra Kai Ep 1 – “Ace Degenerate” – The Karate Kid Saga Continues
  9. Behan Bhai Ki School Life – Amit Bhadana
  10. NGƯỜI TRONG GIANG HỒ PHẦN 6 | L M CHẤN KHANG | FULL 4K | TRUYỀN NH N QUAN NHỊ CA | PHIM CA NHẠC 2018

On the music side of things it has been a big year for YouTube. They launched the new YouTube Music platform as a dedicated place for music streaming which allows users to sign up and listen to music ad-free as well as providing higher royalties on videos to ensure that artists get paid fairly for their music, a longstanding criticism of music being readily available on the video platform.

Following last year’s international love of the hit track Despacito, Latin Music has exploded on YouTube this year. In the top ten most watched music videos for 2018, a whopping 8 of them were Latin artists.

  1. Te Bote Remix – Casper, Nio García, Darell, Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny, Ozuna | Video Oficial
  2. Nicky Jam x J. Balvin – X (EQUIS) | Video Oficial | Prod. Afro Bros & Jeon
  3. Maroon 5 – Girls Like You ft. Cardi B
  4. Daddy Yankee | Dura (Video Oficial)
  5. Ozuna x Romeo Santos – El Farsante (Remix) (Video Oficial)
  6. Becky G, Natti Natasha – Sin Pijama (Video Oficial)
  7. El Chombo – Dame Tu Cosita feat. Cutty Ranks (Official Video) [Ultra Music]
  8. Drake – God’s Plan
  9. Reik – Me Niego ft. Ozuna, Wisin (Video Oficial)
  10. Vaina Loca – Ozuna x Manuel Turizo (Video Oficial)

YouTube are preparing for their Rewind 2018 by asking creators and video makers on YouTube to share their insights on what made 2018 on YouTube. Not everyone was keen on that though as that video has become the second most disliked video on all of YouTube. It’s second only to Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ music video which took 8 years to reach the number one spot with over 9.7 million dislikes. It took ‘YouTube Rewind 2018: Everyone Controls Rewind’ only 3 days to amass over 6.8 million videos.

The controversy over the video is that YouTube excluded a bunch of it’s top creators, including the most subscribed to creator on YouTube; PewDiePie. There are a number of reasons why Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) and Logan Paul as well as other popular YouTuber’s might have been excluded but the community are clearly unhappy.

YouTube’s 2018 Rewind video will be released soon and sum up “the creators and artists who shaped popular culture in 2018”. After the reaction to the pre-Rewind video though YouTube may be up against a tough crowd.

Banksy’s own video removed from his YouTube channel on “copyright grounds”

Banksy’s notorious painting shredding video caused a furore but the video that the famous artist shared of it is causing even more controversy as it was ripped off of Banksy’s own YouTube channel.

Banksy is a British artist famed for doing things quite differently with an anonymous identity whose work often appears overnight in public. In October what is possibly Banksy’s most notorious piece of art, the ‘Balloon Girl‘ went up for auction at Sotheby’s in London for £1.04 million.

Banksy famously doesn’t sell his artwork usually except under unique circumstances, like his unannounced, pop-up stall in New York where a tired-looking old man sat and sold official, signed Banksy art for $60 a piece. In true Banksy fashion the Balloon Girl auction wasn’t as it seemed and once the piece had sold it dropped into a shredder built into it’s frame and shredded half of the piece – Banksy claims that it malfunctioned and meant to shred the whole thing.

It was an iconic moment and has been dubbed “quite possibly the biggest prank in art history”. The artist, or at least someone working with him, recorded the event and uploaded it to Banksy’s YouTube channel but in a cruel example of YouTube’s ridiculous copyright rules it was taken down on ‘Copyright Grounds’ on behalf of French media company Canal+.

The giant French media company re-uploaded the video of the painting being destroyed and in the process have claimed the content as their own, leading to copyright takedowns of the video. Fortunately the video is back live and viewable on Banksy’s YouTube channel as they no doubt quickly realised the gravity of their mistake. However it exemplifies how indiscriminate YouTube’s copyrighting system can be as it is often critiqued for.

