As you scroll down the list of videos from oldest to newest, the lengths get longer. No longer are there any petty three minutes or five minute videos, let alone a one minute video. Now videos are all 10-25 minutes, the perfect length for maximum ad revenue.
Similar things happen to the thumbnails, which start containing more and more exaggerated, sometimes creepily-so, faces, reacting to absurd images that last for a fraction of a second in the video. The titles change too, becoming more and more outrageous, begging for you to click on them and spend hours watching anticipatory and 'exciting' content.
A lot of things have gotten better too, of course, and the amount of content that is available is amazing. But I do really miss when it felt like a place where people went to share videos and socialize, rather than where all the popular channels are ran like companies that follow the same clickbait format news organizations now also follow.
There was a nice little examination of this phenomenon, dubbed YouTube Face, a couple of years ago.
HN thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16803937
My wife is addicted to YouTube videos / YouTubers and I think there’s a high degree of similarity.
This content feels low quality and cheap to produce.
I think that article captures this phenomenon well.
Not as bad as the hey watch me neck a bottle of spirits in one go idiots.
Personally I prefer a YouTube where the meaningful 10 minute content is viable, even if it means there's some lame content which extended to meet a minimum time.
I really wish it was easy to filter and ban videos, artists and types cause I really hate alot of the content on YouTube now.
I've disabled comments via ublock, and the experience is more pleasant, but you do lose those gems from random people sharing knowledge or a similar song or artist.
Not worth it to read through though, to much low hanging fruit and memes.
This and people thinking Facebook is internet. :(
I watch a lot of maker content, and a 15-20 minute clip is great. I'm very glad they are able to make enough money from it to do it full time.
5 minute videos of disposable entertainment just don't really do it for me.
The way YouTube works now encourages clickbait crying-for-a-click titles and silly-shocked-faces thumbnails because click-through-rate plays a huge role in video success now.
In his video , that youtuber explains that and why he was going to shift toward using clickbait titles in his channel. Because otherwise, you would not thrive on YT.
For long videos, I think sometimes even 10 minutes are not enough to convey a substantial message in a video. But I think you mean those youtubers that prolong their videos longer—without added value—just for more ads.
Andrew Schultz a comedian, saw a huge uptick in his success when he started doing short form videos. Ironically he also saw that people would stay on his channel longer. (described in his ted talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl2MQq4qO4Y)
Giving the user a random reward and choice more frequently between each video seems to add to the dopamine hit. And thus the addictiveness. I've certainly gone down the rabbit hole of YT myself watching 1min seinfeld clips from different episodes.
> We tested older children, adolescents and adults on a two-alternative forced-choice discrimination task using morphed faces that varied in emotional content ... adults displayed more sensitivity to subtle changes in emotional expression than children and adolescents ... The results provide evidence for late developmental changes in emotional expression recognition with some specificity in the time course for distinct emotions.
Apart from this, keep in mind that Youtube TV likely pulls in a ton more money, and even if it didn't, Google/Alphabet has many other larger sources of revenue that could pay for Youtube too.
"Is the trending tab rigged against creators? Is late night dominating the charts? Why does it feel your favorite controversial creator never trends. All of that and more, in the first ever data-driven look at the trending tab."
What 40,000 Videos Tell Us About The Trending Tab:
For keywords that boost views, I'll run a similar analysis on my data and report the results to you here in another comment. Probably this weekend.
And I just heard from you that YouTube is starting to close up access to their API. I visit YT API website from time to time but haven't noticed such a thing. It's really a bummer. They should be more open not the opposite. Do you have some source if I want to know more about that?
As for the API restrictions, they aren't advertising it but about a year ago they started warning users about forthcoming extensive audits to maintain access, and about six months ago they started reducing access for API keys if you stopped maxing them out for a day or more. Our last API key got shut down for good a couple of weeks ago. We're going to try to fill out the form and get our access reinstated, but I'm not sure how willing they'll be to allow access for research. The form seems intended for client-facing apps. But who knows - Facebook/CrowdTangle/Twitter have been very supportive of legitimate research initiatives, I'm hoping YouTube follows that trend!
With current restrictions, maybe multiple accounts + VPN are essential for large-scale research.
How does that happen?