Tag Archives: youtube

YouTube CEO To Creators: We’re Going To Be Better About Demonetization

YouTube, in its efforts to protect brands from being associated with violent, extreme, or otherwise inappropriate content, has spent the better of 2017 demonetizing a huge number of videos, in what has become known as the “adpocalypse.”

While the video site’s aggressive action has allayed some of the fears of brand partners, it has also angered creators, who feel their videos are being stripped of revenue in an overzealous manner. Some videomakers, such as h3h3productions, have begun to spend more time on other platforms as a result. Others have documented the volume of lost ad revenue they are enduring.

In order to cut down on the number of videos it flags for demonetization, YouTube is taking action. In a blog post, CEO Susan Wojcicki has promised to use both human and technological means to reduce the number of yellow icons that appear in Video Manager suites across the site. Such a policy shift would logically result in more monetization for rule-abiding creators.

“We are planning to apply stricter criteria and conduct more manual curation, while also significantly ramping up our team of ad reviewers to ensure ads are only running where they should,” Wojcicki wrote. The blog post did not offer specific details on how exactly YouTube will tighten its demonetization criteria. The video site has been criticized for applying the inconsistent application of its rules. An October incident involving the demonetization of a Casey Neistatcharity video drew particular ire.

The additions to the ad reviewer team will, in theory, allow YouTube to better police the automated systems that flag videos as inappropriate for advertisers. While creators are able to appeal demonetization decisions they believe to be false positives, that process is time-consuming.

Demonetization is not the only ad-related area where YouTube is marshaling more manpower. The video site has also announced a force of 10,000 humans who will work to purge inappropriate videos.

Wojcicki hopes to incorporate YouTube’s creative community into the introduction of these new policies. “We will be talking to creators over the next few weeks to hone this new approach,” she wrote in her blog post.



YouTube Adsense is Dead

Now that its bottom line is being affected, YouTube says it will begin to take additional steps to protect its advertisers and creators from inappropriate content on its network. In a blog post authored by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki on Monday, the company said it will increase its staff to over 10,000 in 2018 to help better moderate video content.The news follows a series of scandals on the video-sharing site related to its lack of policing around content aimed at children, obscene comments on videos of children, horrifying search suggestions, and more.

The company has been suffering from the fallout of accusations that it has for too long allowed bad actors to game its recommendation algorithms to reach children with videos that aren’t meant for younger viewers. At the same time, it has seemingly fostered a community of creators making videos that involve putting kids in concerning, and even exploitive, situations.

One example, the channel ToyFreaks, was recently terminated after concerns were raised about its videos, where a fathers’ young daughters were filmed in odd, upsetting and inappropriate situations, at times.

YouTube had said then the channel’s removal was part of a new tightening of its child endangerment policies. It also last month implemented new policies to flag videos where inappropriate content was aimed at children.

It has since pulled down thousands of videos of children as a result, and removed the advertising from nearly 2 million videos and over 50,000 channels.


YouTube promises to increase content moderation staff to over 10K in 2018

Stories are coming to YouTube next

YouTube is testing a new feature called “Reels” that, at least in concept, will be similar to the Stories you see every day on Snapchat and Instagram. According to TechCrunch, Reels will be given their own tab — separate from a creator’s main list of videos. YouTube’s reasoning for introducing them is not unlike what we’ve heard from Snap and Instagram: people want a way to share content without having to go the full mile and publish a traditional YouTube video. Reels are being tested among a small group of the site’s creators, and the company isn’t yet saying when this “new format” will be more widely rolled out.

YouTube is diverging from the typical Stories formula in several ways. Most notably, Reels won’t disappear after 24 hours or some other arbitrary amount of time. And YouTube will let users have multiple Reels — each with its own set of videos. That’s different from Instagram and Snapchat, where your temporary posts are part of one, centralized story.

TechCrunch says the process of making Reels is as follows: you shoot “a few quick mobile videos of up to 30 seconds each” and can spruce them up with the usual mix of filters or by adding music and text. “We’re also bringing creator-focused features like linking to YouTube videos and YouTube-y stickers,” YouTube’s Roy Livne said in a blog post.

YouTube giving into the Stories trend comes alongside the hire of Todd Sherman, who previously worked as lead product manager on Snapchat’s trend-setting version of the feature. It’s not clear if Sherman will be helming, in YouTube’s own words, the company’s “spin” on stories.

Some people will likely bemoan the idea of Reels invading the YouTube experience. But, at least during this initial beta phase, it sounds like users won’t be hit over the head with them through obnoxious placement at the top of the app or other ways of force-feeding the new feature to viewers. Only if users “engage with Reels” will YouTube possibly start displaying them in your main home tab recommendations, according to TechCrunch. “We’ll be experimenting with a beta version of Reels to learn and improve the product before expanding to more creators,” Livne said.



YouTube Begins Purging “Non-Family Friendly” Content As Advertisers React

In a statement on its official blog, Johanna Wright, VP of Product Management at YouTube, said the company has noticed  “a growing trend around content on YouTube that attempts to pass as family-friendly, but is clearly not. While some of these videos may be suitable for adults, others are completely unacceptable, so we are working to remove them from YouTube.”

Wright’s note claimed the service had terminated over 50 channels and removed “thousands of videos” in the last week. It also has implemented age restrictions on certain content, making it available only to those over age 18. It will also apply machine-learning technology to seek out potentially objectionable content for faster human review.


Executives at YouTube are not the only ones noticing the questionable content. Several major advertisers have pulled advertising on YouTube after learning of their ads running on pages favored by pedophiles and other unsavory characters, some of whom left hundreds of comments on videos of scantily-clad children.

Among the reported drop-outs: candy company Mars, which makes M&Ms and Snickers; Mondelez (Oreos, Cadbury); and Diageo (Guinness, Smirnoff vodka, and Johnnie Walker scotch. An investigation by the UK news service The Times is believed to have sparked the advertiser uproar, but online forums have been discussing the issue of questionable content on YouTube for some time.

 “We are shocked and appalled to see that our adverts have appeared alongside such exploitative and inappropriate content,” said a statement from the headquarters of McLean, Virginia-based Mars to USA Today. “We have stringent guidelines and processes in place and are working with Google and our media buying agencies to understand what went wrong. Until we have confidence that appropriate safeguards are in place, we will not advertise on YouTube and Google.”

Not every channel purged is sexual in nature. Toy Freaks, a channel with more than 8.5 million subscribers, was dropped because it reportedly posted content intended to gross-out children. Dozens of other channels appealing to kids have gone dark, which some observers estimate may account for upwards of 20 billion combined views.

The YouTube blog post by Wright promised five steps, including tougher application of community guidelines set by the video service and faster response to complaints; removing ads from inappropriate videos targeting families; blocking inappropriate comments on videos featuring minors; providing more guidance to content creators; and partnering with so-called “experts” while “doubling the number of Trusted Flaggers we partner with in this area.”


