Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Why YouTube is wrong about video responses

About an hour ago YouTube announced this on their blog.


Essentially they are going to retire video responses on September 12th and allow people to post links to videos in the comments.  Something they tried in 2005 and was scrapped due to the amount of spam it generated.  http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2005/07/attach-video-to-messages-if-you-want-to.html#comment-form.

First I must call bull winkle on the claim that 1 out of 4 million users will click on a video response.  This is just simply not possible.  My suspicion is that as most views go through Vevo and music videos (who allow people to attach video responses freely) this is the source of your stats.

However those who engage in their audience have a much different track record.

I built my channel on video responses.  A third of my videos were video responses.  I knew where the views came from because I tracked my analytics.  They came from people who first saw the video I was responding to.

I also regurlary cross promoted my videos by posting responses to myself.  It is how I was able to get a high click through rate.  When someone found my video they were always directed to another.  Remember 40 percent of my views comes from mobile users who can't use annotations.

Likewise people got views from attaching their videos to mine.  One of my critics Rith once claimed that I was irrelevant and yet his most viewed video was a video response to me.  

It is not enough to allow people to post links in the comments section.  Remember why YouTube disabled this feature in the first place.  Spam.  As a content creator and consumer I relied on video responses.  Please reverse this decision.

Remember even the great Shaycarl got his start via video responses.  The one in 4 million stat is bogus as the numbers simply don't add up.  People do watch video responses.  Don't take this away YouTube.

Furthermore, as a person who would sometimes get over a hundred comments on a video, it would just cause chaos.  As a content creator it is far more efficient to focus on people who took the time to create and upload a video response to me.  How does YouTube expect large channels such as PewDiePie, Smosh, ect to focus on reponses when they can get thousands of comments every hour?

For historical record, YouTube launched video responses in 2006


One final note, pass along to whoever runs the Creator Blog to undo the change that mandates you MUST have a Google Plus account in order to comment on the blog.  I have a blogger account, a Google product.  That should be good enough.  

(Side note:  I do not allow comments on my blog based on advice from Google staff, user generated content such as comments can put my blogger at risk.)

Send your feedback to YouTube with this twitter link.