YouTube’s testing out a range of new features, within YouTube Studio and BrandConnect, which aim to provide more capacity to manage channel engagement, and more options to help creators secure branded content deals, and monetize their efforts.
First off on Channel Guidelines – back in July, YouTube launched an initial test of its Channel Guidelines filtering tool, which enables Channel managers to set rules around the types of comments people can post beneath their clips. That test is now being expanded to more creators in the app.
As explained by YouTube:
“This feature allows creators to define up to three channel guidelines for video comments. Users must read and accept these guidelines before they make a comment, and they’re a good guide as to what conversations you want to see on your own channel.”
As you can see here, within your YouTube Studio settings, eligible channels can set up to three guidelines on comments, which viewers then need to read before posting a response. That can provide more transparency, while also giving channel managers increased leeway to enforce these rules, given that they’ve been established up front.
YouTube comments have long been a problematic element, which has lead to removal of comments entirely for some content categories, while YouTube also recently deactivated public dislike counts on all clips in order to lessen another potentially negative element in the process. This test aligns with the same, providing another means to guide better community interaction.
YouTube notes that the process doesn’t automatically hide or remove comments, but it does provide another means to communicate clearer parameters around what’s acceptable, and what’s not.
A broader range of creators will have access to the Channel Guidelines option in YouTube Studio from this week, while the guidelines themselves will only be presented in the mobile app.
YouTube’s also looking to improve its brand/creator partnership tools, with a new audience summary within the BrandConnect interface, which will make it easier for creators to pitch themselves for brand deals by using a tailored Media Kit, and an updated ‘Paid Product Placement’ checkbox, which will be a required step in the upload process for selected creators.
BrandConnect is YouTube’s creator marketplace, which connects brands and relevant creators for more effective video promotions. The new elements, which are being tested with ‘a small percentage of creators’, could make it easier to secure sponsored content deals, and ensure adherence to paid promotion disclosure rules.
YouTube’s also testing a new channel member avatar display, with member profiles to be highlighted on the home tab of the channel page in the mobile app.
As you can see here, within the test, channel members and non-members will be shown different variations of this new display. YouTube says the aim of the feature is to ‘celebrate members and to publicly showcase your active member community’ in order to encourage more people to join up. Member avatars will be regularly rotated to ensure more members get recognition.
Finally, YouTube also notes that it’s now expanded access to a new content takedown process which enables creators to automatically take down duplicate uploads of any content that they’ve previously removed.
As per this example, now, in the takedown web form, creators will be able to tick this box, which will then enable YouTube to detect and block future uploads of the same content. So if there’s something that you’ve removed for legal or personal reasons, that should make it harder for other people to re-upload a duplicate, and keep it coming back to haunt you on the site.
YouTube’s also expanded access to its Copyright Match tool to all users who’ve submitted a valid takedown request. Copyright Match automatically scans YouTube for duplicate content to that which you’ve uploaded, and will alert you to potential matches across the platform.
A range of small, yet relevant updates, with varying levels of functionality and value, dependent on your approach.
You can learn more about YouTube’s latest updates here.
Ahead of World Cup, influencer ‘Mr Q’ lifts veil on Qatar
Khalifa Al Haroon, known to his followers as Mr Q, has become a social media hit by partially lifting the veil on World Cup host Qatar – Copyright AFP KARIM JAAFAR
At a time when prickly questions are being asked about Qatar and its hosting of the World Cup, Khalifa Al Haroon offers a smile, a sigh and a shrug as he seeks to explain its mysteries.
Known to his growing number of followers as Mr Q, the 38-year-old has become a social media hit by partially lifting the veil over the tiny but mega-rich Gulf state that describes itself as a “conservative” Islamic country.
The first World Cup in an Arab nation has put a spotlight on Qatar’s treatment of foreign workers, gender rights and even the use of air conditioning in stadiums.
Haroon’s cheerful #QTip videos broach everything from saying “Hello” in Arabic to the right way for men to wear the flowing ghutra headdress. There is also an edition on labour rights.
With less than 60 days to the November 20 start of the tournament, he now has more than 100,000 followers on Instagram and more than 115,000 on YouTube. And the numbers keep growing.
Qatar has dozens of online influencers on topics ranging from “modest” but expensive fashion, to the latest sports car being imported into what is now one of the world’s wealthiest nations.
Haroon carved out his niche by elucidating Qatar’s unknowns to its growing expat community — and now the hordes of football fans expected for the World Cup.
Haroon — who was born to a Qatari father and British mother and spent 16 years in Bahrain — said he was first confronted by global stereotypes about Qatar and the Middle East while studying for a law degree in Britain.
He had wanted to become an actor, but instead launched his social media presence in 2008 with a blog.
“I was in the perfect position because I was a Qatari who has never lived properly in Qatar,” he said.
– ‘Trust your own eyes’ –
“In essence, I was like a foreigner in my own country and so I had the same questions that foreigners did, and so it just made it easy for me to start putting together information.”
Haroon said there has to be a distinction between “negative news” and misinformation about his country.
“When it comes to fake news, obviously, I think everybody understands that it’s not true and so the only thing that I could do is show people videos and pictures and show them what we’re really like because you can trust your own eyes.”
Some people, he said, have told him they decided to move to Qatar after watching his videos.
Haroon, who is now a consultant to the Qatar Football Association and an eSports entrepreneur, said he is excited about the World Cup “because people can now come here and experience it for themselves and make their own judgements instead of just believing what’s written”.
His main grouse is how outsiders see something negative about Qatar and then believe that all Qataris “accept it or we all agree with it”.
Many supporters of the 31 foreign countries who will play in Qatar have raised concerns, however, about the welcome awaiting them. Can they drink? And what will happen to same-sex couples in a country where homosexuality is illegal?
The government has insisted that beer, normally restricted, will be available and that everyone is welcome. Haroon wants outsiders to experience “real Qatari hospitality”, with its food and coffee culture.
“Of course there are going to be certain social norms,” said Haroon. “What we are asking for is just respect the country. And of course the country will definitely be respecting everyone that comes.”
“Some people might make mistakes because they don’t know what the rules are and that’s OK,” he added.
“The point is our culture is all about intention, our religion is about intention, so as long as you have good intentions and you want to do the right thing, you have nothing to worry about.”
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