YouTube Begins Purging “Non-Family Friendly” Content As Advertisers React

YouTube is back on Amazon’s Echo Show

YouTube has returned to the Amazon Echo Show nearly two months after a Google and Amazon dispute saw the internet search giant pull support for its popular video service from Amazon’s hardware, according to a report from VoiceBot.ai.

Along with the return of YouTube, Amazon is also expanding video services on the Echo Show as well, with the company launching support forVimeo and Dailymotion. In a statement to The Verge, an Amazon spokesperson commented that “We’re excited to offer customers the capability to watch even more video content from sources such as Vimeo, YouTube, and Dailymotion on Echo Show. More video sources will be added over time.”

According to Google, Amazon’s original implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show “violates our terms of service, creating a broken user experience.” It seems that Amazon and Google have been able to reconcile that problem, with a new version of YouTube that has a dramatically changed interface that much more closely resembles the desktop version of the site than Amazon’s own Echo-style integration. VoiceBot.ai has posted a video of the updated UI, which is embedded below, but if you’ve ever used YouTube on a computer or tablet, you’ve more or less already know what it’s like.

That updated version of YouTube on the Echo Show also means that features like subscriptions, next video recommendations, and autoplay — which my colleague Dieter Bohn pointed out as missing features in Amazon’s original app that Google might view as important for future growth — are now back in play on the Echo Show. But they come at the cost of the far more user-friendly and voice control-optimized software that Amazon had originally designed.

Based on a tweet from The Verge editor Dan Seifert, it seems that the new YouTube integration only halfheartedly supports voice controls at all, with the device managing to play audio of a video through voice commands, but not actually display the footage on-screen without manual intervention. Once you have video playing, the Echo Show still does support full-screen YouTube video through a separate “Alexa, zoom in” command.



YouTube creators are frustrated that a bot keeps demonetizing their videos

One night at the beginning of November, tech reviewer Ben Schmanke published a YouTube video comparing the cameras on the iPhone X, the Samsung S8, and the LG V30. YouTube initially classified the video as suitable for all advertisers, indicated by a green dollar sign icon. When Schmanke woke up the next morning, the classification icon had been changed to a yellow dollar sign, which means the video can only make money from a limited number of advertisers.

“[YouTube] said this shouldn’t happen, but obviously it keeps happening,” Schmanke said of the switch from green to yellow. “Overnight I gained a good 10,000 or 20,000 views, so that’s lost money on both my part and their part.”

Schmanke is just one of several YouTubers who has had issues with YouTube demonetizing or limiting ads on their iPhone X videos in recent weeks. Dylan Hong, who runs a small tech channel, says his video about iPhone X accessories was immediately flagged as a yellow-icon, limited-ad video. He wasn’t really concerned about lost revenue, but he was surprised.

“I make super advertiser-friendly, family-friendly videos,” Hong told The Verge. “It was just an algorithm fail that a bunch of iPhone X videos from really reputable reviewers and much smaller channels just got auto-flagged from the beginning.”

As reported by TechnoBuffalo, YouTube’s algorithm began marking some new iPhone X videos as “unsuitable for advertisers” at the end of last month. Although more imaginative fans theorized that was Google’s way of boycotting Apple, it seems more likely that it was just the latest in a string of issues with ad revenue and algorithms on YouTube. Schmanke and Hong both said that after they appealed the classifications of their iPhone X videos, YouTube restored monetization within a few hours. Casey Neistat, who also had one of his iPhone X videos flagged immediately, tweeted that YouTube fixed the error about an hour later.


The bug received a lot of attention in the YouTube community because it affected high-profile users like Neistat, MKBHD, and Justine Ezarik, but YouTube says the issue was not widespread. “We looked into reports​ that iPhone X videos weren’t running ads, and ​there is no data to support there is any kind of trend,” a YouTube spokesperson told The Verge. “In fact, ​the vast majority iPhone X videos are monetizing ​just fine ​across the platform​. ​​We encourage creators to appeal ​if they feel their video has been wrong demonetized, and every appeal helps our advertising systems get smarter over time.”

YouTube also says total creator revenue is up “significantly” year over year.

Even though YouTube acted quickly to fix the issue, YouTubers are still frustrated by the company’s ongoing problems with demonetization and transparency. The main concern from creators seems to be that they don’t understand why particular videos get demonetized, especially when it’s something as seemingly uncontroversial as a phone unboxing. And because YouTube’s algorithm makes decisions immediately and at scale, it can be difficult to figure out what causes a certain video to get flagged.

“Before I posted the iPhone X video, I knew people were saying the algorithm was flagging that term exactly,” Schmanke said. “And I don’t know if it was because of ‘X,’ like X-rated or XXX… but you would think input some code on the back-end to ignore ‘iPhone X.’”

YouTube suggests that creators upload videos as unlisted or private to check the monetization status before a video goes public, but many creators don’t want to wait when it comes to timely news and reviews.

About a month ago, Neistat posted a video to his channel titled “DEMONETIZED DEMONETIZED DEMONETIZED,” after YouTube demonetized one of his travel vlogs. In the video, Neistat argues that the advertising “controversy” has become “a catalyst for the YouTube community to speak out about what upsets them about YouTube.” He argued that the company was considering its community second to advertisers, when in fact, the community should be treated as the most important part of YouTube. Soon after, YouTube announced it was releasing a “performance improvement update” that it claimed would result in 30 percent fewer videos being flagged for demonetization.

But the iPhone X demonetization error happened after this performance update, and there will likely be similar bugs in the future. Creators just want YouTube to handle communication differently. “I trust that YouTube is working hard on their end,” Hong said. “What YouTube is trying to do from a machine learning standpoint is really difficult… but their community engagement side is terrible.”

YouTube insists that every appealed video will “receive a human review,” but some creators think they shouldn’t have to appeal regularly at the whims of YouTube’s algorithm. Both Hong and Schmanke echo Neistat’s recent suggestion that bigger YouTube channels should receive an automatic human review, rather than lose views while appealing a video.




Ryan is your average five-year-old. He likes playing with toy cars, riding tricycles, and going down water slides. His mom, like most parents, loves to capture and share these moments. What’s different about Ryan is that these everyday events — opening a new action figure or going to Chuck E. Cheese’s — are watched around the world by hundreds of millions of other kids.

The family’s channel, Ryan ToysReview, was created in March of 2015, and initially, didn’t get many views. But about four months in, the channel published this video, and views started doubling with every passing month. Ryan’s mom, who has so far declined to share her name, left her job as a high school chemistry teacher to work on the YouTube channel full time.

