Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Promote your video on YouTube and across the Web

In early October, we reached an important milestone for YouTube: over one billion views per day on YouTube from people around the world. That's a lot people watching a lot of videos, and it's matched by an equally staggering amount of video uploaded to YouTube: about 20 hours every minute. With so many people and videos on YouTube, it's not easy for your video to get discovered and to find the right audience. We know that sometimes you need a little help to make your video the next YouTube sensation (after all, not everyone has the voice of Susan Boyle).

That's why today we're excited to launch Promoted Videos in Australia. Promoted Videos are an easy way for you - whether you're an aspiring musician or small business owner - to get your video in front of the right audience and find your fan or customer base. With Promoted Videos, you can place your video next to relevant content on YouTube search results and watch pages as well as pages within Google's network of publisher sites. Like Google AdWords, Promoted Videos are targeted by keyword and priced on a cost-per-click basis.

We also wanted to make it as easy as possible to buy Promoted Videos, which is why we've integrated this feature into Google AdWords. You can place bids, select where you'd like your videos to appear, and set daily spending budgets all within the AdWords interface. Our aim is to provide a single destination for your overall Google ad buy, as well as give YouTube advertisers new to AdWords access to additional campaign tools.



To start promoting your video today, visit adwords.google.com.au or sign up for a webinar. Your fans are out there. Promoted Videos will help you find them.

Posted by Jay Akkad and Matthew Liu, YouTube Product Managers

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

U2 on YouTube -- Live!

If you're a fan of the Irish rock band U2, you may have already caught wind of a little secret. Yesterday, guitarist The Edge alerted fans that you will be able to watch their upcoming performance at the Rose Bowl in L.A. on their YouTube channel.



Australian and New Zealand YouTubers can join U2 live at the following times on Monday, October 26, 2009, 2:30pm EDT*.

In addition to pumping your fist along with Bono, you'll be able to join YouTube's global listening party via a Twitter gadget embedded on U2's YouTube channel. And if you miss the concert, just press play when you wake up or get to a computer: the uploaded rebroadcast of the full show will be available the next day.

Michele Flannery, Music Manager, recently watched U2360 "The Cow Man"

*Timezone gymnastics for Monday October 26:
Perth 11:30am
Darwin 1:00pm
Brisbane 1:30pm
Adelaide 2:00pm
Sydney/Melbourne/Canberra/Hobart 2:30pm
Auckland 4:30pm

Friday, 16 October 2009

Star in a Lost Valentinos Music Video

Ever wanted to star in a music clip for your favourite band? Here's your chance, thanks to Sydney band Lost Valentinos and a new type of technology that allows fans to customise a music video for the band's new single, "Nightmoves."

The Lost Valentinos have created an augmented reality music video, which lets you merge your world with computer-generated imagery of the band. Here's how it works: you print a page of five markers, each of which represent one member of the band playing their new single. Then you include this print-out in your video recording, and the augmented reality technology super-imposes images of the band into your own video. You get to direct -- set the scene, line up the band members -- and then share your customised video with friends on YouTube.

Give it a try: sit in the director's chair and maker your own music video on the band's dedicated YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/nightmovesAR

Posted by Christine Knight, YouTube Australia Community

Thursday, 15 October 2009

"The Key to Curation Is Curiosity" Meet Our Curators of the Month

We're thrilled to have the folks behind the Wooster Collective, one of the Web's most-trafficked sites devoted to urban and street art, curating our homepage today. For anyone interested in cool art videos, their YouTube channel is a must-subscribe; from their vast network of artists, they're often the first to know about videos like notblu's MUTO, which has gone on to garner more than 5 million views.

