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Chances are, you’ve been on YouTube. You’ve probably watched a few hundred hours of video from your favorite YouTuber Three YouTube Stars Interviewed President Obama, Here's What Happened Three YouTube Stars Interviewed President Obama, Here's What Happened Hank Green, Bethany Mota, and GloZell Green didn't waste their chance to interview President Barack Obama. Read More or kept track of your favorite movie channels Love Movies? 4 Awesome YouTube Channels You Need to Watch Love Movies? 4 Awesome YouTube Channels You Need to Watch While there are a lot of YouTube channels that focus on reviewing movies, there are some YouTubers who go beyond simple reaction videos and dig deep into what makes films special. Read More . 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.

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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 BlackBerry Releases New Tablet, YouTube Cards Kill Annotations [Tech News Digest] BlackBerry Releases New Tablet, YouTube Cards Kill Annotations [Tech News Digest] The BlackBerry SecuTablet, YouTube scraps annotations, Sotheby's comes to eBay, EA ditches Tiger, Street Viewing Brazilian islands, and President Obama reads mean tweets. Read More 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 Want To Enhance Your YouTube Videos With Clickable Links? Here's How! Want To Enhance Your YouTube Videos With Clickable Links? Here's How! Have you ever tried to add a clickable link to your YouTube videos, only to find that there's just no way to do it? Well, actually there are two ways, methods that have remained hidden... Read More 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 10 Best Channels for STEM Education on YouTube 10 Best Channels for STEM Education on YouTube STEM is not just an acronym but an idea that could help transform how our children are taught. These ten YouTube channels not only teach but also inspire to study STEM subjects better. Read More 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 Tech Videos -- Best Of The Best YouTube Technology Channels Tech Videos -- Best Of The Best YouTube Technology Channels When it comes to new technology, there are a number of YouTube channels that help you get a grasp on the latest and greatest. Here are ten must-watch channels every geek should subscribe to. Read More , 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 4 Unusual Ways Of Monetizing Your Creative Content 4 Unusual Ways Of Monetizing Your Creative Content Are you a creative person? Perhaps you're a fiction author, or an investigative journalist? Monetizing your work is tricky. Here are four of the best ways to monetize content without an inch of advertising. Read More 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. 3 Ways to Stream Live Gaming Action From Your PC 3 Ways to Stream Live Gaming Action From Your PC So let's say that you want to get in on that sweet live-streaming fame and fortune. Do you need expensive software? A degree in computer science? A jury-rigged second monitor with a webcam glued to... Read More 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 Watch Artists Work In Real-Time on These 4 Twitch Channels Watch Artists Work In Real-Time on These 4 Twitch Channels One effective way to learn digital art is watching live experts draw and teach in real time. Did you know that Twitch.tv has a category dedicated to Creative Arts? Read More , 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?

  1. graham vaughan
    July 24, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    I Have just been using You Tube and have lost the ability to view all my videos that I have uploaded, It was OK yesterday.
    It used to be that when I went to my channel it came up with all the videos that I have uploaded, Now it only comes up with 3 and it does`nt tell me how to get to the other ones.
    And the same applies when I want to view my friends Kite videos in New Zealand, The first 3 comes up then I cant find the rest and there are close to 650 of Jims videos on there.
    Very dissapointed.

  2. Shay Meinecke
    June 25, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    The market for YouTube is large and most likely doesn't need to make every update. However, I still hold out hope that they will, but can understand the frustration.

    YouTube cards isn't perfect yet but as far as getting subscribers is concerned, I think branding watermarks is decent and something that I rely on. Anyways, I just hope they will make the improvements (with cards and 60fps).

  3. Jeremy A Moats
    June 17, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    So far, the lack of functionality and support for HTML5 has made YouTube unwatchable. About 9 out of every 10 YouTube-Hosted videos I try to watch come up as that dark-grey static screen with a statement that the video content is no longer available - or that my browser (Latest version of Firefox) does not support the format or video stream hosted by YouTube.

    The few HTML5 videos that do show up are Auto-Play enabled (which is a VERY BAD THING), they queue up 5 seconds of video and stream that audio, then pause and queue up another 5 seconds, show a still image of something in transition and play the audio, then the enxt 5 seconds and pause, repeat. After 10-20 video seconds, the player stops doing anything and sits there.

    I have tried using Chrome, but Chrome has so many bugs when it comes to playing videos that I gave up on it altogether.

    I long for an option to use FLASH again - a format that supports advanced Storage options - meaning you can set the source domain as UNLIMITED storage and it will Queue up 100% of the video, instead of tiny increments.

    • Shay Meinecke
      June 24, 2015 at 5:47 am

      Thanks for the comment and sorry to hear about your problems. I've been watching a lot of live streams lately and haven't had any problems (where the connection was decent). Firefox's 37 is said to have improved HTML5 YouTube playback. So, hopefully it'll start workign for you soon.

    • Tom Willoughby
      June 24, 2015 at 8:48 am

      I've used the HTML5 player for a few years now (Firefox on Windows 7), and I've not had these issues. I've never found a video that isn't html5-enabled (and Youtube falls back to the flash player in these cases anyway).

      The Flash player always auto-played too. I used to use a Greasemonkey script to auto-pause them, but that was back when their buffering was a lot worse.

      If you're having problems playing video in Firefox and Chrome, there may be something about your computer which isn't handling it properly.

  4. Tom Willoughby
    June 17, 2015 at 9:49 am

    I don't think that Youtube Cards is the right way to go at all. It would have taken very little work to get annotations working on a mobile device, but instead they create a whole new system that just doesn't work. I say this because of several reasons:
    * Cards are lacking a Subscribe option, which I use at the end of all of my videos
    * Cards link to videos using a static thumbnail. Right now, I edit a carefully-selected clip into my video and overlay an annotation.
    * Cards are all hidden behind a generic icon. This means that every action take two clicks, not one, but also that you don't know what actions are available unless you take action that might not result in anything of interest to you. How many users are going to click on that icon on every video, just to see if there's something that they want to see behind it?

    I'm happy that Youtube has added 60FPS, but I'm not sure how good it will be. It takes a very fast connection to simply stream at 1080p60 at any decent bitrate, but it also takes a decent connection to watch at that speed. That's not to mention the fact that almost every 1080p60 video that I've seen on Youtube has had bad artifacting, likely because Youtube uses a low bitrate when initially processing the video.

    • Shay Meinecke
      June 24, 2015 at 6:05 am

      I believe YouTube will have to address the subscribe option, or the lack of one with Cards. If they truely are getting rid of annotations, channel owners may be upset if they aren't allowed to use cards to get subscribers. I hope further updates to the Cards feature will come soon, as I have also experienced a few difficulties. Thanks for your comment

      • Tom Willoughby
        June 24, 2015 at 8:51 am

        Youtube doesn't have to do anything, because it has such a market dominance that people will still use it, even if it doesn't quite work as well as it should. Youtube support is a joke, the features that they choose to implement are non-sensical sometimes, and there are some things that have been broken for years without a fix. In short, I have very little faith in Youtube actually fixing this. They'll just roll it out and move onto something more interesting to them.

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