The takedown was discovered by ‘professional engineering YouTuber’ Dave Jones, who tweeted: “What a bloody joke. Banksy’s own original video has been false copyright claimed and blocked.” He described YouTube’s system as a joke and said that Canal deserved “at the very least lose their content ID privilege”,

YouTube are opening up Stories to loads more creators

YouTube’s Instagram style Stories are being opened up for loads more channels whether creators care for it or not.

Last November YouTube launched their Stories feature allowing creators to upload short videos that stay online for 7 days for subscribers and non-subscribers. It allows interactions between fans and creators who can both comment and respond to each other. YouTube are now opening up Stories to any creators with more than 10,000 subscribers.

Whether creators will want to take advantage of the feature is another story as users have criticised that it’s a blatant rip off of Instagram’s Stories, which in itself was a feature taken from Snapchat. Now that it’s opened up to many more creators the uptake might be more positive as it creates more community engagement between YouTube creators and their fans. YouTube’s focus with stories seems to be to create comments and conversations between people, giving it a new take on Instagram Stories.

Whether the more disposable platform of short, temporary videos will take off on YouTube’s platform which has been built on full, proper videos for serious creators will have to be seen as it launches for wider audiences. YouTube say that Stories are “specifically designed with the YouTube creator in mind”.

Long-time YouTube creator Philip DeFranco tweeted his concerns about the feature, saying: “They stay up for 7 days, they allow comments, but you can only reply with another video/pic, and they currently lack swipe up/video linking features which to me seems like a missed opportunity. Potential, but I’m skeptical.”

If creators embrace the feature it could take off with engagement from dedicated fans but it looks like it could go either way right now.

YouTube are testing back-to-back ads on videos

There’s nothing worse than being engrossed in a YouTube video and it’s interrupted by a mid-video advert. So YouTube are testing out ‘ad pods’ to get multiple ads out of the way in one block.

YouTube have began testing playing two consecutive adverts before videos instead of splitting them out across the video. Creating a more uninterrupted experience would definitely enhance YouTube’s giant video platform with adverts popping up in the middle of longer videos often randomly placed and therefore disturbing the flow of whatever you’re watching.

YouTube are looking towards a TV-style block of advertising so that multiple ads play back-to-back, allowing videos to play for longer without interruption. YouTube have found in their own analysis that fewer interruptions in viewing sessions leads to higher rates of people actually watching the adverts and causes less people to leave the content. The new ‘ad pods’ will give viewers the option to watch two ads stacked or they will have the option to skip to the video after a set watch-time as usual.

YouTube are launching ad pods on desktop this year and are planning on bringing it to mobile and their TV apps soon after. YouTube want to enhance the viewer experience whilst retaining brands and advertisers strong connection with YouTube and their ability to reach YouTube viewers.

YouTube taking an approach more similar to TV doesn’t come as a surprise as they continue to re-invent the platform as not just a place for posting short and snappy content but also prioritise longer content and watching experiences. The facts speak for themselves as more and more users begin watching YouTube on their TVs – over 180 million hours of YouTube is watched on TV screens every day. As they continue to prioritise engagement and longer sessions with users we will no doubt see more updates that enhance extended YouTube viewing.

Tencent’s new app is funny but Bytedance aren’t laughing

Short video is the hot thing in China right now and Tencent are taking on apps like Bytedance with their own social video network.

Tencent are getting in on the short video game thanks to the success of companies like Bytedance whose TikTok app (Douyin in China) is massive in China. The app lets users create videos under a minute long that they can add effects and music to for a fun, custom short video that they can share around the world and with friends.

Chinese multi-national Tencent Entertainment are getting in on the game with their new app ‘Hapi’, a short video platform revolving around funny clips with jokes and memes the currency of the platform. Critics are already drawing comparisons between Tencent’s new app and Bytedance’s joke app Pipi Xia, a subsidiary of their popular news app Toutiao.

Among their selection of apps Tencent now has over 10 apps for short-video experiences covering a range of genres and audiences. As the rivalry between two of China’s biggest digital media companies intensifies, Tencent are yet to pose a threat to Bytedance’s dominance with Douyin still vastly more popular with it’s young audiences sharing thousands of videos every day.

