I watched one video by a creator I already follow about their solar panel installation and water-catcher garden irrigation.
What do I get in my recommendations? Dozens and dozens of videos from completely random channels about solar panel installation and gardening.
I very rarely find new creators on YouTube, who produce consistent high quality content. I follow a handful of channels and even from them I lookat 20-40% of their videos.
TikTok on the other hand I swore I'd never use. Then came Covid19 and lockdowns. I reached the end of HN, Reddit and Youtube, so I installed it.
The Algorthm is fucking amazing. Dunno how they do it, but 80-90% of stuff it shows me I end up watching (it is 10secs to 3 mins so the investment isn't that huge =) ).
I've ended up following, among others, an opthalmologist who does sketches about hospital stuff, to mechanics who show the most f'd up cars they get to service, to farrier and sheep shearing videos to a guy who does comedy about weird animal facts.
I'd never actually go search anything like that on purpose, but I actually kinda found out I enjoy looking at. It's a good way to space out for 30 minutes and relax. Most TikTok videos get to the point before a stereotypical YouTuber has gone through their intro and sponsor segments :)
I bet some of the uptick in quality of content on tiktok vs youtube is based on the length of videos. If they only have three minutes, all the interesting things will be shoehorned into the available time. Whereas youtube creators are incentivized by the payment structure to lengthen their content to increase their adshare pay so they extend their content to 10 minutes + leading to a lot of filler and "heyyyyy guys let me tell you about my day blah blah blah before we jump into the meat and potatoes" etc.
YouTube, for years even post acquisition made no money, kept bleeding to aquire users. At one point a revenue stream is implemented, which must keep growing to recoup the large investments. Not to mention, pure greed.
The algorithm isn't designed to promote quality content to enhance the user experience and love for the product. It's designed to keep users engaged, while allowing for as much ads time possible. So, the 10 or or 16 mins length was identified as sweet spots to allow for at least one ad placement without loosing engagement. Click bait videos aren't demoted, they work. They keep users engaged as they get promoted to watch yet another video, until brain saturation. They maximised profit, they didn't strike the right balance, perhaps too naive to imagine competition could steal from their market share.
Here we have tiktok, knowing very well they would need to be order of magnitude better to gain traction, at least where the market was already taken up by YouTube. They created an app making it easier and faster to push well cut content, with better tech, better suited UI and overall UX proven to be attracting younger audiences who tend to make trends with their creativity.
Take a good look at the YouTube app, despite the few visual improvements it feels like a decade old library system with auto play, ported to mobile phones. Look at tiktok, it's mobile first, it's fluid and design for touch interaction, the social features are right there, not outside the video in the form of two thumbs button and a thread of text blobs.
Google clearly don't understand or refuses to understand trends. They build minimalist systems , boring to look at but that perform very well, and it is now capitalist greed that set the direction of the company, the bottom line is to squeeze more and more money before the competitions finishes them. They got a few years to go on like that.
The funny thing is that most of the people I follow on TikTok are over 30, a good portion is over 40 =)
It is getting more input and it is getting faster input so it can course correct quicker and more aggressively.
The youtube algorithm wants to optimize for time on the site, and the creators try and have 10 minute videos it seems.
In that time you can consume 60 tiktok videos at 10s each and skipping the ones you dont want and watching the ones you do.
Since 10s is such a small investment they can throw random videos at you and it is pretty low cost.
Its a hard problem and perhaps im an exception, but if you are searching for new stuff, and finding amd watching it, that’s a miss by the algorithm. Especially if that becomes the main thing you do.
I can't stand that. Every video I watch these days is 50% filler just to make that 10mins. I'm forced to watch everything at 2x speed.
When I go on youtube it shows me 10-20 minute science and engineering videos which I can put on and sit on the couch watching. This provides lasting value for me because I never get bored of these like I do with 20 second comedy videos.
There is something weirdly mesmerizing about that. watching them scrape away the stuff from the hoof like it's butter...