YouTube woos creators to fend off competition
YouTube on Thursday laid out goals for the year that included making the lives of creators easier and boosting a popular format that rivals TikTok.
The video-sharing platform is investing in short-form and live video, along with tools to help creators make money and produce fresh content, according to chief product officer Neal Mohan.
"YouTube creators are the heart and soul of the platform, and we want them to always be able to fulfill their most ambitious creative goals," Mohan said in a blog post.
"To give them every opportunity possible, we'll continue to invest across our multiple formats."
Short-form content like the video snippets that are a winning ingredient at TikTok are incredibly popular. YouTube's take on the concept, called "Shorts," has logged more than five trillion all-time views, according to Mohan.
YouTube started a fund last year to reward those creating popular content on Shorts, and is exploring ways for them to make money such as brand sponsorships, special chat forums or adding the ability to shop directly from a posted video clip.
Short videos, typically made using smartphones, can be as long as 60 seconds, with music and comedy as popular themes.
Facebook and Instagram parent Meta has its own spin on the offering called Reels.
YouTube has also found success with its "Live" format, with users' time spent watching it daily more than tripling over the course of last year, Mohan said.
The video giant is planning to begin letting creators collaborate on live streams in real time.
"One of the biggest questions live streaming creators have is, 'What do I talk about?'" Mohan said.
"The ability to go live together should hopefully open up streams to more casual conversation and interactions with other creators."
YouTube has also started testing letting channel viewers buy gift memberships for others watching the same stream, according to Mohan.
In addition, YouTube is looking into incorporating new technologies such as blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to potentially let creators sell verifiably unique videos, photos or art.
"There's a lot to consider in making sure we approach these new technologies responsibly, but we think there's incredible potential as well," Mohan said.
YouTube has been a growing contributor to revenue at Google, which makes most of its money from online advertising.
© 2022 AFP