Imagine the issue of the YouTube algorithm. Funny enough, Google right hand video man is a perfect, slightly Ironic case study.
See, YouTube was scared that, because Netflix has longer programs, they would have to struggle to compete. One Netflix show could be worth hundreds of shorter videos. Think about “Stranger Things.” That thing is a gold mine and millions of people tuned into Benge the season. Now there are two of them. That’s a lot of time folks are on Netflix and that’s not time they are spending on YouTube.
And Netflix isn’t the only streaming competetion on town AND people are still pirating. Time spent away from YouTube. This means advertisers losses insentive to run ads on YouTube. Or even less of your YouTube searches to sell to advertisers.
So what is its solution? Making an algorithm that promotes longer form content.
Now that makes sense, right? But part of the reason I enjoy YouTube IS bite sized content pieces. How many times, just like episodes on Netflix, you say you are going to watch one video specifically? How often does that lead you down a chain of videos and you forget how much time has passed? I know I’m not the only one.
And short content videos have a place in terms of value. Though vine went under, it was once a super popular app and vine compilations still exist on YouTube. Many vines moved from vine to YouTube and gained massive followings during the change. Because there was a demand for the content. Regardless if you liked the content, the demand was still there.
But YouTube changed the algorithm anyway. The first thing that happened was people getting seemingly random suggestions in their recommendations. This caused confusion because part of what makes YouTube great is you search for the content you want. Sometimes it’s nice to be popped out your bubble for something new, but it wasn’t about broad ing perspectives. It was about a cynical approach that thought it couldn’t keep its users with the creators that established themselves on the site.
Now, doesn’t that sound like a big slap in the face of YouTubers? Like “yeah sorry guys we know you draw in millions of views a day, that even the smallest of you draws in a few and if you times that by how many you are, that’s STILL millions of views. Never mind the mid sized or bigger names. But, we can’t trust that emperor al evidence to say we have something good here, so here are random trends to replace you solely to stay afloat.”
Now that is a bit trickier and may have more variables. But the next thing this algorithm did was not. Lots of sketches, info bites, cat videos and other content built their success of of short for education and entertainment. So many of those will have to make longer videos, which can be harder for those starting or don’t have companies and “teams” behind them (Fine Brothers/ Game theorists to name a couple). It also incentivisies long compilations of stolen content. Like the vines I mentioned earlier to streaming whole series and shows that YouTube tries to Crack down on. Which is kinda funny considering both illegal and legal streaming sites were their competition in the first place.
But this doesn’t even get into Animations. YouTube and online animations have been a integral part of Internet culture, but they can be highly intensive.
Animation is done by professional studios at 24 frames per second. That’s so 10 mins of video at 60 seconds per min is 600 seconds. That’s 14, 400 frames for a video that would be picked up by the algorithm. Even if you HALF that that’s STILL a lot for often one person to do, even with a program to help.
Though a few animation channels have been lucky, that might be in part because they had followings BEFORE the change. That’s speculation, but not unfounded because of it can be difficult to start to build a following if you haven’t already. Cause a LOT of hours of content are uploaded to YouTube. But even then it can be hard for even people who have BUILT these followings to keep up if they aren’t making longer videos. If the weird recommendations was maybe a slap in the face to YouTubers, this sure is.
Again, this isn’t even getting into the politics, tastes, or quality of videos and their consumers. The issue about hate speech and the Internet is a long and complex rant for another day. But this is about a company, trying to bolster it’s profits by increasing traffic, that ultimately makes things less accessible. Which means, less traffic.
And THAT’S the TL;DR: of it.
TL; DR: YouTube limited access to content, intentionally or not, to increase traffic and projects by making it less open and stacking the cards against certain people who depend on YouTube as a career.
That’s what ending net neutrality does by making a two tier system in which American cable providers decides what information gets to you, and limits your ability to decide for yourself.
An even shorter version? These companies wound they very markets and people they earn money from in an ironic effort to make more money. They shoot themselves in the foot and somehow set us all on fire?
If I was going to get partisan for a secomd: I’ve seen people scream about “Orwell- Ian” futures because people can’t be racist or what ever.
But this is a kick to a nuts to free speech that could only ever dream of being.
This is literally removing voices of the little guy and feeding content to you. Like?
And I mentioned the “selling your searches.”
“Won’t paying for YouTube get rid the need for them selling mined data from profit?”
You aren’t paying YouTube or Facebook. You are paying Comcast and verizion for YouTube and Facebook. If anything they might need to lease for adds more or cheapen the prices of data so they can Pay these other companies to get you their sites at affordible rates.
Some of this is speculation. But the problem is that some of the most dire affects of this might be to long term that when we notice what bad stuff is happening it will be too late.
We can’t wait. We need to make noise that this isn’t okay.
That this will curb growth, not inspire it.