For the last 18 weeks and counting, Ryan ToysReview has been the most popular channel on YouTube in the US, and the second largest in the world, a bigger attraction than household names like PewDiePie and Justin Bieber, and media empires like BuzzFeedThe Tonight Show, and the WWE. That viewership translates to around $1 million a month in advertising revenue alone.

“He is definitely the youngest YouTube star we’ve ever seen,” said Josh Cohen, an industry analyst and founder of TubeFilter. When the channel launched, Ryan was just three years old. “It’s the biggest of this genre of programming that is getting billions of views a week on YouTube. Really nobody is talking about it, but it’s crazy once you start scratching the surface.”

Image result for ryans toy reviews

The phenomenon of reviewing toys on YouTube isn’t new. In the fall of 2013, a channel called DisneyCollecterBR made its way into the top 10 most-viewed channels. It was run by an adult woman who never showed her face. She opened toys and played with them, speaking softly, never moving the camera from a single closeup shot. By the summer of 2014, she routinely topped the list of the most-viewed channels in the US.

The genre skyrocketed once kids became the hosts. In March of last year, just as Ryan’s family was launching their channel, media outlets were reporting on another family that struck rich by sharing videos of their children simply playing with toys. According to a reportfrom The Guardian, 20 of the top 100 channels on YouTube are focused on toys, collecting upwards of 4.5 billion views a month. Before Ryan stepped in front of the camera, he was a viewer.

“Ryan was watching a lot of toy review channels — some of his favorites are EvanTubeHD and Hulyan Maya — because they used to make a lot of videos about Thomas The Tank Engine, and Ryan was super into Thomas,” his mother explained in an interview with TubeFilter. “One day, he asked me, ‘How come I’m not on YouTube when all the other kids are?’ So we just decided — yeah, we can do that. Then, we took him to the store to get his very first toy — I think it was a Lego train set — and it all started from there.”

But while Ryan’s channel is part of a broader trend, it has achieved a scale unlike anything that came before it. Less than two years old, Ryan ToysReview already has 5.5 million subscribers, more than the two channels that inspired it combined. Produced by his mother, Ryan’s channel has perfected the art of this strange new genre, a mash-up of personal vlog and “unboxing” video, a blend of innocent childhood antics and relentless, often overwhelming consumerism.

The premise of the channel, as the name implies, is that Ryan reviews toys. And in the first video ever posted to the channel, which you can see above, he does just that, at least to the degree a three-year-old can articulate his thoughts on a set of Lego Duplo blocks. He “unboxes” the pieces, sets them up, and plays. The video is slow and static, a single shot held for nearly 10 minutes. Ryan takes his time building and playing. He signs off with a simple wave and “see you next time.”

But over time, the act of reviewing toys has swelled into something very different. In the second video, Ryan is up to two toys, and over time the videos have grown to feature dozens of toys in a single episode. In the most popular clip the channel has posted, Ryan is given a hundred toys at once. We only see Ryan playing with each toy for a few seconds, and by the end he’s wading through a huge pile of freshly opened and quickly cast off toys, shoveling them on top of one another. The video has 568 million views.

In more recent clips, the pretense of Ryan actually playing with certain toys has been totally cast aside. Listen to Ryan dutifully speak his lines in the video below. He prepares to open a plastic egg. “I wonder what’s inside it. I’m so excited,” he says, his voice devoid of both wonder and excitement.



This 23-year-old woman is making six figures a month from slime videos

It takes Karina Garcia at least five hours to edit a video tutorial on slime. That level of precision is important because her YouTube channel has more than 6.7 million subscribers.

Garcia has become something of an internet celebrity when it comes to crafts for kids (and adults). Her specialty is anything involving slime.

The 23-year-old based in Riverside, California, said she currently makes six figures in revenue a month, mostly off advertising from her videos. She also recently launched her own craft kits at Target called Craft City. First up is slime, but she hopes to add bath bombs and lipstick kits in the near future.


“I recently bought a house (from slime money), and my mom laughs about it,” said Garcia, who’s created more than 100 slime videos.

Slime is having a resurgence with younger kids these days. Elmer’s Glue — a key ingredient in the concoction — told NPR it had a 50 percent increase in sales in December 2016, thanks to the trend.

It also helps that kids and teens happen to love do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. Sweety High, a media site for young girls, said DIY content gets four times more views or clicks than its other trending content. Garcia was recently featured on its show, “After The Bell.”

“DIY as a category gained traction with the culture at large given the rise of reality TV, makeover shows, YouTube and contest formats,” CEO Frank Simonetti said.


Nobody expects to make a living from slime videos. Garcia certainly didn’t.

Two years ago, confused about what to do with her life, Garcia dropped out of college and quit her job as a waitress. Completely unmotivated, she helped her mother out with her catering business.

“I had nothing going for me,” Garcia said. “I didn’t have a job. I didn’t go to school. I was the laziest person ever.”

Her twin sister, Mayra Isabel, had a YouTube channel focused on beauty. Garcia decided she wanted to try creating her own videos. But she had anxiety problems.

So she decided to focus on what she liked: crafting.

“I used to be very, very shy,” she said. “This definitely helped with that a lot.”

Garcia’s first few videos focused on projects like creating makeup organizers and custom lipsticks. Then she found a recipe on Pinterest for making a kind of slime called Gak. She tried it out, and everything began to turn.

Garcia said that watching slime videos has become somewhat of a therapeutic stress reliever, and she’s noticed an increase in people creating slime tutorial playlists.

She tries to upload videos to her channel three times a week, including at least one slime tutorial. Garcia is motivated by the idea that people who watch her videos can make their own slime creations.

“I can inspire young women,” she said. “I want to show no matter where you come from, you can make it.”



PewDiePie: YouTube megastar’s N-word outburst sparks developer backlash

YouTube’s best-paid star Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie, has yet again used a racial slur on the video-sharing site.

The 27-year-old video blogger called an opponent a “fucking nigger” while live-streaming playing the online game Playerunknown Battlegrounds, before correcting himself to “fucking asshole”, adding: “I didn’t mean it in a bad way.”

It isn’t the first time the YouTube star has crossed the line. In February this year, he lost partnerships with Disney and YouTube after an expose of his regular use of antisemitism and Nazi imagery as props for shock humour.

This time, his racist outburst has prompted a bottom-up response, with games companies stating they will fight his attempts to use their work to create his videos. Sean Vanaman, the co-founder of games developer Campo Santo, tweeted that he would be filing a copyright claim in order to force YouTube to remove Kjellberg’s video of Vanaman’s game Firewatch.


The video has almost 6m views on YouTube, rendering it a potent source of publicity for Campo Santo and a revenue stream for Kjellberg.

Vanaman said: “I am sick of this child getting more and more chances to make money off of what we make.

“I’d urge other developers and will be reaching out to folks much larger than us to cut him off from the content that has made him a millionaire.”