China short video tencent bytedance tik tok douyin

Tencent remain confident of their potential in short videos though. Tencent’s vice president Lin Songtao said: “With 5G and more technology progress, I think it’s an inevitable trend for everyone to take short videos.” Songtao added that the short video market is “on the verge of explosive growth.”

Criticism of Tencent’s new Hapi app hasn’t just revolved around the fairly obvious direct competition with Bytedance but also in the name. Although in English it may sound like happy, in certain parts of China users have pointed out that the word means “dumb”. Perhaps it’s a self-fulfilling title, or perhaps it will be the app to finally leave Bytedance’s dominance of short video in question.

YouTube’s Creator Studio is getting even better

The Creator Studio is becoming YouTube Studio and it’s just not just getting a new name but a bunch of fresh new features.

YouTube are enhancing their platform for creators so that their creator portal offers the best experience for uploading your videos and keeping in touch with how well you are doing on the platform. The name change comes with a new build that makes delivering information much more efficient and speedier so you’re always in the loop with your channel’s performance.

The new dashboard, now called YouTube Studio, offers news and updates about the platform as well as performance information about a channel’s most recent videos all in one easy-to-find place. The idea behind the update is to create a better dialogue between YouTube and the millions of creators who use it and upload there every week with enhanced communication features.

The YouTube Studio highlights these new features:

  • Faster delivery of new products and enhancements to creators

  • Increased performance, stability, and accessibility

  • A new more efficient UI that’s built around creator workflows and access to new channel reach metrics such as impressions and unique viewers.

  • Improved performance tools such as Video Snapshot and Insights that tell you how your video is doing in comparison to previous releases.

The new YouTube Studio has launched for all English channels and is coming to 76 more languages over the next two weeks as they transition from the classic Creator Studio experience.

Launch your videos with suspense with YouTube Premieres

Give your videos the suspense they deserve with a build up to the grand event of them going live on YouTube, now that YouTube Premieres have launched globally.

Earlier this year YouTube gave creators the power to create an event behind their videos. Launched in June, YouTube Premieres allowed creators to bring their fans together and build suspense towards their upcoming videos for a new way of connecting with people and creating an experience on YouTube.

With YouTube Premieres you can schedule a video for upload and then build anticipation in the run up to it going live. Premieres have an upcoming watch page where channel fans can come together and chat as they wait for the video to go up and creators can join in the fun and see what their fans are saying as the video counts down to being available for watch.

Now the feature is available worldwide for everyone on YouTube, so no matter where in the world you are you can roll out the carpet and make a deal about your new video. With so many people live and ready for your video to go live it also allows your community of subscribers and supporters to stick around during and after the video to talk about it and share their thoughts.

YouTube have done a lot with their live experiences in recent years to create ongoing and current discussions. As with live-streaming, YouTube Premieres allow creators to use Super Chat and Channel Memberships to gain extra revenue as well as from sponsors or ad-money.

So make a deal out of your videos, get people talking, and launch your next video in style with YouTube Premieres now available for everyone around the world.

YouTube’s new mini player lets you browse as you watch

YouTube goes mini with a new player that lets you explore the bountiful land of videos all whilst watching your current one in the same page.

YouTube is a wonderful site full of videos ranging from 1 second to hours long, from factual documentaries to surrealist comedy animations. It has something for everyone and then even more, but it’s not the perfect site. What would your biggest gripe be with YouTube? Because mine has always been how I can’t search for other videos whilst watching – at least not without opening a new tab.

Finally there is a solution! YouTube have just introduced their mini-player. It works much like how the YouTube app works on smartphones, by shrinking the video into the corner of your screen and allowing you to browse YouTube and search videos all whilst continuing to watch and listen to whatever you were already watching. It’s simple too; you simply select a button next to the caption button and your player shrinks down to size.

With the mini-player you can explore the site whilst still controlling your video as well as watching it. The mini-player has play and pause functions as well as the option to go back to the previous video or skip to the next video. And selecting the the player outside of these buttons will bring the video back to it’s full size if you’re done browsing.

Google began testing the feature back in March with a limited number of users on desktop but now the feature has launched for everyone to enjoy. It’s a great new feature and opens up YouTube’s library for even more exploration, considering it’s greatest feature is that you can search from billions of videos with videos being added constantly all around the world.