The Wooster Collective are a model of an important -- but often under-the-radar -- group on YouTube: curators, those people who have a knack for finding great videos, organizing and archiving them on their YouTube channel, and perhaps also distributing them off of YouTube via a blog or social media. In this case, the curators post daily to the Wooster blog, while on their YouTube channel they cluster finds into playlists with themes like The Classics, Outdoors, Timelapse, Geek Graffiti, and Guerrilla Knitting. Learn who they are, how they find such gold on the site, and a bit about their philosophy on all this:



How do you find such great videos?
A few different ways. First, amazingly talented artists and videographers from all over the world share links with us of new videos they upload to YouTube. We receive a hundreds of emails about new work every day. But, in addition to this, we use the terrific tools that YouTube offers to keep up with what's new on the site. We subscribe to many artist and videographers' channels. We also check out the videos that are recommended by YouTube. Every day we discover new things.

For us, the key to curation is curiosity. The best curators in the world, both online and off, are curious people by nature. We love seeing new things, learning about new artists, and exploring new subjects. We’re constantly wanting to be inspired and wanting to share what’s inspiring us with others.

Can you offer any tips about organizing these videos on your YouTube channel?
We love organizing the videos into playlists. The playlists feature is great because you can show both breadth and depth of what you’ve curated. We also like changing the featured video three or four times a week so when you go to the Wooster YouTube channel, it’s different each time.

If someone's into street art, what are some of the must-subscribe channels on YouTube relating to that topic?
Some of our favorites are: Walrus TV, Wallkandy and Romanywg.

Which video that you've found do you think is criminally under-seen?
Here’s one of our favorites, a timelapse by our friends The Barnstormers.


Subscribe to the Wooster Collective's YouTube channel to get a notice in your feed every time they favorite, rate or comment on a video.

Know of other great video curators on YouTube or on the Web? Leave their channel name or site URL in the comments below.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Y,000,000,000uTube

Three years ago today, Steve and I stood out in front of our offices and jokingly crowned ourselves the burger kings of media. We'd just made headlines by joining with Google in our shared goal of organizing the world's information (in our case, video) and making it easily and quickly accessible to anyone, anywhere. Today, I'm proud to say that we have been serving well over a billion views a day on YouTube. This is great moment in our short history and we owe it all to you.

Looking back at those early days, we were committed to some basic principles that have since become fundamental tenets in the world of online video:

  • Speed matters: Videos should load and play back quickly.
  • Clip culture is here to stay: Short clips are voraciously consumed and perfect for watching a wide variety of content.
  • Open platforms open up possibility: Content creation isn't our business; it's yours. We wanted to create a place where anyone with a video camera, a computer, and an Internet connection could share their life, art, and voice with the world, and in many cases make a living from doing so.
Three years after the acquisition, our platform and our business continue to grow and evolve. We are still committed to the same principles that informed the site early on, but we know things have changed. As bandwidth has increased, so has our video quality. As we've started to see demand for longer, full-length content, we've brought more shows and movies to the site. There are now more ways than ever to make and consume content, and more of you are looking to turn your hobby into a real business. We're working hard to keep up with the fast pace of technology to bring you everything you would expect from the world's largest video site: better quality; a full spectrum of choices and tools for users, partners and advertisers; and ways to make the YouTube experience your own anywhere, anytime.

Chad Hurley, CEO and Co-founder

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Follow the Announcement of Nobel Prizes in Real-Time on YouTube

This week, Nobel Prizes will be awarded in a variety of categories, and for the first time you can follow the proceedings live on YouTube. Through October 12, YouTube users can tune in to the Nobel Prize YouTube channel for live-streamed announcements of each prize. This marks the first time that a European event will be live-streamed via YouTube.

