What’s New With YouTube’s Algorithm in 2023?

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YouTube is undoubtedly one of the best online platforms for video content creators to be in. It has a fantastic monetization program that made YouTubing a lucrative career. So, if you love content creation and want to make it your main job, you should try YouTubing.

However, there’s a problem: the tough competition. You don’t go against only 10 or 100 other YouTube channels. As of 2022, there are over 51 million monthly active channels. So, getting the attention of viewers can be a struggle.

Without a good strategy, almost no one would find your videos. Consequently, with few views, you can’t become eligible for monetization through the YouTube Partner Program. So, you must learn the best practices on YouTube to ensure your channel’s success.

What's New With YouTube's Algorithm?

One key to becoming a successful YouTuber is understanding the algorithm. YouTube takes a series of steps to determine what videos to recommend to its users. Knowing how YouTube does that helps you increase the views on your channel.

At this year’s VidCon, Mr. Beast – the highest paid YouTuber – spoke with YouTube’s director of discovery Todd Beaupré. They discussed how the platform’s recommendation algorithm works.

VidCon Discussion

VidCon went on a hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, two years later, it made a comeback. The focus of this year’s VidCon is different from the past ones. As you may have guessed, short-form videos took center stage.

Mr. Beast, or Jimmy Donaldson, went to stage with YouTube’s director of discovery, Todd Beaupré. They talked about the biggest question in content creators’ minds: How does YouTube’s recommendation algorithm work? If they can unlock the secret, they can exponentially increase their earnings from the platform.

Mr. Beast suggests utilizing short-form videos on YouTube Shorts – YouTube’s TikTok competitor. It’s a tangible way to up your content game right now. He says that “short-form videos are here to stay and are only going to get bigger and bigger.” So, if you are not making those now, you are missing out.

Todd Beaupré agrees with Mr. Beast. He’s also encouraging people to make YouTube Shorts. 

The video-streaming company reported that 1.5 billion people watch short-form videos on the platform. But Beaupré says the company is still at the “first inning” with the product. So, he encourages creators to make both long-form and short-form videos. 

Mr. Beast also explained how content creators could benefit from YouTube Shorts. He says that you can use it to direct users to your main YouTube channel, where your long-form videos are found. While they touted Shorts in the VidCon, long-form videos are more monetizable.

However, please note that YouTube is still working on its algorithm. Training it to differentiate users’ viewing habits between Shorts and standard YouTube videos has not yet concluded.

Videos of All Lengths Matters

Even though VidCon 2022 is all about short-form content, Beaupré reminded attendees that videos of all length matter. 

For instance, he emphasized how more people are live streaming on YouTube now. He noted that most people watch videos via mobile devices, subtly saying why creators should make Shorts. 

However, he adds that the fastest-growing way to watch YouTube is via TV. Thus, content creators should ensure their content looks good on the big screen. Shorts are vertical videos, so they are not ideal. Meanwhile, standard YouTube videos and live streams are landscape, so they look good on TV.

“It’s more of a simultaneous experience,” Beaupré said.

Using Signals for Recommendations

YouTube doesn’t blindly recommend videos for you to watch. It uses several signals to identify what you may like. Of course, the signals aren’t just long vs. short videos.

Like other social media giants, YouTube uses deep learning AI to know your viewing habits and what content to recommend. The AI asks questions like what else might you like if you are both subscribed to Mr. Beast and PewDiePie. If you regularly watch a popular “Booktuber,” would you be interested in watching another popular creator whose content is in the same sphere?

What's New With YouTube's Algorithm?

Beaupré says that, ultimately, YouTube’s goal is to “figure out what’s the video you’re gonna be most interested in watching.” What videos are you going to love?

YouTube wants to make you excited to come back and keep watching YouTube videos tomorrow.

Using Analytics

Mr. Beast’s popularity says something about his understanding of the YouTube recommendation algorithm. So, listen to his advice. He says that you should pay close attention to the retention rate. You can see that through YouTube’s analytics tool.

Note where viewers click off the video. Then, use that data to make informed decisions in your following videos. Determine what’s the problem, learn from it, and adjust accordingly.

Mr. Beast believes that the algorithm will prioritize something more challenging to accomplish regarding audience engagement. So, getting 70% retention on a 30-minute video is better than getting millions of views.

That’s one of the content creators’ common mistakes. They think that the algorithm recommends longer videos more often than not. That is true to some extent. However, it’s counterproductive if people are not watching the entire thing. So, Beaupré says you must make videos as long as they need to be. 

What's New With YouTube's Algorithm?

Jimmy Donaldson also recommends revisiting your old videos from time to time. He updates thumbnails on older videos to make it more clear what they are all about. Also, there are trends in thumbnails you may not have known when you made your older videos. Techniques like adding a picture of a face with a silly expression increase the number of views. So, you may want to upload thumbnails in that format.

The most important piece of advice Mr. Beast gave is to focus on better storytelling rather than how to game the algorithm. That ensures that people who click your video will watch it until the end. It also increases the chances of them recommending your videos to others.

Last, both Mr. Beast and Beaupré recommended learning who your audience is. That helps you make informed decisions that will help you get more views, engagement, and earnings. 

Continued Increased Focus on Everything But YouTube Views Continues The Algo-Evolution Trend

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the algorithm that powers YouTube’s search and recommendation system is constantly being updated and refined. These changes, much like the ebb and flow of the tides, can significantly impact how content is discovered and consumed on the platform. It is important for content creators and marketers to stay informed about the latest developments to optimize their strategies and maximize their reach.

One of the most notable recent changes to YouTube’s algorithm is the increased emphasis on engagement metrics. YouTube now places a higher value on metrics like watch time, audience retention, and click-through rates, rewarding videos that keep viewers engaged for longer periods of time. This change reflects YouTube’s desire to prioritize content that is not only entertaining but also educational and informative, as these tend to keep users engaged on the platform longer, much like a good book would keep you hooked to the end.

Another important update to YouTube’s algorithm is the increased focus on community engagement. YouTube now considers the number and quality of comments, likes, and shares a video receives when determining its visibility in search and recommendation. This shift emphasizes the importance of building a dedicated community and fostering engagement with your audience, much like a small business owner would actively engage with the community they live and operate in.

In addition, YouTube has also changed how it handles monetization for creators. YouTube now prioritizes monetization for creators that have consistent uploads and are in good standing with the platform’s community guidelines, thus encouraging creators to produce more consistent and high-quality content.

Moreover, YouTube is also looking for ways to improve the user experience for its creators and audience by introducing a new feature called ‘Super Chat’ that allows users to make their comments stand out in a live stream, prioritizing interaction, making it more fun and effective for the creator and the audience.

Date: January 10, 2023 / Categories: YouTube, / Author: Rich Drees


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