By Sarah Cha

Wondering when is the best time to post on YouTube?

Being on Youtube is competitive, and you want to make sure your content reaches your target audience at the best possible time.

Whether you’re a vlogger, a business, or an educator, understanding the secret sauce of timing can transform your channel.

But how do you find out the best time for your channel?

Sit tight, and follow this guide!

Does Posting Time Matter on Youtube?

When we think about content creation on YouTube, we often pay attention to video quality, script, editing, thumbnail design, and, of course, the actual content.

Yet, there’s an aspect we often overlook: the time we post.

YouTube, much like any other social media platform, has peak hours.

These are times when most users are actively engaging with content. Posting during these hours means your video has a higher chance of being seen, liked, commented on, and shared.

Imagine you’ve just created a masterpiece of a video, one that you’re convinced could go viral. But you upload it at 3 am, when the majority of your potential viewers are fast asleep.

By the time they wake up and log in, your video, now several hours old, may have been pushed down their feed by fresher content.

The result? Your masterpiece goes unnoticed.

Now, let’s flip the script.

Say you upload the same video at a time when your audience is most likely to be active on YouTube.

Your video is fresh on their feed, capturing their attention. They click, watch, engage, and share. Your content gets the attention it deserves, all because you hit the ‘upload’ button at the right time.

But in a way, YouTube is different from all other social platforms. How so?

While social media platforms like Instagram or Twitter prioritize recency, YouTube’s algorithm is more focused on viewer engagement.

Instead of prioritizing the newest content, it surfaces videos that viewers are likely to watch through to the end.

In other words, how well your video resonates with your audience matters more than when you posted it.

So if YouTube’s algorithm isn’t all about recency, does posting time even matter?

There’s been plenty of debate around this question. Some creators insist on the significance of timing, while others shrug it off as a minor detail.

Here’s the deal… while timing isn’t the be-all and end-all of YouTube success, it does play a role.

Consider the concept of virality.

The likelihood of a video going viral increases dramatically during the first few hours after it’s posted. This is when your subscribers will receive notifications and your video will have its first shot at the ‘Trending’ page.

If you post when most of your viewers are active, you’ve got a better chance at those initial views, shares, and comments that can catapult your video into the viral stratosphere.

But if you don’t post when your viewers are most active, you reduce your chances of success.

By how much? That depends.

The point is, if you’re looking to optimize your Youtube strategy, timing is certainly a worthwhile factor to keep in mind!

Identifying the Best Times to Post on YouTube

Now, let’s get to the nitty-gritty. When is the best time to post on YouTube?

General wisdom suggests:

  • Weekdays during working hours (specifically Tuesday through Thursday, between 2 PM to 4 PM) when people are looking for a quick break from their tasks is a good time for Youtube posting.
  • Weekends (between 10 AM to 11 AM) are also great, because that’s when viewers are likely enjoying a more leisurely morning and have more time to engage with content.

But remember, these are just general guidelines.

What matters most is when your audience is online.

But when is that?

How to Find YOUR Best Time to Post on YouTube

Want to figure out the optimal time to post for your specific audience? YouTube analytics is your new best friend. Here’s a quick guide on how to use it:

  • Sign in to YouTube Studio and click on the ‘Analytics’ tab on the left menu.
  • In the ‘Overview’ section, you will see a graph of how many views you’ve gotten in the past 28 days.
  • Click over to the ‘Audience’ to the right of the Overview section, and scroll down. You will see a section called “When your viewers are on Youtube” that features a purple heat map. This heat map shows when your viewers are most active on the platform. The darker the colour, the more viewers are online at that time.

Don’t feel like crunching numbers? TubeBuddy, a YouTube-certified management tool, can do the work for you.

It offers a ‘Best Time to Publish’ feature that analyzes your channel’s data and suggests the best time to post for maximum engagement.

If you have Tubebuddy installed, this recommendation will show up right under “When your viewers are on YouTube” in your Analytics dashboard.

And you can use TubeBuddy for more than just data analysis.

It’s also an excellent tool for keyword research, productivity, and bulk processing. It’s particularly handy when you’re trying to gauge the best time to post on YouTube.

Once installed, TubeBuddy presents a ‘Best Time to Publish’ option in the main menu.

Selecting this feature includes a detailed chart displaying your subscribers’ active times throughout the week.

It also offers specific recommended upload times for each day. How neat is that?

But one thing to keep in mind…

Your channel needs to be fairly active, with enough activity for Youtube or Tubebuddy to crunch the numbers for you.

If you are a brand new channel with no viewers or very few viewers, you’ll have to wait until you accumulate more viewer data in order for Youtube and Tubebuddy to give you their reports.

Fine-Tuning Your YouTube Schedule

Remember, YouTube Analytics and TubeBuddy’s heat maps and recommendations are just that: Recommendations.

Don’t take it as an ironclad rule that you MUST post when they indicate. Instead, you need to figure out what actually works for you in real life through trial and error.

You need to post videos at different times and observe when they get the most traction.

For instance, you might try posting at 2 pm one week, then 5 pm the next, and perhaps 8 pm the week after.

Monitor the views, likes, comments, and shares each video garners. Note any patterns or spikes in engagement.

Do you get more views when you post in the afternoon or the evening? Do likes and comments surge when you post on a Wednesday compared to a Friday?

And remember that YouTube’s algorithm favours channels that keep viewers on the platform for longer. So, consistent posting and engagement with your audience is important.

A consistent schedule not only helps to establish a routine with your viewers but also sends positive signals to YouTube’s algorithm, potentially boosting your videos’ visibility.

Now, bear in mind, this isn’t a one-and-done deal.

The beauty (and sometimes, the challenge) of social media is that it’s always changing.

Seasons change, school years start and end, global events shift our daily routines — all these factors can impact your audience’s behaviour on YouTube.

To stay ahead, you’ll need to keep testing and tracking, tweaking your schedule as necessary.

While it may seem like a lot of work, this process has a significant payoff.

By aligning your posting schedule with your audience’s habits, you ensure that your videos get maximum exposure, leading to higher engagement and more substantial growth for your channel.

And remember to be kind to yourself. You’re not going to get everything right straight away. That’s why it’s crucial to keep testing different posting times, tracking your results, and adjusting accordingly.

Make testing and tracking a permanent part of your overall Youtube strategy, and that will go a long way into maintaining and growing your Youtube channel!

Why Posting Consistency Matters

Let’s take a moment to reemphasize the importance of consistency.

Think of your YouTube channel like a TV show. If your viewers know a new episode comes out every Wednesday at 6 PM, they’re more likely to tune in at that time each week.

Consistency does more than just build viewer habits, though.

It also positively impacts how YouTube’s algorithm perceives and promotes your channel. By consistently posting quality content that engages your audience, you show YouTube that your channel is active and valuable to viewers.

Besides, maintaining a regular schedule can help you avoid the worst times to post. If you’re always posting at consistent times, you’re less likely to post during those low-engagement periods.

It’s a win-win.

In the end, understanding the ins and outs of YouTube posting times is about more than just following general guidelines.

It’s about knowing your audience, experimenting with different strategies, and making use of the analytics tools available to you.

Unlocking the Best Time to Post on YouTube

Now you know how to decode the best times to post.

It’s not a one-time deal, but a continual process. And of course, it can be tricky to keep track of your analytics while keeping your content top-notch.

But remember, the power is in your hands. You’ve got the insights now.

With the knowledge you’ve gained, you’re ready to transform your channel and send your engagement rates through the roof.

Ready to conquer YouTube? Make this your year of unprecedented growth!

By Sarah Cha

Sarah Cha is an avid writer, reader, and lifelong learner who loves making magic behind-the-scenes at Smart Blogger. When she’s not wrangling words onto a screen or page, you can find her strumming a guitar, tickling a canvas, or playing fetch with her favourite four-footed friend!

Sourced from SmartBlogger

By Jess Weatherbed

The longer commercials will appear in place of two consecutive 15-second ads. The company will also show ads when you pause videos.

Watching YouTube on your TV is about to get more frustrating if you’re not paying to avoid ads. As announced at the YouTube Brandcast event on Wednesday, YouTube will soon add 30-second unskippable ads to top-performing content watched on connected TVs.

