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YouTube Outlines Key Areas of Growth, Including the Rise of Shorts and its Expanding Creator Economy

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YouTube Outlines Key Areas of Growth, Including the Rise of Shorts and its Expanding Creator Economy


While TikTok continues to rise, and other platforms eat into the digital video market, YouTube remains the overall leader in the space. And based on its current strategic planning and growth, it looks set to stay that way for some time to come.

Today, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has shared an overview of the platform’s key areas of focus for 2022, and where it sees new opportunities, which points to some interesting developments in the platform’s roadmap, and for online video more broadly.

Key elements of focus for YouTube include Shorts, its TikTok-like short video platform, which YouTube reports has now hit 5 trillion all-time views, underlining the potential of the format.

TikTok has become a key focus for YouTube, as it seeks to maintain its position as the online video leader. And while YouTube clearly remains the key app for longer content, TikTok’s burgeoning audience does pose a threat to its ongoing growth.

Which is why Wojcicki is also keen to highlight another key element:

“The number of channels around the world making more than $10,000 a year is up 40% year over year [while] YouTube’s creative ecosystem supported more than 800,000 jobs in 2020.”

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There is a lot more potential for creators to make a lot more money on YouTube, as opposed to TikTok, which YouTube star Hank Green recently highlighted in a new video clip, in which he called on TikTok creators to band together to request a bigger slice of the platform’s growing revenue pie.

That call is already seeing some traction among high-profile users, and eventually, that could help to solidify YouTube’s position as the place to be for creators to monetize.

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Which is a key benefit that Wojcicki wants to highlight:

Now there are 10 ways for creators to make money on YouTube. Last year, YouTube Channel Memberships and paid digital goods were purchased or renewed more than 110 million times.

That last point is also important – amid the ongoing rise of digital goods, and in particular NFTs, there are new opportunities for platforms to lean into the trend, and provide more ways to users to showcase their digital item purchases.

Twitter launched its NFT profile display option last week, and Instagram and Reddit are working on their own variations of the same.

YouTube is also exploring its NFT options:

“The past year in the world of crypto, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and even decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) has highlighted a previously unimaginable opportunity to grow the connection between creators and their fans. We’re always focused on expanding the YouTube ecosystem to help creators capitalize on emerging technologies, including things like NFTs, while continuing to strengthen and enhance the experiences creators and fans have on YouTube.

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How that would work, it’s hard to say, but it seems that NFTs, whether you like them or not, are set to become a bigger element in the broader social media sphere.

Wojcicki also addressed the controversy around YouTube’s decision to remove dislike counts on clips, which has been widely criticized in some circles.

“We saw the dislike count harming parts of our ecosystem through dislike attacks as people actively worked to drive up the number of dislikes on a creator’s videos. These attacks often targeted smaller creators and those just getting started. We want every creator to feel they can express themselves without harassment. So we experimented with removing the dislike count across millions of videos over many months. Every way we looked at it, we did not see a meaningful difference in viewership, regardless of whether or not there was a public dislike count. And importantly, it reduced dislike attacks.

So while some users may find the removal annoying, and may want dislikes back, Wojcicki says that the overall impact has been overwhelmingly positive, so it’s unlikely to reverse course on its decision, at least at this stage.

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Wojcicki also outlined evolving system developments, including advances in user safety tools and creator reporting functions, and the platform’s ongoing efforts to work with governments on new regulatory proposals, including the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Article 17 in the EU.

It’s a solid update, which underlines YouTube’s enduring strength, as it solidifies market share and becomes an even bigger connective element for users, through various means.

And YouTube clearly is in a strong position, even as potential rivals gain traction. Yes, TikTok is the app of the moment, while Facebook may have more overall users. But YouTube’s established frameworks and creator partnerships look set to keep it in the top spot for online video for some time to come.

There’s a reason why YouTube recently shut down its Originals initiative in order to put more focus on creator funding. And that could reap big benefits for the platform throughout the coming year.

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You can read Susan Wojcicki’s full overview for YouTube in 2022 here.





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New Screenshots Highlight How Snapchat’s Coming ‘Family Center’ Will Work

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New Screenshots Highlight How Snapchat's Coming 'Family Center' Will Work

Snapchat’s parental control options look close to launch, with new screenshots based on back-end code showing how Snap’s coming ‘Family Center’ will look in the app.

As you can see in these images, shared by app intelligence company Watchful (via TechCrunch), the Family Center will enable parents to see who their child is engaging with in the app, along with who they’ve added, who they’re following, etc.

That could provide a new level of assurance for parents – though it could also be problematic for Snap, which has become a key resource for more private, intimate connection, with its anti-public posting ethos, and disappearing messages, helping to cement its place as an alternative to other social apps.

That’s really how Snap has embedded its niche. While other apps are about broadcasting your life to the wider world, Snap is about connecting with a small group of friends, where you can share your more private, secret thoughts, without concern of them living on forever, and coming back to bite you at a later stage.

That also, of course, means that more questionable, dangerous communications are happening in the app. Various reports have investigated how Snap is used for sending lewd messages, and arranging hook-ups, while drug dealers reportedly now use Snap to organize meet-ups and sales.

Which, of course, is why parents will be keen to get more insight into such, but I can’t imagine Snap users will be so welcoming of an intrusive tool in this respect.

But if parents know that it exists, they may have to, and that could be problematic for Snap. Teen users will need to accept their parents’ invitation to enable Family Center monitoring, but you can see how this could become an issue for many younger users in the app.

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Still, the protective benefits may well be worth it, with random hook-ups and other engagements posing significant risks. And with kids as young as 13 able to create a Snapchat account, there are many vulnerable youngsters engaging in the app.

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But it could reduce Snap’s appeal, as more parents become aware of the tool.

Snapchat hasn’t provided any further insight into the new Family Center, or when it will be released, but it looks close to launch based on these images.  

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