Missed the earlier announcement of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine? You can view it here:




The complete schedule of awards announcements is below. Click here to watch them all, live as they unfold:

Physics
Tuesday, October 6: 11.45 a.m. CET, 09.45 a.m. GMT

Chemistry
Wednesday, October 7: 11.45 a.m. CET, 09.45 a.m. GMT

Literature
Thursday, October 8: 1.00 p.m. CET, 11.00 a.m. GMT

Peace
Friday, October 9: 11.00 a.m. CET, 09.00 a.m. GMT

Prize in Economic Sciences
Monday, October 12: 1.00 p.m. CET, 11.00 a.m. GMT

Posted by Kim Alltorp, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Nordic Region

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Inside User Research at YouTube

If you think about watching a video online, it may seem pretty easy. A player, a play/pause button and some content. Done. But what about if the video is being played on a mobile phone? Or on a big screen? What if it's being viewed in Nairobi? Or Shanghai? Now let's say it's being viewed by someone who wants to share her thoughts on the video and by someone who wants to do nothing more than watch more videos. Before you know it, watching a video becomes more complicated than you realise.

Enter user research. While far from providing all the answers, it can help illuminate how the site is actually used -- as opposed to guessing how it might be used or assuming the user is just like the people designing the site.

So what exactly is user research like at YouTube? Sometimes it means letting users design their ideal experience. For example, last year we used a method called FIDO (first utilised by Fidelity Investments) where we cut out different elements of various video sites, stuck them on magnets, and had users arrange their ideal organisation of the elements (see below for an example). Other times we use a more standard research method called a usability study, which entails seeing whether a user can or can't complete certain standard site tasks in a usability lab.

Sometimes having users come into labs is not enough, though; we want to understand how users use YouTube in their context, in their living room, with their laptop on their lap, sprawled out on the couch. In this case we might have field studies where we interview users in their homes. In addition to such qualitative research, we look closely at the behavior of millions of users through traffic analysis and try to understand what users think of the site by deploying thousands of surveys.

We still have a lot left to learn about how people use YouTube, but some things have become clear. One of the most important findings has to do with the difference between the large group of users who are on YouTube simply to watch videos and a smaller, but very important, group of more engaged users -- often uploaders. The latter group will, unsurprisingly, care about details like how to make communication with their audience easier and more effective, how to grow their audience, and even how to make money on YouTube. The former, on the other hand, want as simple of an interface as possible: "Just let me watch the video, please!" You can see this difference in the results of the FIDO experiment we mentioned earlier -- note how differently each kind of user arranged features on the page and the sheer number of elements in the scenario on the right:


To make matters more complicated, not everyone fits nicely into one of the two aforementioned categories -- for instance, there are users who like to watch videos, but they might also occasionally comment or favorite. Their ideal experience likely looks like something in-between the two examples pictured above.

It's not always easy to know what the best balance is for everyone, but we are committed to working towards figuring it out. One thing we know for sure is that at the end of the day, we need to build a product that is easy to use and understand. If it becomes too complicated or cluttered, we'll all need to step back and think again.


If you have any thoughts on this, you can let us know here and see what a user research survey looks like if you haven't encountered one yet. In addition, if you'd like to participate in any upcoming research we have, please fill out this form.

Sasha Lubomirsky, User Experience Researcher, recently watched "Five Years Time"

Friday, 2 October 2009

Release Notes: 10/1/09

News and notes from our most recent push:

Beginning the conversion of remaining old channels: We're starting the process today to convert all remaining channels still using the older platform to the new one. (This migration could take up to two weeks to complete.) Once again, your comments and feedback have been instrumental in helping the new version evolve and grow (you can see a list of items we addressed here). Now customising and editing your channel is a lot easier, with plenty of options for organizing videos, and the channel refocuses attention on engaging with you and your videos, which, after all, is the centerpiece of any YouTube experience. And - we've got a lot of great ideas and input from you on things you'd like to see next.

YouTube in Portuguese (the European kind): We've added Portuguese (as spoken in Portugal) to the list of languages in which you can experience YouTube. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, find "Current Language" and click on "Show languages." You'll see options there for both Português and Português (Brasil).

Personalised recommendations on the homepage: Recommendations for you aren't just for users with accounts anymore! Now everyone can visit the YouTube homepage to get an answer to the question, "What should I watch today?" We'll automatically generate some suggestions based on your past viewing history. Of course, you'll still get better, more specific, and more consistent recommendations by creating a YouTube account.