YouTube says viewers will see a single 30-second ad instead of two consecutive 15-second ads, though that doesn’t mean that those shorter ads will be disappearing entirely. 30-second ads will be available to advertisers via YouTube Select, a curated advertising platform that targets the top five percent of YouTube content. YouTube claims 70 percent of YouTube Select impressions come from TVs, making it the ideal platform for longer ads.

YouTube is also testing ads that will appear on paused videos

“More and more, viewers are tuning into YouTube on the biggest screen in their home,” said YouTube CEO Neal Mohan during the Brandcast event (seen via Variety). “Viewers — especially younger viewers — no longer make a distinction between the kind of content they’re watching.”

YouTube also announced that it will start testing ads that appear when the viewer pauses a video on a connected TV. It’s similar to the pause ad feature rolled out by Hulu a few years back, and has been dubbed “pause experiences” by YouTube. Judging by the example image published by AdWeek, YouTube’s pause ads will appear as a banner around the video and can be removed by selecting the “dismiss” button.

A screenshot of a YouTube video with an example of a YouTube pause ad overlayed around it.
The paused video will shrink down to accomodate the banner-style pause ads, but at least they can be dismissed.Image: YouTube (via AdWeek)

YouTube hasn’t mentioned when either of these changes — 30-second unskippable ads and pause ads — will be rolling out, but we’ve reached out for detail and will update if we hear back.

Yesterday’s announcements follow a recent crackdown on ad blockers by the video hosting platform. Last week, YouTube revealed that it’s experimenting with pop-up messages that state “Ad blockers are not allowed on YouTube,” encouraging viewers to instead subscribe to YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience.

Feature Image Credit: Alex Castro / The Verge

By Jess Weatherbed

Sourced from The Verge

YouTube and TikTok are plagued with 20-something “passive income” bros who want your attention — and your money.

Sebastian Ghiorghiu hates excuses. He’s only 24, yet runs a “seven-figure marketing agency.” He owns multiple “dream cars” and is currently building his “luxury dream house” in Scottsdale, Arizona. Ghiorghiu is productive, he says, for 98 percent of every day. He went from “skinny fat” to “jacked.” He believes in God. He was born to a poor family who immigrated from Romania and got rich simply because he decided to. If he could do it, why can’t you?

“If you’re a guy in your 20s and you don’t have a Lamborghini, you should actually sit down and have, like, a serious discussion with yourself as to why you don’t have a Lambo,” he said on a podcast in January. “It is so incredibly easy, and there’s so much money out there.”

He’s right, at least on the last bit. There really is so much money out there, and Ghiorghiu is just one of countless influencers online who are devoted to teaching other men how to get a piece of it. These self-anointed gurus often share interests — sports cars, wristwatches, combat sports, strict diets, rocket ship emoji, lengthy Twitter threads, Sun Belt states with relatively low tax burdens — but tend to make their millions in a few different ways. For Ghiorghiu, it was a combination of most, if not all, of the most common revenue streams for this class of entrepreneur: flipping houses and cars, selling online courses, crypto gambling, digital marketing, YouTube ads, and, crucially, drop shipping. (I reached out to Ghiorghiu for an interview but never heard back.)


Drop shipping, or the practice of purchasing cheap goods, usually from China, and selling them on a legitimate-seeming website for profit, is an industry valued at $225 billion, according to one report, and is expected to grow to $1.2 trillion by 2030. Framed as an easy way to earn “passive income” by YouTube influencers, the videos are often used as funnels for viewers to sign up for an influencer’s multi-thousand dollar online course that may or may not actually teach you anything; a casual scroll through drop shipping forums will reveal plenty of people who spent everything they had on Facebook and Google ads to market their products, only to rack up thousands in debt (or literal children asking about how to start their drop shipping business)

But according to Ghiorghiu and the other rich-guy lifestyle influencers like him — Alex Hormozi, Iman Gadzhi, Jordan Welch, Andrei Jikh, Max Maher, Brett Malinowski, Mike Vestil, Tan Choudhury, there are so many more — making passive income is as easy as watching a YouTube video. Many of them title their posts with some variation of “44 PASSIVE INCOME BUSINESS IDEAS TO START WITH JUST $1K” or “Watch these 55 minutes if you want to be a millionaire in 2022.” Watch hustle bro content for long enough and you’ll get the sense that you’re an idiot for never having flipped a rental property before or not starting your own AI marketing company (these guys are very into AI right now, for obvious reasons. A sampling of some recent YouTube headings: “7 Untapped AI Businesses to Start Right Now,” “I Found the EASIEST Way to Make $1000 with AI,” “Use AI to get ahead while others panic (PREPARE NOW)”). That’s sort of their whole thing, though: Any time or money you’re not using to make even more money is time wasted.


It’s easy to mock this worldview, which is as corny as it is unpleasant. A typical hustle bro meme might feature an image macro of Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort or Cillian Murphy as his character in Peaky Blinders alongside platitudes like “your network is your net worth” that promote the prioritization of money and self-improvement over relationships and free time. Several popular parody accounts, like the intentionally misspelled @entrapranure, skewer this corner of the influencer world, using terms like “sigma male grindset” as a shorthand for the movement at large.

The idolization of the hustle bro is arguably the masculine-coded version of what the writer Jia Tolentino describes as millennial women’s drive to “always be optimizing.” In short, it’s the feeling that our primary aim as people is to make our lives as effective and efficient as possible. For millennial women, an “optimized” life might look like athleisure, Sweetgreen, and barre class. Men, free from the feminine requirement of seeming as though they’ve barely even tried to look so perfect, but restricted by the delicate balance of posting to the internet while still seeming masculine, tend to be a lot more straightforward. Hustle gurus encourage their followers not only to become unfathomably wealthy, but also to maximize time spent “bettering themselves,” by which they often mean intense exercise routines, extreme restrictive diets, or refraining from porn and masturbation. They are inherently mistrustful of any institution or intellectual movement that is not solely about the pursuit of money and quantitative gain.

Who young get-rich-quick gurus really owe their popularity to, however, are the elder statesmen of motivational speakers: Tony Robbins, Grant Cardone, and Gary Vaynerchuk, who built fortunes telling other people how to replicate their own business successes. Like their younger counterparts, these men often espouse deep mistrust of higher education and government, encouraging followers to devote their time and money to learn how to market themselves and their entrepreneurial ventures. Sometimes, that can be exactly what people want to hear.

Steve Machuga, a 46-year-old veteran in Los Angeles, discovered Grant Cardone through Audible during a time when both his business and his marriage were crumbling. “I’m a big fan of taking responsibility for one’s own actions, because it gives you the ability to dig yourself out of any hole you’ve dug yourself into,” he says. “As opposed to ‘I got dealt a bad hand of cards, but that’s life.’ A lot of people, my ex-wife included, just live their lives like that.” Through Cardone, he discovered veterans-turned-motivational influencers like Jocko Willink and David Goggins, as well as Joe Rogan, whose messages encouraged him to re-launch his charity that helps veterans with mental health through gaming.

What he doesn’t love, however, are the younger generation of YouTube gurus who seem more interested in exploiting their followers with online courses to learn drop shipping or get-rich-quick schemes. “I don’t follow most of those 23-year-old tech bros and crypto kids,” he says. “I’m 46. It’s like, ‘Okay, 23-year-old, please tell me with all your vast experience of just having gotten out of high school a couple weeks ago, how you’re going to teach me how to live my life.’”


The problem is that it’s never been easier to seem like a billionaire business guru. Lambos can be rented, after all, and all it takes is a single viral video for potentially millions of people to believe you can help them get rich. Within the drop shipping community, for instance, it’s fairly common knowledge that the best time to get in the business was in the early 2010s, before the market became completely saturated. Nowadays, it’s too difficult to build up the kind of SEO needed to make your product populate the first page of Google, and Facebook ads aren’t seeing the same ROIs as they used to. But interest in drop shipping has only grown over the past decade, particularly within the past five years. Jarvis Johnson, a popular 30-year-old YouTuber and podcaster, blames at least part of this rise on TikTok, where it’s much easier to get seen by millions of people regardless of how many followers you have or SEO you’ve built up. In other words, it’s easy to go viral by casually mentioning the fact that you made a million dollars drop shipping, and hopefully convert those viewers into people who will pay you thousands of dollars for your “intro to drop shipping” online course. “It’s like if Mark Zuckerberg had one of those podcasts and was like, ‘Just start a social network!’ But nobody can replicate that, because the lane is closing,” he says.

