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YouTube woos creators to fend off competition

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YouTube is investing in short-form and live video along with tools to help creators make money and produce fresh content


YouTube is investing in short-form and live video along with tools to help creators make money and produce fresh content – Copyright AFP/File SAUL LOEB

YouTube on Thursday laid out goals for the year that included making the lives of creators easier and boosting a popular format that rivals TikTok.

The video-sharing platform is investing in short-form and live video, along with tools to help creators make money and produce fresh content, according to chief product officer Neal Mohan.

“YouTube creators are the heart and soul of the platform, and we want them to always be able to fulfill their most ambitious creative goals,” Mohan said in a blog post.

“To give them every opportunity possible, we’ll continue to invest across our multiple formats.”

Short-form content like the video snippets that are a winning ingredient at TikTok are incredibly popular. YouTube’s take on the concept, called “Shorts,” has logged more than five trillion all-time views, according to Mohan.

YouTube started a fund last year to reward those creating popular content on Shorts, and is exploring ways for them to make money such as brand sponsorships, special chat forums or adding the ability to shop directly from a posted video clip.

Short videos, typically made using smartphones, can be as long as 60 seconds, with music and comedy as popular themes.

Facebook and Instagram parent Meta has its own spin on the offering called Reels.

YouTube has also found success with its “Live” format, with users’ time spent watching it daily more than tripling over the course of last year, Mohan said.

The video giant is planning to begin letting creators collaborate on live streams in real time.

“One of the biggest questions live streaming creators have is, ‘What do I talk about?’” Mohan said.

“The ability to go live together should hopefully open up streams to more casual conversation and interactions with other creators.”

YouTube has also started testing letting channel viewers buy gift memberships for others watching the same stream, according to Mohan.

In addition, YouTube is looking into incorporating new technologies such as blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to potentially let creators sell verifiably unique videos, photos or art.

“There’s a lot to consider in making sure we approach these new technologies responsibly, but we think there’s incredible potential as well,” Mohan said.

YouTube has been a growing contributor to revenue at Google, which makes most of its money from online advertising.



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Reddit Adds Images in Comments for Selected Communities

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Reddit Adds Images in Comments for Selected Communities

Reddit’s adding a new engagement option with images in comments now available within some 1,500 subreddits in the app.

Just as it sounds, some subreddits will now be able to switch on image posting within comment threads, providing another way for people to interact and share within these communities. Reddit also enabled GIFs in selected subreddits back in July.

As explained by Reddit:

Ever wanted to share a candid cat pic in the latest r/cats thread? Perhaps, help out a fellow r/crochet hobbyist? Or maybe even fulfill a father’s dream of being hugged by sasquatch in r/photoshoprequest? If so, this feature is for you!”

Here’s how it looks in practice (on desktop):

Reddit images in comments

As noted, it’s another way to facilitate interaction within Reddit’s highly active chat threads, which could help add context in various ways.

Though it won’t be available to all communities.

Reddit says that ‘not safe for work’ images are not allowed and will be automatically removed, with only selected, approved subreddits able to use the feature at this stage.

In SFW subreddits that turn on the feature, you’ll notice an image icon at the bottom panel of the comment section. Tap the image icon (see video below) to pull up your camera roll or desktop files, make any edits you want (on mobile only), and upload.”

It’s a simple, and potentially engaging feature update, which could help Reddit drive more interaction.

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