Chances are, you’ve been on YouTube. You’ve probably watched a few hundred hours of video from your favorite YouTuber or kept track of your favorite movie channels. You may have even uploaded a video or two in hopes of being the next big YouTuber. Whatever your reason, you need to know about a couple of big updates.
10 Years of YouTube!
Before we dive into the updates, it’s worth noting that the video-sharing website is now 10 years old. Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has amassed more than a billion (yes, a billion!) users, with more than 300 minutes of video uploaded to the site every minute. Pretty impressive.
An Overview of Updates
During its existence, YouTube has continuously updated their site in an effort to bring the best possible experience to viewers and YouTubers. The social-viewing website recently made some updates that it says, will “make your videos even more interactive” and your live streams “silky smooth.”
What does this mean? According to YouTube, this means a lot of new and exciting updates for you. Let’s break it down.
For YouTube Viewers
As a viewer, the cards update makes it even easier to interact with videos and channels. This means it will be easier to follow your favorite brand and engage with content by clicking on the card icon or teaser icon shown in each video.
Previously, annotations were used to direct viewers to material. YouTube said annotations would “boost engagement, give more information, and aid in navigation,” which they certainly do. However, because annotations aren’t supported on mobile devices — and around half of YouTube views come from mobile devices — they will eventually be replaced by cards. This is great news for viewers wanting to access more, especially mobile video viewers.
And don’t worry, the cards shown in the videos won’t affect your viewing experience. You can easily close or open the cards while the video is playing with no interruption.
For Channel Owners
The most popular channels are popular for a reason — they stay up to date. Channel owners can now update their site and engage with mobile users by offering clickable cards in their videos. For popular YouTube channels, this means many things, as there are five different types of interactive cards for YouTubers in good standing. The options are: Associated Website, Fan Funding, Fundraising, Merchandise and Video or Playlist. Each card provides a different feature for viewers to engage with.
The Associated Website card allows you to display your Google verified website on a card during your video. The card will appear as an icon in the upper right corner of your video, with a link that directs users to your website.
Fan Funding and Fundraising are both similar options, allowing viewers to voluntarily donate money directly or through a supported website to support your channel or cause. Merchandise cards work to sell your products, and the Video or Playlist card will encourage viewers to watch another video from your channel or a playlist.
The cards are pretty basic to set up and have proven to be effective with users that have taken advantage of the new update.
Live Streaming Updates
YouTube #Live wants you to upload more of your live video streams. They’re increasing from their 30 frames per second (FPS) live streaming capabilities to 60 FPS, for what will likely be most exciting for gamers. The update was made to compete with Twitch, the live-streaming video site that has rapidly gained popularity.
YouTube stated the update means “silky smooth playback for gaming and other fast-action videos.” The “early preview” is available on HTML5 supported browsers. In addition, playback and speed-up options are available for live streaming.
“YouTube live streams will use an HTML5 player in supported browsers. And because our HTML5 player supports variable speed playback, you can skip backward in a stream while it’s live and watch at 1.5x or 2x speed to catch back up.”
What Do You Think of Cards?
How have these updates affected you? Have you used YouTube cards in your own videos, or engaged with them on another channel? I’d be interested in hearing how the cards have helped your channel in the comments below.
Do you stream live video? Has the 60 FPS update helped with your view count? Can you see a difference in quality?