Johnson understands the appeal of motivational influencers — he says he listened to a lot of Vaynerchuk when he was early in his tech career and felt like he wasn’t accomplishing enough — and especially the way that platforms like YouTube and TikTok make viewers feel like they can trust the person they’re looking at. “You have individuals pantomiming the billionaire playboy philanthropist attitude, which then becomes more attainable because you’ve combined that with the parasocial element,” he explains. “There are lots of young men who feel very aggrieved and under-cared for by the world, and here’s somebody who looks like he’s winning. But it’s all aesthetic.”

The claims of gurus like Ghiorghiu and other young YouTube millionaires are often vague and unsubstantiated. Recently the real estate YouTuber Anthony Vicino published a thorough (yet polite) debunking of many of the strategies used by these types, which include conflating different definitions of “millionaire,” using risky wins in crypto to prove their investing expertise, and implying that “anyone” can do what they did and get rich if they simply work hard enough (as Vicino points out: A lot of people work hard!).


The minutiae of Ghiorghiu’s claims are far less compelling than the fact that he’s a young, good-looking, and charismatic guy who seems to have it all. Whether or not his followers will bristle at some of his other opinions — that a man’s wife should not have male friends or work outside the home, that he would “have a hard time getting along with someone who was extremely overweight,” that there are only two genders, that men in their 20s who don’t own hundred-thousand-dollar sports cars are stupid — are practically besides the point (and who knows how much he really believes any of them or just says them for attention.) “People will say that I’m out of touch with reality,” he said in the infamous Lambo video, “and they can suck it.”

He’s still right about there being so much money in the world. But increasingly, that money is remaining in the hands of the ultra-wealthy. If you’re taking AI or drop shipping startup ideas from online videos with hundreds of thousands of views, you’ve already lost. This is a truth of media literacy, not business or science, and it’s a lot more difficult to learn than watching a YouTube video that basically amounts to “eight easy ways to lose your life savings.”

Feature Image Credit: Sebastian Ghiorghiu/YouTube

Rebecca Jennings is a senior correspondent covering social platforms, influencers, and the creator economy. She has reported on TikTok since its introduction to the US in 2018.

Sourced from VOX

By Damien Wilde

YouTube is to ease the rules surrounding the use of profanity in videos after introducing new stipulations in late 2022.

More advertiser-friendly content guidelines have been adjusted after a creator backlash in recent months. Under the previous rules, the usage of profanity within the opening 15-20 seconds of a YouTube video could result in demonetization or reduced monetization capabilities for content creators. This expanded to include videos with extensive usage of swearing and foul language. However, YouTube did not make it clear just what levels infringed upon the guidelines.

According to a new “Profanity Update” video uploaded to the Creator Insider channel, the previously introduced guidelines are being altered. Retroactive reviews of old content saw many channel content demonetized, but new rules are tuning things ever so slightly.

Profanity (for example, the f-word) used in the first 7 seconds or majority of the video may earn limited ad revenue rather than no ad revenue, as previously announced below. Usage of words like “bitch”, “douchebag”, “asshole” and “shit” in the video content is eligible for green icons.

Now, profanity such as the f-word used within the opening seven seconds of a video or the majority of a video “may earn limited ad revenue.” While the usage of lesser swear words is more likely to allow for full video monetization.

Profanity used in the first 8-15 seconds may now earn ad revenue. We’ve also clarified our guidance on how profanity in music is treated; strong profanity used in background music, backing tracks, intro/outro music may earn ad revenue.

Profanity used beyond the 15-second intro phase may be subject to other rules, but it’s not entirely clear just what has changed here with regard to the volume of swearing within YouTube content. For music, backing tracks and YouTube video intro/outros, profanity will be allowed and can be monetized.

Existing content that may have been demonetized under the previous rule change will be retroactively re-examined and the latest rule changes surrounding profanity will be applied accordingly. This change has already come into force from March 7 and when uploading videos to YouTube Studio, creators will now get a notification to explain the changes. Just how creators respond remains to be seen, but it’s yet another case of YouTube making changes after yet more backlash rather than involving the community in platform alterations.

By Damien Wilde

Sourced from 9TO5Google

By Aisha Malik

TikTok is testing a new horizontal full screen mode with select users globally, the company confirmed to TechCrunch. Users who have access to the test feature will see a new “full screen” button appear on square or rectangle videos in their feed. Once you click the button, the video will shift into a horizontal full screen mode that takes advantage of all the real estate on your phone.

The test feature marks yet another way that TikTok is steadily inching into YouTube’s territory. Earlier this year, TikTok rolled out the ability for users to upload videos up to 10 minutes in length. The move was seen as a way for TikTok to attract the same sort of longer-form video creators who normally post content on YouTube. With the expansion, creators gained more flexibility to film things like cooking demos, beauty tutorials, educational content, comedy sketches and more, without having to worry too much about the video’s length.

Now that TikTok has been supporting long-form content for a while, it makes sense for the company to enhance the viewing experience for users who are watching these sorts of videos, while also making the creative experience better for creators. Oftentimes creators will add a “turn your phone” message at the start of a video to get users to fully enjoy the content that’s about to play if they recorded a video horizontally. With this feature, creators would no longer have to do that.

Although some people may welcome the test feature and the opportunities that it brings, others may not. TikTok is the app that largely popularized the vertical video scrolling format that other companies were quick to copy, so its users may not exactly be fond of the new full screen mode after being accustomed to the vertical format.

TikTok's new full screen mode

Image Credits: Screenshot/TechCrunch

As with any test feature, it’s unknown when or if TikTok plans to release the full screen mode widely to all users. It’s also worth noting that if TikTok does decide to release the feature officially, the final product may look different than the test product.

One way that TikTok could possibly change the feature before an official rollout is by making it more intuitive. You currently have to click the button to switch to full screen mode, but maybe in the future users will just have to turn their phone sideways to watch in full screen, which is something that other apps allow users to do.

The test feature comes at a time when data has shown that kids and teens now spend more time watching TikTok than YouTube. This has been the case since June 2020, when TikTok began to outrank YouTube in terms of the average minutes per day people ages 4 through 18 spent accessing these two competitive video platforms. By enhancing its viewing experience, TikTok is continuing to inch further into YouTube’s territory.

On the other hand, YouTube is also continuing to rival TikTok with Shorts, its TikTok competitor. In September, YouTube announced major changes to its YouTube Partner Program, allowing creators to earn ad revenue on Shorts. Prior to this, no short-form video platform quite figured out how to share ad revenue, which gives Shorts a leg up on the competition.

Feature Image Credit: TikTok

By Aisha Malik

Sourced from TechCrunch

By Steve Allen

Can you imagine starting a blog and having no one read your articles?

Maybe you’ve already written some, but you’re unsure how people will find them.

In this post, I’ll show you all the places people can find your blog and what you can do to improve your blog’s exposure.

You’ll learn:

  • How to get seen on social media including YouTube and LinkedIn
  • Increase your visibility on search engines like Google
  • Get more traffic from other blogs
  • Get visitors from forums and Q&A sites like Reddit and Quora

The best part?

You’ll know exactly how people can find your blog AND how to keep them coming back, convince them to join your email list, and transform them into loyal followers.

Let’s dive right in.

How Do People Find Your Blog on Google?

People will find your blog on Google in two ways:

  1. Organic results
  2. Paid results

Paid results are shown at the top of the page, like this:

And organic results show below:

To get your blog to show up under a paid search result, you’ll need to join the Google Ads platform.

It works by listing keywords you want your blog to show up for and paying Google each time someone clicks on your ad.

The cost of clicks will depend on your niche and the competition of the keywords you choose.

On average, ads get clicked 19% of the time compared to the rest of the page.

Organic Results

If you want Google to display your blog posts in the organic search results, then you need to optimise your blog for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Organic results are free, but will take longer to show up.

To get the most organic blog traffic, you’ll want to show up in position one.

Here’s a breakdown of how many people click through the organic search results:

And here’s how you do it.

  • Then make sure you include your keyword in article titles and throughout the post.
  • For best results, publish as much content as you can around the same topic.

This will build up topical relevance for your entire blog and help you rank more of your articles higher in Google.

Another way to optimize your blog to increase your rankings is to get backlinks from other bloggers (more on this later).

How Do People Find Your Blog on Facebook?

