YouTube CEO defends removing dislike counts

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki defends the removal of video aversion in her annual letter outlining the company’s priorities for the year.

Many might be disappointed to learn that reversing the decision to remove dislikes isn’t in YouTube’s plans for the year, as Wojcicki firmly believes it’s better for the platform going forward.

It’s quite a contrast to what a YouTube co-founder thinks of the decision, saying it was a bad decision.

Wojcicki repeats much of what we’ve already heard from YouTube spokespersons, saying dislikes were removed because they sometimes reflect viewers’ opinions of the channel and not the video itself.

“We’ve heard from many of you about the removal of audience dislike counts on YouTube, and I know that move was controversial. Some of you mentioned dislikes to help you decide which videos to watch.

However, people dislike videos for many reasons, some of which have nothing to do with video, which means it’s not always an accurate way to select which videos to watch.

This is why dislikes were never displayed on the homepage, search results, or Up Next screens where users were most likely to choose a video.

Also, Wojcicki repeats the company’s standard verbiage that it was best to remove dislikes site-wide because certain channels were the target of “dislike attacks.”

“We also found that the like count was hurting parts of our ecosystem through like attacks as people actively worked to increase the number of likes on a creator’s videos.”

Removing dislikes would have no impact on viewership, Wojcicki says.

However, this does not take into account the impact on the user experience.

She keeps :

“So we experimented with removing the dislike count on millions of videos over several months. In all cases, we didn’t see a significant difference in viewership whether or not there was a count. and most importantly, it reduced aversion attacks.

The dislike button remains on the site and channels can find their count in YouTube Studio.

Dislikes will continue to be considered in YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, which will impact which videos are suggested to users on the homepage.

Other highlights from YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s annual letter

In Wojcicki’s letter we learn:

  • YouTube Shorts has reached 5 trillion all-time views.
  • The number of channels earning more than $10,000 per year increased by 40% year over year.
  • YouTube channel subscriptions and paid digital products were purchased or renewed over 110 million times in 2021.

YouTube’s top priorities for the year include YouTube Shorts, helping creators make more money, and improving the shopping experience.

YouTube Shorts

In the coming months, YouTube will expand Shorts by introducing new ways to remix content.

YouTube will continue to allow creators to earn money on Shorts through the Shorts Fund, which is now available in over 100 countries.

The Shorts Fund is not restricted to creators participating in the YouTube Partner Program (PPY). More than 40% of creators who received payment from the Shorts fund last year were not in the YPP.

This year, YouTube will test new ways for Shorts creators to create branded content through BrandConnect, a program that connects creators with brands.

Content monetization

Wojcicki highlights the following recent content monetization updates, which will continue to be priorities this year:

  • Pre-release checks: Lets creators know if there’s a copyright or ad suitability issue before they go live.
  • Updates to advertiser-friendly content guidelines: Allows you to monetize additional content.
  • More details on cases of non-compliance with the rules: The company is hiring more people to provide creators with details about policy violations, such as timestamps of where a violation occurred.

YouTube purchases

YouTube will continue to work on a product labeling pilot program that gives viewers the ability to browse, learn more, and purchase products featured in videos.

The company is in the early stages of testing how shopping can be integrated into Shorts.

A direct purchase in the United States, South Korea and Brazil is also being tested.

This year, YouTube will bring shopping to more creators and brands by partnering with commerce platforms like Shopify.

Source: YouTube official blog


Featured Image: Wachiwit/Shutterstock

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