Kjellberg has almost 60 million subscribers on YouTube, and reportedly earned $15m (£11m) from the site in 2016. But the revelations over the course of 2017 may mean his earnings drop substantially.

An investigation earlier this year revealed at least nine videos over a six month period contained either antisemitic jokes or Nazi imagery, and led to Kjellberg losing valuable revenue streams. Disney-owned Maker Studios co-launched Revelmode – a multichannel network that produced videos, mobile apps and merchandise – with the YouTube star, until the partnership was dissolved following the revelations.

Google’s YouTube also parted ways with Kjellberg. The company removed him from its premium advertising network, which pays better rates than the company’s programmatic adverts and attracts prestige clients. He had also been producing a series with YouTube’s subscription service, YouTube Red until Google pulled the plug.

The YouTube star eventually hit back with an angry video accusing the media of “out-of-context” reports in an attempt to destroy his career. “Old-school media does not like internet personalities because they are scared of us. We have so much influence and such a large voice, and I don’t think they understand that,” he said.




Google begins rolling out HDR YouTube support for smartphones

Google is starting to roll out support for HDR videos in the mobile YouTube app. The Vergehas been able to confirm that the update is live and offers support for HDR playback at up to 1080p resolution and 60 fps when manually changing video quality. The software update seems to have quietly rolled out yesterday, according to reports on Reddit and SamMobile, which first spotted the update.

YouTube added support for HDR video back in November 2016, but until now the company hasn’t rolled it out to any of the various smartphones that offer HDR screens. HDR support is available on the Galaxy S8, Note 8, PixelLG V30, and Xperia XZ Premium, and it’s easy to imagine that Google will continue to build out support for the higher-quality video format on other devices in the near future.

Update September 8th, 12:45pm: Google is rolling out HDR support for the Pixel, LG V30and Sony Xperia XZ Premium, in addition to the Galaxy S8 and Note 8. This post has been updated accordingly.



YouTube roll out in-app video sharing and messaging to users worldwide

YouTube today is launching a new sharing feature in its mobile app, previously in testing with users in select markets. The feature allows YouTube users to send their friends videos and chat from within a new tab in the mobile app – effectively turning YouTube into a mobile messenger of sorts.

The feature has been in testing since the middle of last year, and, at the beginning of 2017, rolled out to users in Canada as something of a “soft launch.” It later expanded to parts of Latin America, the company tells us.

Following the feedback gained from these long-term initial tests, YouTube felt it was ready to debut the sharing feature to a global audience. That roll out begins today, but won’t reach all YouTube users worldwide for a few days. In other words, if you don’t see the sharing option yet – just wait, you will soon.

Since its debut in tests, YouTube says it has made some slight changes to the user interface for sharing, including the way the chat interface appears to users, and it made the video stick to the top of the chat when scrolling down. It also introduced the ability to allow replying and chatting while users are watching a video, which gives the feature more of a real-time feel. However, it hasn’t gone as far as to integrate the emoji responses and co-viewing found in the company’s experimental YouTube app, called YouTube Uptime.

However, YouTube says that more improvements will be rolled out in time.

The idea behind the sharing feature’s development is to transition some of the social activity that takes place around videos – including the sharing of links and chats about the video themselves – back into YouTube instead of other messaging apps. It’s unclear if it will be successful in that regard. People’s preferred mobile messengers already have their established social graphs, and YouTube is having to build its social network of people’s friends and family from scratch.


The feature itself is easy to use – perhaps too easy. While it allows you to find friends from your phone’s Address Book, there’s currently no way to block requests from those you don’t know. You can, of course, deny those requests, but for public figures or those whose name or contact information is more freely available, this can be a problem. I had access to the feature while in testing, and found that I had a slew of incoming requests from strangers, for example – and this was before the public launch.


YouTube roll out in-app video sharing and messaging to users worldwide

Google’s smart keyboard app Gboard adds doodling, YouTube and Google Maps

Google’s Gboard, the app that integrates Google Search and other features right into the smartphone keyboard, is being updated today with a handful of notable new additions, including the integration of key Google services, like YouTube and Google Maps. This will allow Gboard app users to share their location with friends, or any other address, directly from the keyboard, as well as search and share YouTube videos without having to separately launch the YouTube app.

Gboard was first launched on iOS last year, as a means of more deeply integrating Google Search on mobile devices. The move came at a time when more of the activity taking place on mobile phones is occurring in standalone apps, like Facebook and mobile messengers, and not in the web browser – a change in user behavior that Google knows can impact its bottom line.

In addition, mobile search is more costly for Google. Its parent company Alphabet continues to report higher traffic acquisition costs in its quarterly earnings – a result of the shift to mobile search over desktop. This is in part due to having to pay Apple a hefty portion of Google’s mobile ad revenue to be the default search engine in the Safari browser.

One strategy to address this change in Google’s favor is Gboard – a mobile app that delivers the most utilitarian features of Google Search within the keyboard. The app, at launch, allowed users to search for things like flight times, news, restaurant and business listings, and more from the keyboard, then paste the information returned into chat. It has since been expanded with improvements like smarter phrase suggestions as you type, instant translation, GIF and emoji suggestions, and more.

The larger idea here is to make accessing Google a part of the everyday experience of typing on your smartphone, without having to launch the phone’s web browser to do so.

Today’s update brings two more of the most-accessed Google properties into the Gboard app, which could make it more a more appealing download for consumers.

Now, alongside the option to search Google from the keyboard with a touch of a button, you can also search YouTube and Maps. The results display, card-style, in a carousel you can swipe through horizontally at the bottom of the screen. Then, with a tap, you can add any individual result into your chat, no matter which app you’re using for texting – whether Whatsapp, Messenger, iMessage, or any others.


Google’s smart keyboard app Gboard adds doodling, YouTube and Google Maps

Look out, YouTube and Facebook: Amazon’s coming for video publishers

YouTube and Facebook get a bulk of the attention from digital publishers looking to build and scale video businesses. Meanwhile, for the past year, Amazon has built a platform that not only offers publishers another place to distribute videos but also the opportunity to make money from day one.

Last year, Amazon opened up its Prime streaming platform to video publishers and creators of all sizes, allowing them to distribute individual videos, themed video collections, entire seasons of shows and even their subscription channels. Called Amazon Video Direct, the program gives participating publishers access to the estimated 79 million people who pay for Prime in the U.S. alone.

One publisher in the Amazon Video Direct program said it earned mid-five figures on Amazon during its first month on the program last year — nearly four times the amount it made from YouTube ad sales during the same month. “That was an eye-opener, and we’ve been putting up more titles [on Amazon] since then,” said this publishing exec.

Amazon itself said the Video Direct program paid out “tens of millions of dollars” in royalties in its first year, with “billions of minutes” streamed.