There are four places people will see links to your blog on Facebook. They are:

  • Pages
  • Groups
  • Ads
  • Search

Facebook Ads

Like Google, Facebook ads are a great way to get your blog seen and result in more traffic.

You’ll need a page and an Ads Manager account to post ads:

An ad with the goal of sending people to your blog will cost money each time someone clicks on the URL.

Again, the costs will vary depending on a multitude of factors, but you are in complete control by setting a daily budget.

Facebook Search

Another way people can find your blog on Facebook is through the search feature.

If someone is searching for a topic relevant to a blog post you have shared on your Facebook page, they can be shown in the results.

Like this one here about growing tomatoes:

The more Facebook posts you share on your page and the more you optimize the post with the relevant keywords, eye-catching images, and engaging copy, the more traffic you’ll get from Facebook search.

Facebook Pages

Facebook pages are another excellent way to help people find your blog, build a social media following on Facebook, and drive more traffic.

Once you have a Facebook page, follow these tips to grow your engagement and drive tons of traffic to your site.

  • Post high-quality posts that grab your followers’ attention. The more engagement, the better.
  • Video has been on the rise in recent years, so why not turn your blog posts into videos and share those on your feed?
  • Recycle your best-performing posts.
  • You can also boost posts with an ad to kick-start your engagement.

Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are great for building a loyal community on Facebook and getting your blog seen by more people.

The best way to grow your reach in a Facebook group is to share a ton of value without always posting links to your blog. This will get the conversation going with other members and they will soon start promoting your stuff for you.

Then every so often, let them know about new articles to get more eyes on your blog.

Learn more about how to start a thriving Facebook group here.

How Do People Find Your Blog on YouTube?

There are quite a few ways people can discover your blog on YouTube.Here are the most effective places to link to your blog content:

  • In the video description:
  • Links in video cards:
  • In a pinned comment:
  • The end screen (you can place YouTube videos and other links here):
  • Your channel profile banner:
  • Your channel about page:

It’s a good idea to add a link to your blog and specific articles in these areas whenever you have the opportunity.

Then, you can focus on posting videos on your channel and using the YouTube algorithm in your favor to grow your engagement and reach.

Here are some ways to get the algorithm on your side to grow your channel:

Check Other Content to See What’s Already Performing Well

This helps your videos show up in the suggested sidebar when people watch videos similar to yours.

To find out what’s already performed well, go to a similar channel to yours and look at their videos with the most views.

Then open up a few of them and see which videos show up in the suggested section.

Creating videos like the ones suggested will help your own videos show up there.

Optimize Every Video

To increase the chance of your videos showing in search results, optimize your videos.

You can do that by talking about topics that people are searching for, including the keyword in the title, and saying the keyword and related terms in the video itself.

Also, make sure you add relevant keywords to the tags box under the advanced option of every video.

Keep People Engaged Throughout the Video

This is possibly the most effective way to grow your channel quickly because YouTube wants people to stay on the platform for as long as possible.

You can do this by starting your video with a pattern interrupt, a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) technique that shifts a person out of their current state and helps them focus on what you’re saying.

Tell the viewer exactly what they’ll learn in the video early on and give them an incentive to stick around to the end.

That could be a gift you want to offer them or something insightful they will find interesting.

How Do People Find Your Blog on TikTok?

Did you know people can find your blog through your TikTok account?

It’s true.

Unfortunately, the only place you can put a link to your blog is in your bio. Not only that, but you need a business account and 1,000 followers.

There is another way to create a clickable link though, which is covered in another article called How to Add a Website To Your TikTok.

To get your first 1,000 followers so you can add a link in your bio and help people find your blog, you’ll need to post high-quality posts frequently.

Check out How to Make a Viral Video on TikTok to learn how to grow your following.

How Do People Find Your Blog on Pinterest?

There are just two places to link to your blog on Pinterest.

Standard Pins:

And your profile page:

But how do people find your blog when using Pinterest?

Like all social networks, the Pinterest algorithm determines the best content to show its users.

If you want to increase blog traffic with Pinterest, then you can improve your reach by optimizing your Pins and posting regularly.

To add your blog URL to your profile, edit your profile and enter it under the website option.

Then, linking to a blog post happens automatically when you or someone else shares your content on Pinterest.

Alternatively, you can include your blog post link when creating Pinterest Pins manually.

How Do People Find Your Blog on Twitter?

On Twitter, people can find your blog through the Tweets you post and from the link on your profile page.

Your profile:

In a Tweet:

It’s important to remember that people who use Twitter or any social network will need to grow their following to help people find their blog more frequently.

To grow your following on Twitter, follow other bloggers or influencers who are in your niche and comment on their posts with valuable insights.

The people who follow these accounts will soon start following you and find your blog that way.

People can also find your blog posts when searching for topics on Twitter.

The more you post relevant content that is well optimized, the more you’ll show up in the results.

How Do People Find Your Blog on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is the social media site for B2B professionals and business owners.

You can send traffic to your blog by placing a link on your profile page and in posts you share.

Also, make sure you create a company page for your blog because you can add a link here as well.

Then, you’ll need to grow your reach and engagement by posting content on the platform.

You can do this from your personal and company profiles. Provide original content that your connections will find useful and you’ll generate a steady flow of blog traffic.

How Do People Find Your Blog on Forums and Q&A Sites?

Want to get more traffic with Reddit or Quora?

These are also great sites where people can find your blog.

Reddit is like a modern day forum where people can discuss almost every topic under the sun.

You can create an account, add your blog URL in your bio, and join subreddits in your niche. Then share things that the users will appreciate. Some people can get thousands of visitors using Reddit.

Quora is a question-and-answer site that has become extremely popular in recent years. Instead of people having discussions on Quora, users ask questions, and bloggers, experts, and thought leaders answer them.

You can be one of those people who answer questions, sharing your perspective on topics related to your blog.

Then add a link to blog posts you’ve published that expand on the topics.

How Do People Find Your Blog Through Other Blogs?

So far, we’ve looked at all the ways people can find your blog through social media and Google search results.

But how do you get a steady flow of traffic from other blogs?

There are several ways to increase your visibility and traffic through blog marketing.

Blog marketing involves getting other bloggers to link to your content. When their readers see a link to your article, they will click through to your blog.

Here’s how you can do it.

Other Bloggers Linking to Your Content Organically

This is the most organic way to get consistent traffic from other bloggers.

The best way to accomplish this is to focus on creating quality content on your own blog.

Then, link to other bloggers’ blog posts and reach out to them, letting them know you linked to them. Some will soon return the favor and link back to your blog.

Guest Post

Another way to get links from other blogs to your blog is through guest posting.

This is where you create an article for another blogger in your niche for a link back to your blog.

Podcasts and Interviews

A little known strategy for getting links back to your blog is by being a guest on another blogger’s podcast.

They will usually link to your website, which can help grow your blog readership.

How to Get People to Read Your Blog Posts?

You can ask people to read your blog in direct ways without being pushy. The key is to write influential words that develop trust and motivate people to take action.

Here are three tips for getting people to notice your blog and read your content.

1. Focus on Great Content with Tons of Value

Learn how to create blog content and develop a consistent publishing strategy.

Make your articles as valuable as possible so your audience will read for longer and want to join your email list.

2. Hook Them with Your Titles

No matter where people see a link to your blog, you’ll need to grab their attention. To do that, use catchy headlines on social media and in email subject lines. Also, optimize your SEO titles to get more traffic from Google search results.

3. Ask Them with a Call to Action

Most people are busy and easily distracted, that’s why it’s important to prompt them to take action at every opportunity including in your social media posts, in your bios, in your blog post introductions, and in your emails.

People have doubts and need motivation to take action, so tell them what you want them to do. They will appreciate the confidence in you and see you as a leader they can trust.


How do people find your blog? Well, this post provided you with tons of ways – through social media, Google search results, and even places like Reddit.

Ideally, because you want people to find your blog, the most effective way to get seen in the long run is by publishing quality articles and increasing organic traffic.

Then you can focus on other means of traffic when search traffic is steady.



By Steve Allen

Sourced from Niche Pursuits

By Nilay Patel

Mark Bergen takes us inside the black box

Mark Bergen is the author of a new book about YouTube called Like, Comment, Subscribe: Inside YouTube’s Chaotic Rise to World Domination.

