This post is the second part in a series called Youtube Social Series which is all about the recent changes made to Youtube earlier this year and how this affects the habits and Youtube users (Youtubers) journey across the platform; how they are encouraged to interact and engage with branded channels as well as sharing and uploading videos.
In last week’s post we looked at how Youtube’s integration with Google+ has streamlined a Youtubers experience; how it has made creating live informative videos faster and simpler than ever before; the creation of two variations of audience viewing and participation; and of course increased SEO for videos and related links via the overarching service data-source that is Google, as part of Google’s Search plus Your World.
This week, I am looking at how Youtube’s recent redesign helps increase subscriptions and seeding across the platform, and the unforeseen barriers.
Like all social networked platforms, when you open the platforms homepage URL, your first point of call is the centralised, personalised landing-page feed. The feed has always been there but now it is better visually organised, through horizontal grouping of the following:
Advertising and Barriers
The banner advert at the very top has even become less intrusive but to counteract this optional silence the viewer has to watch at least 5 seconds of 1 advert before watching most video. You can however click off the advert after the 5 seconds. For the advertiser, this means they have to engage viewers’ attention within the very first 5 seconds, a difficult thing to do with increasingly limited attention spans. This is the first barrier to the original and enjoyable meandering across Youtube. The additional time it takes to get to the video means that viewer’s concentration is already being tested and so their expectations of the ‘up-coming’ video become more focused on their desired topic of relevance that they were looking for. This is not great news for video owners who rely on ‘passing traffic’ as it increases the likelihood of Youtubers clicking away from the page before they’ve even watched any of it. It has also been researched that 95% of Youtube viewers click off within the first 5 seconds, so relevance is now crucial. It also means you really have to support your videos by really utilising all the other widgets, CTA’s (call-to-action touch-points), grouping videos (for topic relevant consistent streamlining), and optimizing your Channel.
The top right hand button shows the email address your account is connected to, and your profile picture, if you have uploaded one as part of your Google profile (especially if connected through Gmail or Google+) with a dropdown area that is all about your personalised experience.
The Old Channel Design
Previously, every Youtuber had their own flat-packed channel (personal-landing page within the larger platform), where they could link their social profiles and customise it by changing the background, colours, fonts and prioritise information by being able to move certain boxed criteria around (although this was limited). It was all presented on a flat-single -page. Visually it was very cluttered. In fact, very similar to the original MySpace profiles. As we’ve learnt before through Facebook’s initial approach to profile layout keep the design simple and the navigation simpler, making it easier to connect and communicate first.
If you don’t have a ‘designers’ eye’ it wasn’t hugely appealing to passing-viewers and didn’t help to build and centralise a channel community. The original channel/page however was built with community members in mind, prioritizing the community feed and transparency of followers. But it was hard to sustain community interaction and this actually worked against communities that didn’t have a consistently communicative community feed. (Bit of a tongue-twister.) Now Channels are built with the Channel Owner being the in mind, and rather than centralizing community comments, it’s the actual content that takes pride and place. Comments (which can often be banal) are beneath individual videos, or on the ‘Discussion’ tab on the Channel page. But more about that in next weeks post – Customizing your own Youtube Channel.
The new Channel design
The new design of Channel offers a much cleaner, simpler navigation using tabs rather than everything on one page. We’re now used to using tabs in design as we try to clean up the cluttered shop-window, so as not to compromise losing layers of valuable information versus competition for attention through cluttered design.
Youtube have called their new Channel, One Channel
The Call-to-Action Subscriptions points
If you’ve stumbled and watched a couple of videos from a particular channel, Youtube knows this is you and will ask ‘Subscribe to see more videos from this channel’ in your personal video feed. This is great news for channel owners. It is like a built in CTA pop-up that leads the viewer to engage further with the future media. Youtube has built in multiple entry and resistant exit points, showing you new media from your subscriptions, suggesting new content based on searches you have done (which include complete Google searches) and now reinforced CTA (call-to-action) touch-points to subscribe to channels of videos you have watched. With the integration of Google+ (see last weeks’ post) this encourages more users to create Youtube videos, share through Google+ and in turn build a far wider audience net reach.
Changes to watching a Youtube Video
Youtube has introduced a few additional changes to the Youtube viewing experience:
Have your say:
I really enjoy writing these posts but I struggle to fit everything in that I want to say and think is relevant. If I have missed something vital please let me know in the comments below. I will be collating the Youtube Social Series and turning it into an ebook, and if I use your information from your comment I will reference your profile, company and comment.
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Kathryn is a Digital Marketing and Communications Specialist with 14+ years in the industry working with SME's and individuals, to corporate and public sector organisations. She is also a mum and one of the pioneers of holistic marketing - digital, consumer convergence. and practical management.