YouTube is changing the algorithim it uses to suggest videos to users. From now on, the videos that appear as either related or suggested videos will give greater prominence to the amount of a video people view on average e.g. a minute long video watched foran average of 55 sceconds gains a higher ranking in the algorithim than a four minute video that is watchedd for an average of 55 seconds.
YouTube explain this in a post, saying the previous algorithim “was a helpful way to promote channels, but issues like misleading thumbnails kept this system from bringing videos with deeper engagement to the top.” The offer content creators optimisation tips in order to get the most out of these changes.
YouTube also claims that “if you’re making videos that people are watching well beyond the first click, you’ll start to see them appear more in our related and recommended sections.”
However, having established themsleves as the key social network for promoting user generated content such as performances of new music and vodcasts, Mashable raise the concern that this alteration could give much more prominence to advertising content, which normally appears in short bursts, than longer-form creative content.
YouTube is just the latest Google product to get an algorithim tweak. Reccently, and controversially, Google started giving greater prominence to their own social network Google Plus, in search resutls. YouTube videos have for a long time appearred highest in Google results, to the detriment of other video social networks such as Vimeo.
As said, for many content creators YouTube is the key social network for attracting an audience, and it would be a great loss if creativity was stifled by people trying to build videos around the algorithim or hidden because the changes make content harder to find.
It probably wouldn’t even have saved us from Rebecca Black either!