YouTube has always been fascinating to me because it’s such a black box — everyone feels like they know how the platform works, but very few people have a real understanding of the internal politics and tradeoffs that actually drive YouTube’s decisions. Mark’s book is one of the best of its kind I’ve read — not only does he take you inside the company, but he connects the decisions made inside YouTube to the creators who use the platform and the effects it has on them.

Keep in mind that for as little as we might know about YouTube, we might know even less about TikTok, which is driving all sorts of platforms, even YouTube, into competing with it.

This is a fun one. Okay, Mark Bergen, author of Like, Comment, Subscribe. Here we go.

Mark Bergen is a tech reporter at Bloomberg and the author of the new book, Like, Comment, Subscribe: Inside YouTube’s Chaotic Rise to World Domination. Welcome to Decoder.

Thanks for having me, Nilay.

I’m excited to talk to you. We have known each other for a long time. I think this is the first time we have done something here.

My first debut. Long-time listener, first-time caller.

Well, the book is great. I think it’s one of my favorites of its kind in quite some time. There is a lot of reporting in it and a lot of insight into how YouTube operates from a variety of different perspectives. Most importantly, there are a lot of perspectives from the creator community at YouTube that round out how these decisions affect a lot of people, both from the creator perspective and the audience perspective. First of all, congratulations on the book. It’s great.

Yeah, thanks. I really appreciate it. Thanks for reading it.

It’s my job, but I think the listener should read it too, in a non-professional capacity.

I hope you were entertained at least somewhat non-professionally as well.

Very much so. 

The book overall is a chronology of YouTube. From its early days as a scrappy startup that could barely afford to run itself, through the acquisition by Google, to some of the huge moments we have experienced recently, including COVID-19 and misinformation, Black Lives Matter, and so on. Because Decoder is a show about decisions and how they are made, let’s talk about some of the decisions at YouTube. In the prologue of the book you write, “Everyone knew YouTube, but few knew how it works, who runs it, what decisions they make and why those decisions matter.” The book was written to remedy that, so it’s a perfect match for our show. I have to ask, why did you choose to write a book about YouTube?

I have been covering Google since 2015. After 2016, YouTube became much more central to Google’s financial success, but at the same time, much more central to its political and business headaches. There was a massive boycott in 2017 of YouTube and a series of scandals. Like you guys, I was covering this bit by bit, firestorm after firestorm. I stepped back and realized this was big; every story felt like it was only scratching the surface. There was this very complicated platform problem. I think what sets it apart among other social media is that they built this creator economy. They have this three-sided platform between the advertisers and its viewers and regulators.

Facebook has that too, but YouTube has these millions of creators, many of whose lives depend on it. That had so many more complications. You mentioned that creators are full of characters, but it had a real impact on people’s lives. The decisions they made had some real drama built in. There was a campus shooting, where a disgruntled creator came to YouTube with a gun in 2018. There was a lot of narrative built into this story.

My hope is that it’s a dark comedy in many ways. The people at YouTube and Google are idealistic about the internet. YouTube was the underdog taking on Hollywood and all the conventions of Hollywood. Then within a few short years, there was this whiplash, where it becomes like Big Tobacco. YouTube is accused of radicalization, traumatizing children, propaganda, all the worst aspects associated with the company. I thought that quick turn was just a fascinating story to unpack and tell.

That’s a huge scope of a book. It’s a huge scope of any story. I feel like every time we cover YouTube, it’s a fight between writing 500 words on what just happened or writing 15,000 words on everything that led up to that moment. You have been covering Google for a long time. How long did it take you to write the book?

I started the book at the very end of 2019, and I started doing some reporting mostly in 2020. I was really excited about going out and doing in-person meetings for the book, but then COVID-19 hit. It has been almost two and a half years of full-time reporting.

One of the things that strikes me about Google in particular — and I’m not sure if it applies to YouTube — is that employees and ex-employees kind of talk. They are out there and they are vocal about all the things that happen in Google in strange ways. Apple employees are famously locked in, it is almost impossible to report on what happens. Some people have done it, but it’s really hard. Where is YouTube on the scale? Were people eager to talk to you? Was it pretty locked down?

As is generally the case for a lot of historical stories, the further you go back in time, the more willing people are to talk. People who were at early YouTube are gone from the company and haven’t been there for a while, so in some sense they feel like they are less responsible for the problems. The book hits on this really interesting tension between the OG YouTube employees and arriving at Google. I think there was a big cultural gap, and a lot of those people were willing to talk because they felt like the platform they built was steered in directions they didn’t feel comfortable with. With more recent employees, there is still apprehension, even if they are critical of the company. I did work with the company; I had maybe a dozen or so on-record interviews with current employees, and the company was willing to talk to a certain extent and get their story out there.

I think it’s coming out like in Hollywood. The people around the multichannel networks and YouTube creators are super chatty and they think they are at the center of the story. The book spends a lot of time with Maker Studios, which I think is a really fascinating story as well. I think people at Maker deserve their own book, mini-series, documentary, what have you. So it totally varies. There are certainly people in the thick of YouTube that have not spoken to me. I think of the most recent CEO of YouTube before Susan Wojcicki, Salar Kamangar, like the founders of Google, has basically dropped off the planet since 2014.

That is actually one thing that I want to kind of get at with YouTube. It is one of the strangest platforms on the modern internet in modern culture. It’s among the oldest now. It feels understandable in some way. There are people that run large businesses entirely based on YouTube. It is a stable relationship in the sense that we can tell kids who want to be creators, “Just start shooting with your phone, start a YouTube channel, and a predictable set of things will happen.”

On the flip side, it is really opaque. It’s hard to know what kinds of decisions YouTube makes and who is making those decisions. It’s more opaque than Twitter or Facebook in that way. After reporting on it for so long, how do you see it?

I think that is a really good analysis. Part of its being opaque is just the scale of it. You mentioned Twitter; YouTube has more monthly users in India than Twitter has globally. It is just so big. I think that Google tends to make every decision at scale and as consistently across the board as possible. It certainly has done so in the past. Philosophically, it really struggles with, “We are going to act on one creator this way and another one this way. We are going to act on one misinformation case this way and then treat another one differently.” It wants to do as much as it can, across the board, at scale.

Structurally, that is one of the reasons why sometimes they move pretty slowly. There is a corporate culture, and it is all about consensus — which I get into in the book. It is unique in some ways, because it is the only social network that hasn’t really had one founder there the entire time. There is no Zuckerberg, Dorsey, or Spiegel. It effectively had three different eras as chief executives that are stewards of this platform that is like its own beast.

A lot of the Wojcicki era, the most recent since 2014, is very consensus-oriented. I think that is partially why the decisions at YouTube move pretty slowly at times. I would describe it as a large tanker. They take very careful turns because every turn they make has big consequences. A way to put it is that they are mature. They have been around for a long time, and the book talks about how they went through the wringer with all these different problems. They came out the other end prepared in some ways; they have levers they can pull now. It’s like, “Oh, we can demonetize. We can remove channels from recommendations. We can handle the controversies that spill over on all these platforms that do creator economy stuff.”

TikTok is going through things that YouTube already went through. So are Spotify, Twitch, Instagram, you name it. That is why I think that the history of YouTube is so interesting. It is the direction that social media is moving in this creator economy, and all these platforms are going to have similar problems.

Do you think the overall story of YouTube right now is a success? Is it a tragedy? Is it a cautionary tale? How would you categorize it?

A tragic comedy. I think it’s hard to say it’s not a success. I was just looking at the numbers; 2019 is when Google started sharing their actual sales figures on ads for the first time. They have only gone back to 2017, so we don’t know what happened before then. Ads are the bulk, like 99 percent, of their business, and they don’t share the rest. It started at 8 billion, and last year it was 29 billion. Just in those five years since 2017, that is a pretty solid success.

Around 2009, Google’s CFO wanted to sell YouTube off. Today, it’s a pivotal part of Google.

There was a Pew research study that came out a couple weeks ago about US teens and their usage of social media. YouTube was the most frequent visit at 95 percent. A whole generation of children just grew up on it. There is reporting in the book that talks about how around 2009, Google’s CFO was like, “This is the worst business on the planet. Maybe we should sell this thing off.” Thirteen years later, it is a pivotal part of Google, and every investor on every earnings call is talking about YouTube as one of the key futures for Alphabet. That has been a success.