“We are encouraged by the positive response and adoption from content creators, as well as the high level of engagement by Amazon Video customers,” said Eric Orme, head of Amazon Video Direct.

Video publishers have a number of ways to make money from the Amazon Video Direct program. If they choose to distribute individual videos and shows within the Amazon Prime subscription video service, they get paid 15 cents per hour streamed in the U.S. and 6 cents per hour streamed in the U.K., Germany and Japan. Publishers also have the option to sell individual movies, shows and video packages to customers, retaining 50 percent of all revenue made from purchases or rentals. There’s also an ad-supported, free portal, through which Amazon pays out 55 cents to every dollar generated from pre-roll ads. Finally, they can sell add-on subscriptions.

Very little revenue is coming in from the ad-supported side at the moment, according to multiple sources. However, the dollars generated from distributing inside the Prime subscription service, while fluctuating month to month, are proving to be noticeable. It’s enough money that HowStuffWorks started to produce long-form shows last year that can be distributed on Amazon.

Comedy studio Jash, meanwhile, is seeing enough revenue from Amazon that it plans to publish new episodes of “Norm Macdonald Live,” its comedy talk show with the famous comedian, on Amazon the day they premiere.



YouTube has hit a milestone and announced a slew of new features

YouTube announced that 1.5 billion logged in users visit the platform each month and several new features at Vidcon 2017, an annual digital video-focused convention, VentureBeat reports.

YouTube also unveiled a new virtual reality (VR) video format, called VR180, announced the expansion of YouTube TV to 10 more markets, and showed glimpses of 12 upcoming YouTube Red originals. The most impactful announcements made are listed below.

  • Messaging and sharing features within the YouTube app: Users will be able to chat and share YouTube videos with their friends in-app, as opposed to leaving the app to share a link. This could help retain users and boost average app engagement time. YouTube previously unveiled these features last year as an initial pilot. With this update, YouTube is becoming more of a social platform, like Facebook. On the other hand, Facebook has been pushing its video offerings for a while, in part to be able to compete with and draw eyeballs from YouTube. Facebook also recently started testing new features on its Videos tab on Android.


  • Flexible format for mobile YouTube video viewing: This will adapt the aspect ratio of any video, regardless of whether it is filmed vertically or horizontally — meaning users will no longer see mattes, or black bars, on sides of their videos. This could improve the user experience, but also provides opportunities for creators and ad formats shot vertically. These new creative opportunities and ad formats could attract content creators and brands to YouTube.


  • TV as a medium of consumption: TV is the fastest-growing medium of YouTube consumption, currently advancing at a 90% annual clip. According to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, people watch one hour of YouTube on mobile devices, and up to four hours of TV, per day — suggesting there is room to grow for YouTube consumption on TV. This could indicate YouTube’s push to become more TV-like is gaining traction. Also, this a signal to TV brand advertisers that YouTube is a platform worth investing in.

time spent streaming by platform




YouTube’s New L.A. Studio Will Help Creators Crank Out VR Videos

CANNES, France—YouTube wants to help creators make more VR video, so it’s announcing a new program today at Cannes to arm folks with the equipment and expertise that they need to do so.

The VR Creator Lab will be housed within YouTube Spaces Los Angeles, where top creators and brands learn the platform’s best practices and make videos. The three-day program will offer creators cameras and equipment, tools for stitching clips together and resources including training sessions and talks from Google that will all center around making VR videos.

To participate in the program, creators need to have already made two 360-degree videos, have at least 10,000 subscribers, go through an orientation and be at least 18 years old.

Adweek sat down with Google’s VR business boss Amit Singh to talk about the new studio and how brands are using virtual and augmented reality.

“We teach you how to do it, we handhold you, we help you with creative so that you can experiment,” said Amit Singh, Google’s vp of business for augmented reality and virtual reality. “Whether it’s original content or an ad that you’re building for a brand, this technology should start to become mainstream.”

After the program ends, creators are tasked with producing at least four VR videos and one behind-the-scenes clip. Participants will also meet at the L.A. YouTube Spaces every two weeks from Aug. 28 to Nov. 6 to talk about their VR projects and meet with mentors.

Google has also greenlighted VR series with Major League Baseball, Vogue magazine and Discovery Travel. The studio will work with creators and brands to develop different types of content specific to VR.


For example, the NFL worked with Google late last year to make a VR series. One of the biggest learnings about the series is that people don’t want to watch games using a headset. “The energy and 12 hours before the game [and] the search query interest in the game and all the activation before the game is bigger than the game,” Singh said.

Based on those learnings, MLB’s series will focus on content around the games and players.

The league will, “do a bunch of behind-the-scenes dugout, player interviews and stuff that you haven’t seen before,” Singh said. “Whether you do it in a big headset or a Cardboard or the Major League Baseball app, you can see the pitch in three dimensions.”

The education part is particularly important in getting brands up to speed on the shift from mobile to virtual reality.

“People are looking for that next deeper immersion,” Singh said. “It’s moving from a gimmick or marketing activation to where there’s storytelling about the brand tied into the series—that’s where we’re trying to go next.”



Google outlines 4 steps to tackle terrorist-related content on YouTube

Google has outlined four steps it’s taking to fight the spread of extremist material on its YouTube video service.

Kent Walker, general counsel at Google, said Sunday the U.S. technology giant is “committed to being part of the solution” to tackling online extremist content.

“Terrorism is an attack on open societies, and addressing the threat posed by violence and hate is a critical challenge for us all,” Walker wrote in a blog post.


“There should be no place for terrorist content on our services.”

The four new steps are:

  • Putting more engineering resource into developing further artificial intelligence software that can be trained to identify and remove extremist content.
  • Expanding the number of independent experts in YouTube’s Trusted Flagger program. Google will add 50 expert non-government organizations to the 63 organizations that are already part of the program, and support them with additional grants. Google said Trusted Flagger reports are accurate over 90 percent of the time.
  • Taking a tougher stance against videos that do not clearly violate YouTube’s rules. For example, a video that has inflammatory religious or supremacist content will appear behind a warning, will not be monetized, recommended or even eligible for users to make comments on. The aim is to make these videos have less engagement so they are harder to find.
  • YouTube is working with Jigsaw – a company behind “The Redirect Method” – which uses ad targeting to send potential ISIS recruits to anti-terrorist videos, which could change their mind about joining extremist organizations. Google said that in previous trials of this system, potential recruits have clicked through on the ads at an “unusually high rate” and watched over half a million minutes of video content that “debunks terrorist recruiting messages.”

The latest measures build upon Google’s previous efforts to fight extremist content on its platform amid a broader criticism of internet companies from politicians.