The YouTube Team

Wanted: Music lovers to tour the globe

One of our most popular categories on YouTube is music. As a place to find the hottest new musical talent and videos, it only seems right that you now have the opportunity to win a once-in-a-lifetime prize simply by doing what you already do best - watching music videos and uploading your own content to YouTube!

Universal Music are offering internships for two lucky Australians to travel the world visiting the hottest music festivals and gigs and getting up close and personal with artists and bands backstage. They're looking for passionate, talented and music-obsessed individuals to become the faces of My World Tour globally.

So what are you waiting for?

All the details of how you can get a shot at this amazing job are at youtube.com/myworldtour.

You'll need to create a profile and then make your profile really stand out by linking to videos that you've uploaded to YouTube of yourself at gigs and concerts.

Good luck!



Posted by Christine Knight, YouTube Community

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Hackday Yields Easier Way of Sharing Private Videos

A couple of weeks ago we quietly launched a new and easier way to share private videos: now you can generate a special URL for your private video and send it to up to 25 people, who, assuming they're logged in to YouTube, just have to click to view. This should make it a lot easier for your technically-challenged relatives to watch that video of baby's first steps without having to share it with the whole world.

A neat thing about this feature was that it was an outcome of a recent "hackday" here at YouTube. Hackdays are similar in spirit to "20% time" -- the amount of time in a week engineers at Google/YouTube are encouraged free think and innovate on projects they're passionate about. These efforts allow us to focus on launching smaller features that aren't on our official roadmaps but that we hope are still worthwhile for our users. Anyway, this hackday came with donuts, which were delicious and way too tempting for me to resist. I also had a strong personal motivation for figuring this out: I'm in a hip-hop dance group, and the troupe wanted to share practice videos without going through the process of becoming Friends on YouTube.

Even without any official announcement (until this post, that is!), uptake and usage of this feature has been strong. Here you can see the growth of private-videos-per-day using friend-to-friend sharing versus
the new URL-sharing:

So test it out: go here and click on Edit on any one of your videos. Scroll down to "Broadcasting and Sharing Options," and you should see the privacy settings there. Click on Private to unlock the different ways of sharing the video, including the option to generate a limited-access URL. You can find out more about private videos in this Help Center article.

Mike Lambert, Software Engineer, recently watched "NAME OF VIDEO."

A Year of Interactive Video Annotations

"Choose a different ending" is an interactive video describing the life of a teenager trying to survive the slums of London. The story, which is shot from a first-person point of view, lets viewers control the hero’s actions (e.g. deciding whether or not he should take his knife to school). Only when the plot reaches one of its grim endings do you realize that the video, commissioned by the London Metropolitan Police, is actually a powerful tool in helping youngsters cope with some of the tough decisions they are faced growing up in a violent environment. This interactive video is a great example of how annotations on YouTube have evolved in just one year: what started as a small-scale experiment is now changing visual storytelling on the web.

If you've seen "Annotations Man," one of many user-created tutorials about annotations, you would have learned that interactive video annotations are a set of simple tools that enable you to add text and hyperlinks directly onto your videos. The feature was originally launched in the summer of 2008; since then, we've seen the featuring being put to use with increasing sophistication to:

Provide dynamic commentary: Basically, this means placing a layer of comments on a video; things like director comments, pet dubbing clips, and how-to tips for everything from origami to guitar lessons.

  • Add interactive links and menus: Many video-makers use the links to direct traffic to other videos and to create spatial video menus.
  • Create branching story-lines: Unlike the above two types, which maintain the individual video as the comprehensive story unit, this third group emphasises a collection of videos organised in a hierarchical structure as a new format of storytelling. Here we find a wide spectrum of use cases, including interactive advertisements, murder mysteries and even wacky dating tips.
We really find it hard to imagine that all this happened in just one year, and can't wait to see how you might knock us out in 2010. So go ahead and choose your own ending…

Michael Fink, Software Engineer, recently favorited "Annotize me!"