To put it nicely, 2017 was a brutal year for YouTube. After multiple incidents that lost the platform valuable advertisers, YouTube has created new automated systems to stop monetization on videos that potentially violate the site’s rules and instituted new regulations for its partner program.
For 2018, YouTube’s CEO, Susan Wojcicki, has five priorities for creators…
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You can read Wojcicki’s complete blog post here, but we have broken down the CEO’s priorities below.
1. Prioritizing Transparency and Communication
Last year, there was no shortage of complaints about YouTube’s lack of communication when it came to the company’s monetization decisions. This year, Wojcicki plans to take it up a notch and make sure YouTube communicates with creators about what the platform is doing in the background.
While YouTube did post updates periodically in 2017, YouTube will be using the @YTCreators and @TeamYouTube handles on Twitter to talk directly to creators. Additionally, the platform will email updates directly to users as long as they have the option turned on in their account settings.
We often ask creators for feedback before launching updates and new features and we’ll be doing even more of this to make sure our changes are informed by your perspective. Personally, I always try to meet with creators at industry events and when I travel to a new country so I can hear your feedback directly and relay any issues to the right teams at YouTube. Since I can’t meet with most creators in person, I started a YouTube channel as a way to share my perspective. Though I haven’t shared much yet, I plan to use my channel more in 2018 to engage with creators and the community.
2. Supporting Success
To address the fact that so many creators had multiple videos automatically demonetized, Wojcicki acknowledges that the appeal process is not perfect. To fix this, YouTube is working on a new system that will involve the use of more human review.
YouTube is also working on ways for creators to make revenue outside of the AdSense platform. This includes expanding the Super Chat system, allowing viewers to sponsor gaming channels, finding sponsors using FameBit, as well as other ways for viewers to donate money or buy merchandise from creators.
3. Giving More Ways to Engage With Video
In addition to the standard likes and comments section below each video, YouTube has tried to find new ways for creators to interact with subscribers. Unfortunately, things such as the community tab and Reels just haven’t become popular.
Going forward, YouTube plans to introduce AR and VR features that it hopes will build stronger communities.
4. Tightening and Enforcing Policies
As addressed in the first section, Wojcicki states that YouTube is working to create new processes that include the use of human moderation to help police and enforce the platform’s rules. Through 2018, YouTube and Google should have a combined 10,000 people who “address content that might violate” the company’s policies.
Additionally, YouTube is continuing to innovate with machine learning, helping it get better at identifying content that violates the platform’s rules.
In 2017 we also made progress to better surface content from authoritative news sources, both on the homepage in a new “Breaking News” section and in search. Because the role news plays in our lives is so critical, we’ll seek to work closely with our news partners to roll out more solutions in this area in 2018.
Lastly, to create better policies to police the platform, YouTube is working with multiple organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League to find ways to avoid and remove hate speech. This leads to other efforts currently in development that’ll hopefully keep creators from posting videos that damage the platform and other creators.
5. Investing More in Learning and Education
With educational videos receiving over a billion views per day, Wojcicki believes that YouTube will continue to grow as a learning platform. It will be partnering with organizations like Goodwill and other creators to help them make more content for the site.
As YouTube grows, I want to remain focused on our mission to give everyone a voice and show them the world. It’s my commitment in 2018 to ensure we do this responsibly, with greater openness, smarter policies, more engaging products, more revenue for creators, and a higher emphasis on learning and education. I’m thankful to everyone who’s made our community such a special, inspiring and meaningful place and I feel privileged to be a part of it. I hope all of you are looking forward to YouTube’s best, most transparent and most exciting year yet as much as I am.