YouTube snags Ellen Degeneres, Demi Lovato, Kevin Hart and others for exclusive shows

With perhaps its boldest bet yet, YouTube is going directly after traditional television advertising dollars with 40 new programs exclusively for the platform. And advertisers appear to be coming back to the fold after brand-safety concerns rocked YouTube several weeks ago.

Tonight, at the digital giant’s BrandCast event in New York, YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl announced that celebrities such as Kevin Hart, Ellen DeGeneres, Ryan Seacrest and Demi Lovato are creating shows. The big pitch to marketers came toward the end of the first week of the Digital Content NewFronts.

“We see these shows as a way for us to partner with you to buck this trend,” Kyncl said.

While around a half dozen of the star-studded shows will be supported by brand sponsorships, more than 30 others will be on YouTube Red, the subscription portion of the platform. Most of the YouTube Red shows will be created by YouTube influencers rather than by mainstream celebrities.


On stage at New York’s Javits Center, Hart announced he’s creating a series called Laugh Out Loud to give future comedians and actors a chance to create their own content and comedy. Speaking during the event, Hart said he’s also creating a fitness show called What the Fit.

Brands are already signing up. Tonight, YouTube announced Johnson & Johnson will sponsor a talent competition called Best Cover Ever produced by Ryan Seacrest. So, J&J has already reversed its stance of cutting budget from YouTube due to the brand-safety concerns that arose in March.

The event—which featured appearances from celebrities like Late Late Show host James Corden, YouTuber Casey Neistat and singer Katy Perry—is an important night for winning over brand marketers. The platform’s reputation has taken a beating lately, with a parade of brands in recent weeks having pulled advertising dollars out of Google after their ads appeared alongside hateful and terrorist content.

During her opening remarks tonight, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki apologized to the hundreds of marketers in the audience.

“We apologize for letting some of you down,” she said. “Thank you for helping us become a stronger and better platform.”

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals



YouTuber faces jail time for his movie parodies, as angry studios say his videos hurt sales

A popular Taiwan-based YouTuber, famous for his movie recap videos, is facing a lawsuit against local studios, which are accusing him of copyright infringement. 

Chung Wei-ding, more famously known as AmoGood (谷阿莫), makes videos of big screen films, where he often humourously summarises their plot with quick-speaking voiceover.

He’s done parodies of local films, as well as Hollywood blockbusters like 50 Shades of Grey and Guardians of the Galaxy.

This one, in his typical style, is titled “Watch Guardians of the Galaxy in 5 minutes.”

AmoGood has over 990,000 subscribers, who often virally share his creations on social media.

But Taiwanese film studio AutoAi Design, and streaming platform KKTV, say 31-year-old infringed on the studios’ copyright.

AutoAi Design, which distributed films like Doraemon: Nobita’s Space Heroes in Taiwan, also said that AmoGood’s critiques have greatly dented its ticket sales at the box office.

Taiwanese prosecutors obtained a warrant to raid his company premises for evidence, and the YouTuber was called into a Taipei police station for questioning last week, the China Post reported.


Can you get sued for making parodies?

AmoGood’s videos are produced in a similar vein to other popular channels such as CinemaSins and Screen Junkies’ Honest Trailers.

Elaina Foo, a Singapore-based associate lawyer at Holborn Law, said many of these producers typically claim fair use as a defence in most jurisdictions.

“Generally, where a YouTuber can demonstrate that his use of copyright material was ‘fair’, it would not be considered infringement, although some jurisdictions may have other requirements as well,” Foo told Mashable.

Courts generally consider several factors in determining if a work is derivative — and not an infringement. Work that is transformative, remixing the original to change or comment on its meaning, could be considered fair use.

Other instances of fair use include clips for news reporting, teaching, or research.

But AmoGood may be in a bind in Taiwan, whose media laws don’t count parodies as fair use. The territory’s courts are likely to consider other factors too, such as whether the work takes away potential sales or viewers from the original work.

Additionally, reports have speculated that AmoGood downloads the source films illegally, since he’s able to produce the parodies so quickly after their box office debut.

In a video statement, AmoGood said that his videos fulfilled the fair use defence, adding that he only used a minimal portion of the copyrighted source films.

AmoGood further asserts that YouTube is on his side, claiming that the streaming giant has confirmed over email that it isn’t taking his videos down.

Some Taiwanese filmmakers aren’t fans. A couple of them told Apple Daily that his videos were “disrespectful” to their movies.

“Each film is the brainchild of directors and producers, and this guy just took it and made fun of it,” Kevin Chu — the director of Taiwanese hits like Kung Fu Dunk — told Apple Daily. “I don’t believe that this is considered fair use. It’s disrespect.” 




PewDiePie Deals Major Blow to YouTube After Moving to Twitch

Felix “PewDiePie” Kjelberg has dealt a major blow to YouTube, revealing that he will now start a weekly gaming show on the site’s streaming rival Twitch.

PewDiePie, the owner of YouTube’s most popular channel by a considerable margin with over 53 million subscribers, has branched out to Twitch for the first time in his video-making career amid YouTube’s ongoing advertising issues. With major brands such as PepsiCo and McDonald’s having withdrawn their ads from the site, many of the site’s most prominent users have revealed that their earnings have significantly decreased, leading to widespread panic in the process.


In the wake of this hysteria, PewDiePie has launched his first ever show on YouTube rival Twitch, with his new channel NetGlow producing a weekly gaming show titled ‘Best Club.’ He previously made the announcement in a video titled ‘YOUTUBEISOVERPARTY,’ in which he discussed the effect the so-called YouTube “Adpocalypse” is having on the site’s creators. He said: “Also, I’m going to Twitch now… I decided this before [YouTube’s issues with advertising], so don’t read it the wrong way, but I wanted to start doing streams on Twitch.”

 Also: YouTube Advertiser Claims the Site’s Blacklisting “Provocative” Channels and Destroying Their Revenue

While PewDiePie has stated that NetGlow’s creation wasn’t inspired by YouTube’s advertising problems, the timing of its launch could not be better for the site’s content creators. With many YouTubers growing increasingly frustrated by YouTube and its parent company Google, PewDiePie staging a weekly show on Twitch will inevitably draw more eyes to the site, and will likely inspire more video makers to follow suit. Though Twitch is a completely different format, many creators are now looking to diversify their revenue as full-time careers on YouTube are becoming increasingly uncertain, and PewDiePie’s success in bringing a new audience to the streaming site could open up doors for many of his contemporaries.

In a video discussing the ongoing saga surrounding advertisers moving away from YouTube, PewDiePie called the reasoning behind advertisers’ mass exodus “massively overblown.” With ad companies pulling out of the site as a result of their products being advertised on racist videos, he said that it “doesn’t make sense” that all YouTubers should be affected “because of five racist dudes.”

“The reason people love YouTube is that it’s free, it’s open and you can say what you want. It’s not like television,” he said. “But it seems like YouTube is being forced to turn into television at this point. That’s going to be bad for everyone.”

