Thursday, 24 September 2009

Coming Soon: Finding Your Friends on YouTube

YouTube has always been a place for you to share and enjoy videos with family and friends. Soon, we'll be making it even easier for you to find people you know on the site. We'll start by launching a "You may know these people" suggestions box on the homepage over the next few weeks that shows you the YouTube channels of people who might be your acquaintances, and lets you easily connect and subscribe to them.

How will we make the suggestions? If you've logged in to YouTube and sent a video to a friend's email address, or if you have your YouTube account linked to a Gmail account, we will use this information to help identify your friends who already have YouTube channels. You'll only see channels whose owners have allowed themselves to be found by others who have their email address.

Want to see if you've previously allowed your channel to be found by others who have your email address, or want to change your settings? Just log in and visit the "Privacy" section of My Account. Look for the checkbox at the top that says "Let others find my channel on YouTube if they have my email address."

Elizabeth Windram, Senior User Experience Designer, recently watched "Folding-Time at Burning Man 2005: One Month at The Man".

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

5 Stars Dominate Ratings

This graph fascinated us and so we wanted to share. It shows the number of videos that receive specific star ratings: 1 star for when you loathe something, 5 for when you love it. Judging from this chart, it looks like some of you are moved to rate videos when you don't like them, but the overwhelming majority of videos on YouTube have a stellar 5-star rating:

Seems like when it comes to ratings it's pretty much all or nothing. Great videos prompt action; anything less prompts indifference. Thus, the ratings system is primarily being used as a seal of approval, not as an editorial indicator of what the community thinks about a video. Rating a video joins favoriting and sharing as a way to tell the world that this is something you love.

We're glad there are so many awesome videos on YouTube, but all of this begs the question: if the majority of videos are getting 5 stars, how useful is this system really? Would a thumbs up/thumbs down be more effective, or does favouriting do the trick of declaring your love for a video? These are just some of the questions we ask ourselves as we look at data like this and think about how to build the best, most efficient site for you.

What do you think? How useful are ratings? How do you use them? Please leave a comment below.

Shiva Rajaraman, Product Manager, recently rated "Dr Who and the Daleks."


How do you feel about ratings on YouTube?
  • Like 'em
  • Don't like 'em

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

User Inspires Favicon Change

Favicon is short for "Favorites Icon" and it is a square icon that often appears in your Web browser's address bar, as below, or in your list of bookmarks.

An enterprising blogger at Typophile recently pointed out that our favicon was fairly unreadable in a post that caught our eye. We didn't disagree with him and so we took him up on his suggestion, made a few extra tweaks and have now launched it. You can see the improvement in the to-scale before-and-after graphic below. As you can hopefully tell, the favicon on the right is now much more clearly defined.

So thank you, Miha at Typophile, for calling that out and being the catalyst behind this change. You are among the many users who've inspired us to do better, and for that we've got a thank you gift with your name on it heading your way.

Margaret Stewart, User Experience Manager

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The YouTube generation? Looks like us.

We wanted to find out more about Australians on YouTube so we did some research and surveyed over 3,000 Aussie YouTubers... turns out the YouTube generation is as diverse as the Australian population. Here is what we found:

We're large and diverse

  • Includes all the family - 14-17 year olds only make up 7% of Australian YouTube users, 18-29 = 32%, 30-39 = 20%, 40-49 = 18%, 50-59 = 13% and 60+ = 10%
  • Are workers, students, stay-at-home mums and retirees - 57% are working, 19% are stay at home, and only 15% are studying
  • Encompasses all life stages - 55% are married, 35% are single and 9% are divorced
  • Are not just techies and nerds - 61% of YouTube users are not tech-savvy
We're active and engaged
  • 86% of the community say YouTube is their favourite place to watch videos and 63% agree YouTube is one of their favourite websites
  • 79% stay longer than they intended (on average 1 hour and 09 mins per week).
  • 62% visit at least once a week
  • 47% share videos when they find a video which they love
  • 86% spend time on YouTube for entertainment
  • 2 out of 3 people do more than just watch videos in YouTube
  • 20% uploaded video
We watch a broad range of content:
Posted by Jason Chuck, Marketing team

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

White Balloon Day

Partially cross-posted from the Google Australia Blog

Today is White Balloon Day and we're proud to be partnering with Bravehearts to support White Balloon Day and 'break the silence’ on child sexual assault.

To help build awareness, we're pleased to support Bravehearts with a branded YouTube channel to get people involved in protecting children.

It's Child Protection Week this week and a good opportunity to check out the YouTube Safety Centre (, which includes advice on flagging videos, keeping personal videos private, cyberbullying, spam, phishing, and protecting identity.

If you're keen to be involved, check out the Bravehearts White Balloon Day website, where you can buy official White Balloons. You can also make donations to the cause at any Bendigo Bank outlet around Australia.

At YouTube we're committed to making the internet safe and enjoyable for everyone and we believe that the protection of children is paramount.

Posted by Lucinda Barlow, YouTube Australia

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Keeping Safe Online

At YouTube, we believe that education is critically important to help you stay safe online. We're excited to see the new ACMA Cybersmart website: it is full of information for all kinds of people about staying safe online. Check it out and tell your friends!

This is a good opportunity for a refresher in YouTube features that enable safer online behaviour.

Did you know that you can manage your experience on YouTube by:

  • uploading videos as “Private” to be shared with specified family and friends
  • blocking specific users from interacting with you
  • choosing to allow only your “friends” to communicate with you
  • choosing to pre-screen comments
  • choosing to disable commenting altogether for each of your videos
  • choosing to filter the comments you see.
Remember, you can always contact YouTube directly with privacy, harassment, or bullying complaints through the Help & Safety Tool. And make sure you flag any video that you think doesn't comply with the YouTube Community Guidelines.

The YouTube Safety Centre contains great information on cyber citizenship, privacy, cyber bullying, spam and phishing and much more.

Wishing you happy and safe travels around YouTube!

Lucinda Barlow, Communications Manager, YouTube Australia