As far as its impact on broader society and politics, I think the jury is still out on that. Part of the book says that this has been a really under-scrutinized platform, given its influence, power, and for a variety of other reasons. It’s a call to say, “Hey, we should pay more attention to this thing.”

That seems like the hardest thing to do. I agree with you that we pay a lot of attention to YouTube, but it’s easier to do that with a YouTuber rather than YouTube itself. I see that cycle play out over and over again. Even as you read the book, YouTube is like, “Okay, we are going to solve this one person, and that will create a rule that will solve everybody else.” Logan Paul and PewDiePie are good examples. This is just not a realistic way to go about it. They are focused entirely on one creator who has some sort of issue or is pushing the boundaries — maybe intentionally and aggressively — and they’re like, “If we can just figure out how to define the boundary better, then no one else will ever push it again.”

I think that’s fair. So much of it was really inventing stuff on the fly. If you go back to the PewDiePie scandal in early 2017 — which you guys covered really well — that was before the Harvey Weinstein reporting and before cancel culture was a thing. There were certainly people I talked to for the book who were like, “We moved way too slowly.” In hindsight, they were not aware of the consequences of having their most popular creator doing what he said was satire at the time. Even if you give him the benefit of the doubt and consider it satire, it was still not playing well to everyone. YouTube made no effort to communicate, “Look, this is satire, and these are our rules of the satire around something like the genocide of the Jewish people.”

One YouTube employee put it to me pretty candidly: “Imagine Susan in a room with PewDiePie that year at a Hollywood soiree and being like, ‘Look, this is my biggest star, and yet…’” It is not the same as an HBO executive or a Disney executive. That is just the nature of YouTube as a platform. I think the company is always trying to have its cake and eat it too. They want a big brand cast presentation for advertisers, where they can roll out the star and admirable creators, while ignoring the creators that don’t necessarily reflect the values that it wants to reflect.

That dynamic plays out in something you said earlier, which is that there isn’t a main character of YouTube. There isn’t a Jack Dorsey or a Mark Zuckerberg. That is not how Susan presents herself to the world. Is that by design?

I think so. There is a really interesting discussion here. Before YouTube, initial coverage of Susan was when she was running the AdSense business, Google’s second-biggest hits after search. There was a series of stories that were, “Meet the most important Googler you’ve never heard of.” She wasn’t like Sheryl Sandberg, in the sense of writing her own book or spending time crafting this public persona. It was very much like, “I’m a working mom and a competent executive.”

More recently, she has started doing YouTube interviews and has become much more accessible to YouTubers. Even then, most YouTubers know Robert Kyncl — who is the content boss — more than they know Susan. How many regular viewers know who she is? I think that is an interesting part of the book, and I’m really curious what readers think about this person who has very intentionally been putting herself in the background.

That part of the book really explained one of the weirder disconnects that I have felt covering YouTube for however many years. YouTube executives and the leadership have this view of YouTube that no one else has. They have the data of what people actually do. We have been at conferences where we have seen Susan Wojcicki confidently say that YouTube is a music service. Just straight up, “YouTube is a music service,” and the whole audience is like, “What planet are you on?” She has the data that says people are just watching tons of music videos, so naturally, they should launch a music service and talk about YouTube as a music service. There is this huge disconnect. Is she so hidden that she and the executives are not connecting with the actual users, and are just perceiving them through data?

That may be partially it. My colleague Lucas Shaw coined this one: “the biggest music service that no one talks about.” It is huge. YouTube’s scale probably makes it the biggest podcasting service too, right?

It is. Your other colleague Ashley Carman actually just reported on that.

It is by far the biggest kids’ entertainment platform. It is the biggest place for finding videos about fixing your sink. The list goes on and on. I think its scale just makes it so it always wins those superlatives. One of the fascinating trends in the company is there was this joke that people at YouTube didn’t watch YouTube.

For part of the book, I talked to MatPat, Matthew Patrick, who is a compelling game theorist. He makes phenomenal YouTube videos, and really understands the platform. At one point he was telling the company, “You guys have to watch your platform.” YouTube has all sorts of trends, whether they are positive, transformative trends or the really corrosive ones, and YouTubers spotted them first. Typically, I think that started the change in the past couple years. I can’t expect Susan Wojcicki to watch every single YouTube video, or to even keep her tabs on the larger trends in the platform, but there is a drive for some kind of a business strategy.

Sundar, our Google CEO, talks a lot about YouTube as this education and learning platform, which is true, but there is a big missed opportunity there. YouTube has never really turned that into a product set or a feature by having any sort of direction or intentional strategy. You can’t really say, “They are really trying to make this an educational platform!” They could. There is plenty of very high-quality educational material on YouTube. I think that’s a total one of their many blown opportunities there, but for a variety of reasons they didn’t pursue that path.

Is that YouTube or is that Google? I feel like you have just described a lot of Google. Everyone can see Google’s opportunities, where a little bit of focus, tenacity, and iteration can turn them into huge businesses. Yet Google is like, “What if we launch another YouTube? What if we have eight messaging apps?”

I think the most interesting inflection point going back about a decade — and this was a decision that was pretty key — was Google Plus. In the book, I recalled that I didn’t fully understand how critical that was to Google at one point.

Oh yeah. They thought they were betting the company on it.

They were betting the company, and that included YouTube. It really frustrated people at YouTube. I don’t know how far along it came, but it was enough that it was a real consideration to put YouTube on the video tab of Google Plus. You look back now and you’re like, “What in the world were they thinking?”

That slowed down and had a really negative effect on YouTube, certainly on morale. YouTube has become much more independent in some ways. There are definitely people at Google that have put more pressure on YouTube. Sundar, the CEO, in particular, would have preferred to see them move quicker on brand safety. One person put it to me kind of bluntly that, “Sundar pays attention to YouTube when the noise gets too loud.” That is generally the case.

So we said the book is about decisions. We should talk about some of the big decisions you go through in the book. What do you think are the most important decisions that have been made at YouTube?

I will give you three. One is the launching of the YouTube Partner Program in 2007. Two is when they switched their key metric from views to watch time in early 2012. The third one is up for debate, but I think it was in late 2017 to early 2018, when they raised the threshold for the partner program.

At that point, unless you were blatantly violating copyright laws or hate speech rules, you were good to get monetized on YouTube. It built probably the biggest digital media economy ever. They had to dramatically scale that back and that had all sorts of consequences they are still dealing with today. Those would be my votes for the three.

Let’s start with the partner program you’re talking about. The partner program — for people who don’t know — is if you are a YouTuber of a certain scale like Mark is saying, then you can sign up to get your videos monetized. YouTube runs ads on your videos; you get a cut, and YouTube keep a cut. It’s pretty clean in that the ads are pre-rolls and mid-rolls. So before you watch a video, in the middle of a video, an ad runs, YouTube can attribute that to various creators in their videos. Very simple sort of calculation there. It makes a lot of people a lot of money. 

We just had Hank Green on the show, and he is very passionate that YouTube’s partner program is the best one, and creator funds like TikTok and even YouTube Shorts are not the way forward. The partner program allows many different kinds of creators to thrive and build their own businesses. No one has copied it. Why do you think other social networks haven’t copied partner programs, and why do you think YouTube has stuck with it?

First off, it was interesting reporting about this in the book. You remember Smosh? It was the biggest YouTube channel for a long time. They were one of the early 30 channels or so that had the first partner program. They initially turned ads off because their fans were so pissed off about seeing them and were calling them sellouts. It’s just so funny that as you fast forward to today, every YouTube video has so many brand deals.

So why hasn’t it been copied? One, Google is an exceptionally good company at digital advertising and is certainly the world’s biggest. Even before YouTube, it had AdSense. It had this mechanism for paying online content, like monetizing web pages. In some ways, the partner program is just sticking that on video,  although it is a more complicated system.

YouTube also built content ID around the same time, which your audience probably knows. That was a way that effectively solved their biggest problem at the time, which was, “We’re either being sued by big traditional media, or they don’t want to put their content here.” Here was a way to say, “Oh, traditional media, if you put your content here, or if someone else does, you can still make money off of it.” It was probably the single biggest product that made YouTube a success.

Facebook has arguably the second-biggest ads apparatus and has not been able to figure this system out. It’s not for lack of trying. Google just has the benefit of having an army of sales people and advertisers that are very willing to give money to them. I’d be curious to see if/when Netflix and all these streaming services move into ads. That’s not necessarily a similar model, but that’s digital video advertising, and something that YouTube has had a lock on for years.