While PewDiePie will still remain on YouTube, him moving to Twitch will be a troubling development for the company, with him having previously created videos exclusively for the Google-owned site. However, a number of high-profile issues with the popular YouTuber has soured their relationship, with the controversy surrounding his anti-Semitic jokes leading to YouTube pulling the second series of his reality show, Scare PewDiePie.
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YouTube will no longer allow creators to make money until they reach 10,000 views

Five years ago, YouTube opened their partner program to everyone. This was a really big deal: it meant anyone could sign up for the service, start uploading videos, and immediately begin making money. This model helped YouTube grow into the web’s biggest video platform, but it has also led to some problems. People were creating accounts that uploaded content owned by other people, sometimes big record labels or movie studios, sometimes other popular YouTube creators.

In an effort to combat these bad actors, YouTube has announced a change to its partner program today. From now on, creators won’t be able to turn on monetization until they hit 10,000 lifetime views on their channel. YouTube believes that this threshold will give them a chance to gather enough information on a channel to know if it’s legit. And it won’t be so high as to discourage new independent creators from signing up for the service.

“In a few weeks, we’ll also be adding a review process for new creators who apply to be in the YouTube Partner Program. After a creator hits 10k lifetime views on their channel, we’ll review their activity against our policies,” wrote Ariel Bardin, YouTube’s VP of product management, in a blog post published today. “If everything looks good, we’ll bring this channel into YPP and begin serving ads against their content. Together these new thresholds will help ensure revenue only flows to creators who are playing by the rules.”

Of course, along with protecting the creators on its service whose videos are being re-uploaded by scam artists, these new rules may help YouTube keep offensive videos away from the brands that spend money marketing on their platform. This has been a big problem for YouTube in recent weeks. “This new threshold gives us enough information to determine the validity of a channel,” wrote Bardin. “It also allows us to confirm if a channel is following our community guidelines and advertiser policies.”


As it moves ever closer to parity with the world of prime-time television, YouTube is sensibly taking steps to police how business is done on its service. Time will tell how a rising generation of creators respond to these new limitations.



Google Takes on Cable With ‘YouTube TV’—40 Channels for $35

GOOGLE JUST JOINED the “skinny bundle” TV war with YouTube TV, a paid subscription service that streams a slew of premium broadcast and cable networks to your mobile device, tablet, computer, and anything with Chromecast.

Just $35 a month gets you six accounts and access to live TV from more than 40 providers including the big broadcast networks, ESPN, regional sports networks and dozens of popular cable networks. Subscriptions include cloud DVR with unlimited storage, AI-powered search and personalization, and access to YouTube Red programming. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki calls it the evolution of television, and a bid to “give the younger generation the content that they love with the flexibility they expect.”

So-called skinny bundles include only those channels you really want, at a price that is cheaper than traditional cable. They also bring the world one step closer to the day when you can watch what you want, when you want, when you want, on the device you want. YouTube TV joins a growing wave of services, including Dish’s Sling TV, Sony PlayStation Vue, and AT&T’s new DirectTV Now, with a similar web TV offering from Hulu expected soon. And like these other options, unfortunately, YouTube still has some holes with its offering.

YouTube says it spent two years working on this, and reportedly landed its first partner in October when CBS signed on for the skinny bundle. Other big networks like ABC, NBC, Fox, are on board, but several premium channels, like MTV and CNN, aren’t. You can add content like Showtime and soccer for an added fee, but some content comes with restrictions. If you’re a pro football fan, for example, you’ll have to watch games on your TV or computer because the NFL’s deal with Verizon made it off-limits to your mobile device. And no matter what you watch or what you watch it on, you may see ads—Google, being Google, and its network partners can sell ads on YouTube TV to bring in additional revenue.

The company won’t say when the service launches, but says you can expect it in the US in the “coming weeks and months.”

Still, YouTube TV shows how far the company has come since its founding in 2005, when it was little more than a place for people to share homemade video clips. Today YouTube is the biggest online destination for video, with people watching more than 1 billion hours of video each day. And if there’s one thing the internet’s biggest video company getting into this space proves, it’s that such a la carte viewing is the inevitable future of television.



YouTube to end 30-second adverts you can’t skip

Many of you know the frustrating feeling of having to sit through an advert when you’re trying to watch a video on YouTube – especially if it’s a popular clip.

Well, YouTube has announced that from 2018 it will be getting rid of 30-second adverts you can’t skip.

A Google spokesperson told us: “We’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers.”

Adverts are a big part of how YouTube and video owners make money. The more views the adverts get, the more money the advertisers pay.

Some of the time, YouTube gives you the option to skip the ad after five seconds, but this is not always the case.

At the moment, you might have to watch a full 30-second ad before being able to access the video you want.

So what does the announcement mean? Well, YouTube won’t be getting rid of adverts, but it should hopefully mean that you won’t be forced to wait as long to watch the video you want.



Disney and Google both just fired YouTube’s biggest star over anti-Semitic videos

Let this be a lesson for anyone out there aspiring to become a huge YouTube star: just because you can amass a huge following, doesn’t mean that anything goes when it comes to content. Disney and YouTube have independently taken action against Felix Kjellberg, better known as “PewDiePie” and the biggest star on YouTube, after he posted various videos that contained anti-Semitic jokes.

Disney fired Kjellberg after an inquiry from The Wall Street Journal concerning some of his videos. Apparently, millions of people watched a video posted on January 11th on Kjellberg’s channel that included two men laughing while holding a banner that read “Death to all Jews.”

The Journal further said that since August, Kjellberg posted no less than nine separate videos that include anti-Semitic jokes and Nazi imagery.

“Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case, and the resulting videos are inappropriate,” a Maker Studios spokesperson told the news site. Maker Division is owned by Disney.

PewDiePie saw a meteoric rise on YouTube by posting videos of himself playing video games and making jokes. He currently has more than 53 million subscribers who keep returning to see his clips. The Journal says that Kjellberg took down the January 11th video and two others, but not before they had racked up around 23 million views between them.

His YouTube popularity helped him score multimillion-dollar deals with Disney and YouTube.

Google wasn’t happy with Kjellberg act either. The company canceled the second season of PewDiePie’s reality show and pulled his channel from its premium advertising program, Varietyreports. “We’ve decided to cancel the release of ‘Scare PewDiePie’ season 2, and we’re removing the PewDiePie channel from Google Preferred,” a spokesperson said.

Google previously pulled ads from the offending videos, and Kjellberg apparently removed some of them himself.

The YouTube star, meanwhile, defended himself and said that he was only critiquing the absurdity of an internet service — in this case, Fiverr, which lets people advertise jobs that only costs $5. That, however, was not a good enough excuse for either Disney or Google.


