YouTube isn’t just a search engine for online videos. It’s also a social site for content creators to interact with their audience and vice versa. Since the launch of Google+ YouTube began to infiltrate its way into the traditional social media scene. Suddenly you were able to check out videos people shared in your Google+ circles by visiting the social tab in YouTube. Soon Twitter, Orkut and Facebook integrations followed:
The new layout published last autumn introduced us to a much more leaner social experience. Main feed was replaced by much more beefier “What to watch” feed. Instead of getting a list of videos from your subscriptions in a reverse chronological order, you are now greeted with a mixed bag of content: videos, social shares and activities that YouTube has deemed worth of your attention.
The “What to watch” feed now shows you the uploads, comments and likes from the channels you’ve subscribe to and if you have linked your YouTube account with G+, Orkut, Facebook or Twitter you will find the videos shared by your friends and followers. Personally, I’m not that into the “What to watch” feed. Most of the videos are old news to me. For me the social feed has more fresh unseen content and I’d rather have my social circles “curate” the feed rather than YouTube.
Here’s my “What to watch” feed:
The audience side, the feeds and the homepage, weren’t the only places that got the social treatment. Now all the content creators are able to post directly to subscribers by sending a “status update” alongside their videos from the upload page. Some content creators are even able to post bulletins directly from their channel. Earlier, if you wanted to notify your subscribers about giveaways, schedule changes etc. you had to make a video about it, or write about it in the descriptions of most recent videos. Now you can just add a post and it will show up in the feed with your video. Or if you wish, you can share the post to Facebok, Twitter, Orkut or G+. Great way to save time if you have multiple accounts to post to.
There’s something to be aware of, though: YouTube doesn’t support Facebook pages. You’re able to share your videos only to your Facebook profile. Because of this I used my personal accounts to demonstrate this feature.
I uploaded a video and added a post to my subscribers:
How it looked in the YouTube, Facebook and Twitter feeds:
Only time will tell how this feature catches on and whether it gets axed. At the moment it’s severely under used, and handicapped for not supporting Facebook pages.
Lot of changes are coming soon for us content creators. YouTube has been rolling out features that were previously limited only to a set of partner channels and making them available to all monetized channels. If you’re eligible to monetize from your videos you might soon find new features such as custom thumbnails.