Walk me through the decision to turn it on and then the decision to walk it back.

There were long-gone competitors. Revver, if you remember that one. Blip.tv was also a prominent one. iJustine was one of the early YouTubers, and was experimenting with whatever Twitch was called — Justin TV.

Some of this first-wave generation of creators went out, came on the platform, and had no guarantees. There was no way for them to make money, let alone a guarantee for financial success.

Then within a few short years, it was like, “Oh, maybe there’s something here. There is certainly an audience here.” There were companies like Blip.tv paying. Chad Hurley, YouTube’s first CEO co-founder, said early on that they didn’t want to run ads, and that they didn’t want to have commercial incentives to drive people. He just wanted people to upload to YouTube for all the reasons that initially it started. If you want to share or put your creativity out there, then you can. You want your audience’s help without any reward.

They launched it in May of 2007, which was super early, and it didn’t really start scaling out until five years later with a pretty select group of creators; 2011 to 2012 is when they started to really expand. At that point, you have the multi-channel networks (MCN) coming out of nowhere and doing this sort of pyramid-schemey — well, alleged pyramid scheme— build-this model, where they just signed as many creators as possible.

At that time, the only way to get monetized at the time was to be a star, a really big creator, or to be signed with an MCN. YouTubers just signed with MCNs in the tens of thousands, often without reading the contracts. That financial model then imploded for a variety of reasons. Basically, YouTube was like, “Wow, we don’t want these sketchy third parties to be running this. We can do it in-house.”

What I found while reporting was that they had the big ad boycotts early in 2017 that were driven by extremist videos. Household brands were finding, “Oh, we’re on an ISIS video. Look, we’re on a neo-Nazi video.” I really think the key there was the kids crisis. That is where YouTube was like, “Wow, we cannot monetize everyone anymore. We have to make a change.” Up until that point in late of that year, they thought they were getting out of the ads crisis without making any sort of major structural changes. It was the kids issue that really pushed them to make that fairly massive change in the payments.

There are a lot of issues, so which kids issue do you mean? There are at least three I can pick out.

Yeah, totally fair. Elsagate was the popular name. In late 2017, there were multiple things happening. One was this very strange trend of the Spider-Man, Elsa, adults dressing up as superheroes, which became some of the most popular videos on YouTube. Some of it was benign, silly, and and sort of vaudevillian. Some of it was very sexual, disturbing, pranking, and intentionally pushing the limits.

James Bridle is this writer in the UK who wrote a very popular post called “Something is Wrong on the Internet.” It’s a great title and would be a good name for a book. His point was that there was what he called “industrialized nightmare production,” which were these animation studios that would just churn out YouTube content for kids. Some of which was clearly not even designed by humans; it was bots making videos for bots. The virality of his post, combined with the fact that advertisers were freaking out about kids’ material, was the crisis at Thanksgiving 2017. That is when YouTube finally decided to take some pretty significant action.

Just reading that section of the book, one thing that strikes me is that YouTube often presents a very placid face to the world. Every social media company does this to some extent. “We know there are problems, and we are very diligently working on them. You couldn’t possibly understand the trade-offs that we must manage.” Then inside of YouTube, it was, “Here’s a post that just went viral. Here was another adpocalypse where all the advertisers are going away,” and it was just a pure scramble. It’s like they don’t see it. What is the tension there? It seems like they are paying attention to their platform in some way, yet they are often surprised by these things.

Yes. I think they are surprised by the scale. I think that crisis in particular, the ads team was surprised. Sridhar Ramaswamy used to be the SVP for ads, and he has spoken about this publicly before. I watched these videos, and there was a really popular one called “Toys Freaks,” which is this whole complicated story too. I watched it and was like, “What?”

There were a bunch of stories like this around the time. Google was funding this; his division ran ads. I think you can plausibly make the argument about naïveté there, but YouTube is a big space. This channel was the 68th most popular at the time; there are still a lot of channels ahead of that. I think that they just weren’t paying attention to this.

In 2019, the FTC fined them for violating COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Before then, YouTube would live in this willful ignorance, where it’s like, “We don’t have kids on our platform. We have YouTube Kids, which is an app, and then everyone else is over 13 or with adult supervision because that is what the law says.” They felt like they had to be hands-off on kids’ stuff for that reason. I think that was another major factor there.

They talk a lot internally about precision and recall with their machine-learning systems. People told me that the reason they sometimes move slowly on these major crises was because any time that YouTube launches something, it has a precision recall meaning. If its machine systems aren’t quite precise enough to identify certain things that they’re trying to filter out, it is going to have all sorts of unintended consequences.

They were always pretty worried about that. Because these were creators and this happened during that crisis, they moved pretty quickly to kill a bunch of channels. There were a lot of creators that, rightly or wrongly, were like, “Oh my God, you just pulled the plug on my channel.” This is without any warning or explanation, really. They get an email that says, “Your channel has been removed,” or, “Your channel is no longer able to run ads.” There are countless stories about that.

YouTube makes a moderation decision that destroys a business. It happens.

I’m not trying to defend them necessarily. I am saying that this is a set of decisions that they self-made by launching the partner platform like this. It was self-governance for a long time, then all of a sudden they were changing the rules very dramatically in a short amount of time.

At The Verge, we have a very complicated relationship with audience data. Theoretically, we are a site about the future, but I think data can only tell you about the past. Is that happening inside of Google? Are they waiting for enough data to show them that a thing is real, while the creators and the audience can just see the thing is happening without having to count it and put it in a spreadsheet?

That’s an interesting way to put it. Maybe.

I actually don’t have an answer for you about the Spider-Man, Elsa trend, because we are talking about kids. There were videos in 2016 from pretty popular creators, pinpointing this trend. This is sort of a silly example, but a few years ago in 2011, they were doing the first funded originals program. They were like, “Okay, this is another big, dramatic decision. A lesser decision, but an important one. We are going to start funding channels and giving them money.” Although, it is also a misconception that it was all upfront. They weren’t just giving them money, they were funding channels by giving them an advance on their ad credits.

They were like, “We are going to look through the list of popular categories to identify the ones we would want to fund.” One of the huge ones was military. “Okay, is there actually a lot of military footage on YouTube?” It turns out the machine system was categorizing Call of Duty as military, so every Call of Duty video was a military title.

I do think some of this is just the clunky world of machine intelligence. That was a decade ago, so I am certain that they have gotten more precise and granular, but there may be a way they missed these things because it is not apparent in the data, or they are just willfully being blind to it.

So YouTube turns on the partner program for almost everybody, a flood of creators show up, then they raise the floor because they’re like, “Hey, a bunch of these creators are actually going to destroy our business. Big advertisers see that their videos are getting some weird stuff. This is not a manageable situation. We need to make sure that people have enough audience or enough subscribers to make it worth it.” So they raise the floor. This is the other big decision. How did they raise the floor? What were the consequences of that?

They said at minimum you have to have a certain number of subscribers and watch hours. Neal Mohan, who you have had on here before, is effectively the number two at YouTube. I can’t remember his exact phrase, but my understanding was that they looked at the number that would be around where people made a living wage. It’s basically, “Here is the amount where people start to become financially dependent on YouTube,” which is really fascinating.

What if YouTube had gone a different direction?

When they switched to watch time, they were like, “Maybe another metric we could have is we could start to prioritize videos where creators make six figures a year.” The book is interesting, in that there are all these alternative histories. “What if YouTube had gone this direction?”

Back to your point, they raised the threshold. There were immediate and tragic consequences. Just to be very clear, I will not draw a line of fault. I don’t think that YouTube was responsible for this at all, but there was a creator who was upset about these series of changes and came to open fire on the campus. People at YouTube were like, “Oh my God, these decisions we make have real life consequences that are visceral.”

The other unintended consequence was this rise in merch. YouTube is now moving in that direction and trying to do what they call “alternative monetization.” I don’t think they would have done that aggressively without this change, because a lot of creators moved that way on their own. It also got them into some legal trouble, certainly with kids’ creators, when kids and creators start to dabble in more commercial products. It is now more regulated, in the same sense that any other part of YouTube is regulated. That has been a bigger consequence.

