YouTube has dished out its fair share of innovative updates since its launch in 2005, including new platform updates, new tools and interfaces to experiment with. Knowing the considerable impact of creative imagery and video on generating sales for advertisers, users now have access to an entire dashboard of capabilities on YouTube. From new video editing capabilities to monetisation features, YouTube has already provided us with a wealth of new updates this year. Here are some YouTube updates in 2021 that we have seen and waiting for – and what this will mean for content creators, advertisers and viewers.
YouTube Chapters are designed to break up your video into clear, digestible sections, each with its own individual preview. Chapters are a great addition to the platform, allowing viewers to skip to desired parts in the video whilst receiving more info and context on each part. Video Chapters are automatically generated based on the timestamps you enter in the description of your YouTube video. If your videos are lengthy, including Chapters is a simple way to split up your content.
What’s more, including Chapters in your YouTube video is ideal for search engine purposes. When a video is recommended by Google, the timestamps will conveniently show on the results page. Here’s a quick guide on how to include chapters in your videos.
We’ve all seen the rapid success of TikTok growing as a short-form video platform, and it comes as no surprise that other companies are starting to mirror the concept. With Instagram Reels being launched mid 2020, YouTube has recently uncovered its own version of ‘TikTok’ with Shorts. YouTube claims that Shorts is a ‘new short-form video experience for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones’. The concept is virtually identical to TikTok, offering users the opportunity to adjust speed, create timers, and ultimately create videos. YouTube is considerably the home of all entertainment, and has been for far longer than TikTok. It will be interesting to see how and if YouTube Shorts will grow.
A feature currently in testing is YouTube’s ability to make product recommendations. Here’s an extract taken directly from YouTube’s test feature support page:
[March 22, 2021] Testing automated list of products detected in videos: We are experimenting with a new feature that displays a list of products detected in some videos, as well as related products. The feature will appear in between the recommended videos, to viewers scrolling below the video player. The goal is to help people explore more videos and information about those products on YouTube.
It is suggested that Google will analyse the video or audio content itself, to figure out which products to recommend to the viewer. Whilst this kind of change won’t turn YouTube into the new Amazon, it is clear that Google is delving deeper into the world of Ecommerce to monetize off viewership. It will be interesting to see whether or not content creators will be receiving a profit from this new feature.
Media Literacy Tips
In early April, Google announced that they will be experimenting with ways to prompt critical thinking when we consume online information. The way this will work is simple; Google will play media literacy tips in the form of 15s skippable ads that will show before a video starts to play. This is a great way to inform people how to spot disinformation and fake news. Here’s how it will look.