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Thursday, December 6, 2012

A new look to help you to subscribe and watch channels on YouTube

Those of you who use YouTube most have learned the secret to making it even better—find the channels you love and subscribe, subscribe, subscribe. Last year we began to make it easier to subscribe to the channels you care about by introducing a Guide on the home page. When you add subscriptions to your Guide, you organize YouTube around what you like, available whenever you watch YouTube. Today, we’re taking the next step by bringing your subscription-filled Guide with you across both the site and all devices, as your best source of what to watch on YouTube.

Your Guide to YouTube

Just subscribe to your favorite channels and the Guide lets you know when there are new videos waiting for you to enjoy, suggests the latest and greatest channels you might like, and shows you what your friends are sharing across the web. You’ll also find the Guide and your subscriptions on apps across hundreds of millions of devices including Android, iPhone, Playstation 3, Google TV and more.

A cleaner, simpler look

You come to YouTube to watch the videos you care about, so it’s important that the videos stand out. In this new layout, you’ll find the most crucial elements are front and center when you watch a video: the video is right at the top of the page and the subscribe button, social actions and video information are all combined directly below the player. Playlists are now available to the right of the video so you can browse through while you watch. You’ll also see this cleaner and simpler design across the entire site.

Your feedback matters

We’d love to get your feedback on these updates, so we’ll be hosting a Google+ Hangout on Air and a Reddit IAmA in the coming weeks--stay tuned here for details. If you’re a YouTube creator, you can learn more about these updates on our YouTube Creator Blog.

Josh Sassoon, Senior Unicorn eXperience Designer, recently watched “Hipster Thanksgiving” and
Alex Nicksay, Staff Engineer, recently watched “Crystalfilm.”

YouTube NextUp: Get Collaborating

Alright stop, collaborate and listen.

YouTube has seen some pretty amazing collabs in its time. From exploring the possibility of a hollow earth to raging office warfare, you guys love to partner up and get creative. Collaboration, along with developing your audience and learning production best practices, has helped previous YouTube NextUp program alumni such as FinalCutKing, chescaleigh, TheCraftyGemini, and RatedRR take their channels to the next level.

Since the launch of the first YouTube NextUp program, a competition that we ran to help creators succeed back in 2011, we’ve helped turbocharge the careers of over 215 YouTube creators in 15 different countries. Today we’re re-launching YouTube NextUp for video creators in the United States: we’re looking for passionate, motivated YouTube creators who want to collaborate. To enter? Find another creator you’d like to partner with, and tell us what you’d like to film together.

If you’re selected as one of the top 30 channels, you will receive:

  • $3,000 to help you make your video dreams a reality
  • $4,000 of production equipment to up-level your skills
  • Two one week-long Creator Camps at the brand-new YouTube Space LA in January and March 2013 to film your collaboration and to learn some more tips and tricks of the trade.

You can apply through our program site: applications are due December 27, 2012.

Austin Lau, YouTube Creator Programs Manager, recently watched “Silent Disco

YouTube shows rolls out across the sky, aboard Virgin America flights

We’re teaming up with Virgin America to bring you great shows from five YouTube partners right on your personal seatback screen. By mid-December, Warner Brothers’ H+ The Digital Series, WIGS’ Blue, Geek & Sundry’s Written By a Kid, Crash Course and Barely Political’s The Key of Awesome will be available for free on all Virgin America planes in the US and Mexico.

Venture into an apocalyptic future where the human race is hardwired to the Internet and a virus has entered the system with H+ The Digital Series. Or watch Julia Stiles in Blue, the story of a single mom trying to evade her past and protect her son from a secret she’ll do anything to keep.

In the mood for some comedy? What's funnier than a kid's wild imagination? Watch these tales come to life in hilarious live-action and animated shorts on Written by a Kid. Or indulge your ironically-pop-loving side as The Key of Awesome makes a mockery of hipsters and hobbits alike with music videos, fake movie trailers and other ridiculous sketches.

When you’re ready to enlighten yourself, join John Green with his quirky, fast-paced and entertaining teaching style for a Crash Course on The Fall of Rome, The Dark Ages and The Mongol Empire.

Bringing YouTube aboard Virgin America is part of a larger effort to bring you more of the videos you love, at heights you’ve never seen them before. Sample these great series on your flight, and then visit YouTube to enjoy the full seasons. New series and shows will become available every two months.

So pack up your 3 oz containers, fasten your seatbelt, and join YouTube and Virgin America 35,000 feet in the air. Happy flying!

Kate Berland, YouTube Marketing Manager, recently watched "Written By A Kid - the tale of a paper, panty-clad horse in ‘La Munkya’."

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

YouTube on iPad, and sweet updates for iPhone 5 and iPod touch

You love watching YouTube on the go—in fact—more than 25 percent of all YouTube watching happens on mobile. This past September you got the YouTube app for iPhone and iPod touch to make it easier to find and share the videos and channels you love on YouTube, and you made us the #1 free app in the App Store for two months. Since then, we’ve been hard at work to improve the app based on your feedback.

Just in time for the holidays, now you can download or update the YouTube app with a look designed for the iPad and iPhone 5, enhanced AirPlay support, videos that start faster and play more smoothly, and improved accessibility with VoiceOver. Enjoy Tastemade on iPad in full screen glory, or hours of flipping through Ryan Higa videos on your iPhone 5 or iPod touch.

Please keep giving us feedback on features you’d like to see so we can keep making it better. In the meantime, we’ll be kicking back with some egg nog and a holiday favorite on our iPad.

