An employee of Google/YouTube (Margaret Healy) is hosting an open discussion about YouTube, recent changes, and Subscription problems on her Google+ profile.
Her post asks “Thoughtful post by top YouTubers- what is the sentiment out there?” I replied, and decided to share my thoughts with you here on Tumblr:
In this situation, I would compare YouTube to Twitter. When I log into Twitter, I do so to read the Tweets of people that I have chosen to Follow. I’m interested in seeing their statuses and knowing what they’re up to. By Following them, I have told that person, as well as Twitter’s servers, that I want those statuses in my timeline.
I would consider YouTube the same thing. When I log on to YouTube, I look at the Subscription feed/module on the homepage to see new videos from people that I Subscribed to over the past 6 years. Whether this is someone with 1,000,000+ Subscribers, or someone with 10 Subscribers, I chose to see their videos. I want to see their videos, regardless of how often they upload, or how well it’s received.
Imagine if I went to Twitter, and only saw “Top Tweets” or “Hot Tweets” or “Twitter Highlights”. I would be not only outraged, but confused—especially if this was the Default view. I desire to see every Tweet, in the order that it was written. Not “Highlights” that only benefit the most popular Twitterers. What about my friends with only 10, or 100, or 1000 Followers? Their Tweets are equally valuable to me. If they disappeared from my Timeline, the value of Twitter would significantly drop in my eyes.
I think it’s impossible to place quantifiable value on content, whether it be videos, statuses, news feeds, or more. “Tweaking the algorithm” is not something that will help, because there shouldn’t be an algorithm. Every video should be shown, equally, in the Subscription feed/module (“Recommended”, “Spotlight”, “Featured”, and the “Browse” pages are a completely different story. Algorithms do belong here).
Finally, I leave you with an example from today:
DaveDays uploaded two videos earlier today, one saying he was going “live” streaming later today, and another that was an official music video. My YouTube homepage only showed me the 2nd, and didn’t tell me that the 1st even existed. If other people that are Subscribed to Dave see the same thing (and they did, I checked), then his live show tonight is going to get a disappointing turnout, thus hurting him. Had this been 1 or 2 years ago, everyone would have seen both videos.
I don’t want to end this post with negativity, so let me thank you, +Margaret Healy, for being open to our feedback and caring so much about the Creators. Our ability to talk with you like this separates YouTube (and Google) from all the other sites. You have my thanks.