Disney and Google both just fired YouTube’s biggest star over anti-Semitic videos

YouTube Kids gets its own original shows

YouTube Kids, the app offering a curated selection of age-appropriate videos sourced from YouTube, is launching its own original programming, the company announced today. The four new shows are a part of the YouTube Red subscription service, and were created with the kids’ app in mind. This is also the first time that YouTube Red has invested in creators who are making original shows designed for family audiences, says YouTube.

The series come from established creators, including DanTDM , Joe and Cody of TheAtlanticCraft, tween music act L2M, and Fruit Ninja. The shows will launch this spring on the service, while others are in development for premieres throughout the year.

Now two years old, YouTube Kids aims to offer a safer alternative to YouTube’s larger video network. Until its arrival, many parents were hesitant to allow their children to use YouTube, or were constantly struggling with their kids happening upon inappropriate or adult content on the site.

While far from perfect, YouTube Kids has become a better starting point for parents looking to control kids’ YouTube experience, thanks to the app’s kid-friendly user interface, curated selection of programming, and parental controls that let you do things like disable the search function.

YouTube Red’s subscription service expanded to include YouTube Kids last August, offering an ad-free experience on the kids app along with all of Red’s other key features, like offline access and background play, for example.


YouTube says that its kids app has seen over 30 billion views to date and now has over 8 million weekly active viewers. The app had originally focused more on videos that appealed to younger children, like singalongs and Sesame Street, but today also includes those that extend up the age spectrum, like science videos, magic tricks, and more.

With the launch of the new original programming, it seems that YouTube Kids will continue its expansion beyond the preschool crowd and up into the tweens.The slate of programming isn’t all cartoons, nor toddler-focused fare. One show called “Hyperlinked,” for example, stars music act L2M and tells a story of five girls who come together to create their own website for girls.

The other programs include “Fruit Ninja: Frenzy Force,” “The Kings of Atlantis,” and “DanTDM Creates a Big Scene.”

Alongside the news of the new series, YouTube Kids will also soon arrive on smart TVs, including LG and Samsung TVs, says YouTube.


YouTube Kids gets its own original shows

YouTube takes on Facebook with mobile live

YouTube is finally ready for its live mobile closeup.

The Google-owned video network will open up live mobile streaming to more users on Tuesday, competing with Facebook and Periscope, and it’s offering the folks who make videos for YouTube a hefty cut of the ad revenues.

“This is their home,” says Kurt Wilms, a YouTube product manager. “This is where their fans are.”

YouTube creators already participate in a 55%-45% ad split for regular videos. Live will offer another opportunity for advertising support, and users with a certain number of followers will get the same majority cut of ad revenues.

Mobile is “one click away” and a great way for the large group of an estimated 100,000 YouTube video creators to communicate with their audiences, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki told USA TODAY last June. That’s when it announced plans to release mobile live streaming to its app, the 7th-most downloaded app on the iTunes app chart.

The YouTube app has been updated to allow for live video streaming to any YouTube creator with over 10,000 subscribers. YouTube says it will open it to the entire community, any user that sets up a channel for advertising-share revenue, later in the year, but didn’t give an exact timetable. YouTube had allowed in “hundreds” from its network of influencers to test out the mobile app since the summer.

One of them is Clintus McGintus, the stage name for Clint Comer, a Phoenix-area dad who has amassed nearly 300 million views for his chronicles of family life and a love of gaming on his Clintus.tv YouTube channel

“A lot more YouTubers are going to start doing more live streams now that it’s more available to them,” he says. “If they can pull the phone out of their pocket and start going live, there is more potential for revenue. When this becomes your business, it drives a lot of the decisions you make.”

Facebook opened up live broadcasting to the general public in 2016, and paid tens of millions of dollars to media organizations and celebrities to go live on the social network. But to date, Facebook has yet to expand revenue sharing to the millions of homegrown filmmakers and personalities that YouTube has fostered.

YouTube hasn’t put a dollar figure on the amount of money these “millions” of creators make each year, but Forbes recently said that from 2015-2016, the top 10 YouTube earners reaped over $70 million. That includes $15 million for PewDiePie, $8 million for no. 2 Roman Atwood and $7.5 million for Lilly Singh.

Danny Fratella, managing editor of Social Blade, a blog that covers online video, says Facebook will have to respond to YouTube. “If they want some of the bigger publishers to stay on their platform, they’re going to have to monetize them. The average Joe won’t switch from Facebook to YouTube, but the creators will.”

Facebook had no comment, except to point out that it’s working with a select group of partners on testing ad breaks in their live broadcasts.

YouTube has been offering live video streams since 2011, but only via the computer, not a mobile device, and thus, “many creators never bothered with it,” Fratello adds. “It was too clunky.”

Now, on the app, you click the camera icon atop, and have a choice of recording a video on your smartphone, or going live.

“Mobile is everything,” says McGintus. “If I can do anything from mobile, all the better.”

On the app, click live, type in a title for the broadcast, take a snapshot for the thumbnail and click live–your subscribers all get a notification that you’re broadcasting.

Facebook has heavily pushed its Live product to its 1.8 billion users. An open question is whether many people are really watching, says Joshua Cohen, the founder of TubeFilter, a Los Angeles-based blog that covers online video.

“Local TV stations are using it effectively,” he says. “Facebook is encouraging everyone to go live at any given moment, but it’s difficult to say how that’s playing out.”

Pay to get your comments noticed

Beyond the ad share revenue, YouTube also introduces another way for YouTubers to make money with a new feature called SuperChat. It lets fans jump to the front of the line and pay to have their comments at the top of the page.

This is similar to “tip” features on other sites like YouNow and Live.me. McGintus says he gave it a try two weeks ago while walking around a Target store, “and I made $900 in 30 minutes.”

The Merrell Twins, two college-age performers in the Los Angeles-area, were going on YouNow and reaping in the tips, but now they’ve switched to YouTube.

“The difference is the amount of viewers,” says Veronica Merrell. “You get a lot more on YouTube. And the nice thing is, anyone who missed it can go back and watch the replay.”

Meanwhile, among the top two live contenders—Facebook and YouTube, Fratella doesn’t think the dynamic will change greatly.

YouTube’s live streaming will be existing YouTube creators, “because that’s where their audience is,” while casual viewers will stick with Facebook Live and newcomer Instagram, whose live broadcasts are less polished and aimed at friends, like on the Snapchat app, he says.

Nick Mattingly, who runs the Switcher app for live broadcasting, made an interesting comment about YouTube vs. Facebook on our Facebook page.

Facebook’s expertise at notifications makes it great for live, and potentially a challenge for YouTube. “People literally “live” on Facebook which makes it easy to notify when people go live,” he says. “Meanwhile YouTube historically is more geared toward searchable content and viewers go to YouTube with a predetermined “intent”.”