Horia Ciurdar, Software Engineer, recently watched “GoPro: Matthias Giraud - Double Back Flip Drop.”

Saturday, December 1, 2012

5 Questions with Jeff Davidoff, Chief Marketing Officer of

More than 34 million people around the globe are living with HIV but only half of those eligible for life-saving treatment receive it. Today, on World AIDS Day, many organizations are using social media to convey the personal stories of those fighting to end the disease. We asked Jeff Davidoff, Chief Marketing Officer of, about their new people-powered campaign, “my story. our fight.”

1. Why did you make video a core component if the "my story. our fight." campaign?

ONE is all about the power of voice. As we often say, "we're not asking for you money we're asking for you voice." And while it's true that your voice alone may struggle to be heard or make a difference, we have concrete proof that our voices together are impossible to ignore. Our over three million members around the world prove this time and again. The inspiration for this particular campaign was to get at why people are involved — the personal stories and experiences they have that changed their lives, and committed them to getting off the couch and doing some real good in the world. To us, video was the obvious solution to bring these unique stories to life in a way that people can experience them, share them, be inspired by them and make their own commitment to action because of them.

2. You empowered people to share their messages and experiences. How did you encourage them to promote the campaign's goals while still allowing the campaign to feel organic and authentic?

Great question. Authenticity is really at the heart of this idea. And the answer is simple: don't write scripts. Instead, just ask people to share their own stories, and really push them to open up and be personal. I remember asking Cleve Jones, "Do you have a particular experience or memory that got you started on the path of AIDS activism?" And he said, "Absolutely." I said, "Great why don't you sit at my computer and share it?" And as he shared his beautiful and very personal story right in front of me, I knew we were onto something.

3. What actions are you asking viewers to take and how are you measuring the success of these videos?

We're using the call to action: "Watch one. Share one. Join ONE." We want people to be inspired by the stories we've curated, share them with their friends and, most importantly, take action by signing our petition to protect funding for lifesaving AIDS programs. There's a lot of talk now in America about the "fiscal cliff." This can seem like a vague and distant idea. Let's put it in concrete terms: if an agreement is not reached, and cuts to life-saving programs goes into a effect, real lives will be lost. These aren't numbers, these are people. That's why we're in the fight, and that's why we're hoping more people will join us.

4. Did you promote the campaign videos outside of YouTube as well? How do you think about distribution and helping the videos find their audience?

We're aggressively promoting the campaign both inside and outside of YouTube, including to our over three million members around the world via email, Facebook and Twitter and asking them to share with their much larger social networks. We're also rolling out an aggressive PR strategy that matches storytellers to particular audiences — movie stars to entertainment, AIDS activists to the AIDS community, college students to other students, etc. It's less about trying to bring people to us, and more about trying to get our story embedded in already-scaled audiences.

5. What advice do you have for cause-based campaigns in how they approach using YouTube?

We've been through quite a learning curve with YouTube. In the beginning I think we had a very old-world approach by making our own videos and trying to use YouTube as a free broadcast medium. We're now much more focused on tapping into the power of existing YouTube creators, and getting them to naturally include our message in their stories to their pre-existing audiences. It's a much more authentic and contemporary use of the medium. And we're already thrilled with the results.

Special note: DANCE (RED), SAVE LIVES this weekend. Watch the livestream of TiĆ«sto and some of the biggest names in dance music from Stereosonic, Australia's biggest dance music festival. Live at starting at 11pm ET on Friday, and looping all weekend long. 

Hunter Walk, director of product management, recently watched Are You Ready? Get Set, Let’s Go!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The first-ever “spidernaut” safely returns to Earth

Take eight steps back, Psy and Biebs. Another YouTube star is born today as Nefertiti, the first-ever “spidernaut” who was the key element to the winning YouTube Space Lab experiment has made it home safely and will live out the rest of her life at the Smithsonian Museum.

Nefertiti is the first jumping spider to successfully return from space and adjust to life on Earth after a 100-day stay aboard the International Space Station. “Neffi,” as she’s called by friends, will take up residence starting today at the Insect Zoo in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Courtesy of NASA. Nefertiti, the red-backed jumping spider hunting for flies inside her space flight habitat on board the International Space Station.

The jumping spider experiment was one of two winners from thousands of ideas submitted to YouTube last year with the hopes of being sent to space as part of the Space Lab competition. Relive the epic story of YouTube Space Lab below.

Dom Elliott, Marketing Manager, recently watched “Space Lab LIVE!: Behind the Scenes.”

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

YouTube automatic captions now in six European languages

Captions are important to make sure everyone—including deaf, hard-of-hearing, and viewers who speak other languages—can enjoy videos on YouTube.

In 2009, you first saw a feature that automatically creates captions on YouTube videos in English, and since then we’ve added Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. Today, hundreds of millions of people speaking six more languages—German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Dutch—will have automatic caption support for YouTube videos in those languages. Just click the closed caption button on any of these videos to see how it works:

Now in 10 languages, automatic captions are an important first step in the path toward high-quality captions for the 72 hours of video people upload per minute. As automatic captions will have some errors, creators also have several tools to improve the quality of their captions. Automatic captions can be a starting point, where creators can then download them for editing, or edit them in-line on YouTube. Creators can also upload plain-text transcripts in these languages, and the same technology will generate automatically-synchronized captions.

You now have around 200 million videos with automatic and human-created captions on YouTube, and we continue to add more each day to make YouTube accessible for all.

Hoang Nguyen, software engineer, recently watched “Completo, ilha das flores.”