They have started to bring the number up. I think they said they now have 3 million creators who are in the partner program, and that is working its way up slowly. They have certainly put in a lot more guardrails. Demonetizing channels or videos wasn’t really a thing before. Now there is a system in place to do that, and I think YouTube does it often. Let’s be honest here about transparency — sometimes the creators will know, but the viewers will not. You and I don’t know how often we are watching a video that’s like, “Oh, this video has been demonetized for this reason.” We don’t know that at all.

That is actually one of the longest-running jokes on the show. Every YouTube creator reaches a point in their YouTube career where they make a video about how mad they are at YouTube.

Which was great material for the book, by the way. It’s a fascinating platform, in the sense that its biggest users have spent a considerable amount of air time bitching about the platform.

Is the platform responsive to them? That is something that I keep trying to suss out. Most platforms are not responsive to their creator communities. Kim Kardashian can complain about Instagram turning into TikTok, and Adam Mosseri will make a video where he basically says, “Sorry, I’m not sorry, go eat your vegetables. This is where we are going, but we hear you.” That is basically the response from Facebook. “We are on our path and you can be along for the ride. We will miss you if you’re not.” YouTube seems like it responds a little bit more openly, but still not as much as anybody would want.

I think there were certainly points in the past when it did not. In early 2016, before Trump’s election, there were several female YouTube creators talking about doxxing and harassment. I think it took three more years until YouTube really changed its policies there. Not across the board for sure. There has been well-documented reporting about how they tend to listen to bigger creators more, which makes sense. It’s almost as if YouTube is more willing to be like, “Of course we are going to listen to our bigger creators.”

Hank Green is a perfect example. He’s not huge compared to others subscriber-wise, but Hank Green is trusted by creators. He is ad-safe and a voice of moral authority on the platform. I know he has the ear of the executives there. How influential that ear is though, I don’t know. I think you could certainly argue that they are much more responsive to creators now because of TikTok. New competition forces them to be more attentive and responsive to creators more than anything else.

That plays into recommendations and watch time. If you want to be big on TikTok, you can do the trends, you can play the games, and you can dance, but it is the algorithm that is ultimately going to find you and decide whether you blow you up or not. There is a lot of playing into the algorithm that people just nakedly do in 2022. I think it is a new phenomenon to not hide the game you are playing, to openly and aggressively go for virality on TikTok since the whole platform is the algorithm. That is what is expressed to you as the user, so it’s right out in the open. 

YouTube was not that thing. It started out with a curated homepage and human reviewers. You have a lot of material from the people who used to curate the homepage as human reviewers of YouTube. It slowly got more algorithmically curated. The shift they made in the recommendation algorithm to reward watch time — the total minutes watched will now be the biggest signal of the recommendation algorithm — feels like a massive decision that almost no one has really unpacked except for you. Walk us through that one.

I thought it was really interesting. I think readers will too, in part because it is this really fascinating example of unintended consequences. Talking to people who were involved at the time, YouTube measured by views, which felt like the wrong metric. I think they were right in the sense that there is a big problem with clickbait.

The Reply Girls phenomenon is a good early example. I don’t know if anyone in the audience remembers this, but this was in 2011. I think it was when YouTube had passed over more of their feed to algorithmic curation, and these were largely women that had sorted out a way to game the system in a hacking genius way. They were called hackers. I believe there has been reporting that they were doxxed and threatened, which is a whole separate thread about YouTube’s problem in dealing with women.

They figured out the reply videos; they would put up a video that would use the same tags and titles of a really popular video and have a low-cut shirt on. Then it would just get a lot of clicks. YouTube would see this in the data, that people were clicking on it and jumping off. They could see that someone hadn’t watched for a few seconds, or people were doing all sorts of games to get clicks.

There was a really long debate. I think this was around the time when YouTube was starting to plateau in some worrying sense, mobile traffic hadn’t really taken off. They were like, “We are getting five minutes a day from viewers.” One thing that I want to get across to readers is that YouTube had a pivotal moment. They saw their competition as television, and television had four or five hours of time from Americans a day at that time. “TV advertisers are spending so much money on TV, relative to the time and audience fervour and what we have online. We need to convince advertisers to come over.”

The book gets into this if you want to unpack this metric they got stuck on. I think it’s really interesting. They read this Olympian’s book called Will It Make the Boat Go Faster? It became a business bestseller. The idea is that you want to have one thing that will inspire your team and you want to have one central focus. With anything you do in the training regimen, you ask, “Does it make the boat go faster?” Like, “Should we eat this thing for breakfast? Does it make the boat go faster?”

That was the epiphany for the YouTube folks that were planning this. The leadership was like, “We need something that will make our boat go faster. Watch time will be it.” We talked about this a little bit with YouTube, Google. Watch time is very antithetical to Google’s business.

That’s when Yelp came.

I can hear the Yelp alarm clocks going. Google was like, “We want to get you off somewhere into the web, preferably a place that paid us for advertising.” YouTube was like, “No, we want people to linger around.” The classic example they threw around a lot was the bow tie video. Is it better to have a 30-second clip of, “how to tie a bow tie quickly,” or a 10-minute video, where someone is actually going to watch the entire video to understand how to tie a bow tie? Clearly we want people watching for 10 minutes.

It had an immediate impact. One of the biggest YouTube channels at the time was the eHow videos, a series of how to do everything. This may be debatable, but the quality of those videos wasn’t great. I think watch time did surface higher quality. It also created gaming, beauty vlogging, alt-right podcasts… all these verticals that we now associate with YouTube came because they are low production cost and it is easy to get as many minutes onto the platform as possible.

I spent some time with some early YouTubers who were basically just making TikTok videos. They spent a lot of time making these short videos. MysteryGuitarMan was this big YouTube hit before the watch time era. He would make these minute-long mini films, but the algorithm switches and he is no longer a star in some ways. I don’t think it’s because Joe Penna became less creative as a person or that his videos were less enticing to viewers, I think it’s because of the big change YouTube made behind the scenes.

It’s funny now that they have YouTube Shorts. In many ways they are right back to where they started.

Yes. They said the first YouTube video was a short. It was like, “Guys, the first four years of YouTube was a short.” Yes, one of the many delightful ironies of the company.

Stepping back from YouTube and into Google generally, it strikes me that Google’s effect on monetization is that it becomes harder to get some information, because Google demands padding as a sign of quality. If you search for a recipe, in order to get ranked, they need long stories before the recipes. Google’s monetization engine has demanded some amount of interference between you and the thing that you are trying to get to. If you are looking for how to tie a bow tie, YouTube’s monetization engine has demanded that video be 10 minutes long with a mid-roll ad in it, versus just how to tie a bow tie. When you back out even farther, it’s like, “Oh, all of this is a game.” YouTube makes a game that spits out money, and they are just constantly rewriting the rules of this game. The rules get broken and they have to scramble to write new rules. Do you think YouTube, as an entity, understands that it is doing this? It is fundamentally unpredictable what billions of content creators will do. Are they just kind of squeezing the balloon on what bad things will happen today?

Was it last year that they made that really distasteful tweet making fun of creators for posting 10-minute videos? Do you remember this one? I think they deleted it.

YouTube crisis number 5,007.

Whoever made the decision, I’m sure someone could report that out.

To go back to the watch time transition, I think the important thing to remember back then was that there really wasn’t a creator economy. There were a few partner managers here and there, but YouTube didn’t even think the creators were commercially viable.

Disaster struck for YouTube in the Trump era.

That was part of a structural problem. There really wasn’t an advocate for creators like we think of today, or people touching base with them in a really meaningful way. To add on to that, Hank Green started VidCon. That was a whole community. YouTube was sort of there, but it wasn’t present for a long time in these conversations. Once they started becoming present, all the disaster struck in the Trump era. I think their priority has been trying to put in guardrails since then.

Algorithmically, it’s like, “We want to get people the right things. We want to deliver the best videos to people. We don’t want them to click on clickbait.” Then it was like, “Oh, God, we don’t want all the downstream, unintended consequences of watch time. We don’t want to be accused of spreading hate speech and conspiracy theories.”

A lot of it is trying to control this very uncontrollable thing. One really interesting example in the book is there have been multiple times where LGBTQ creators get demonetized for discussing words like “sex,” “lesbian,” and “gay.” Even more awful were the anti-gay therapy ads that were running on their channels. People inside YouTube were like, “We do not want this. We did not intend to do this. We are trying to fix it as quickly as possible.”

Genuinely, that is why I think the book has these moments of dark comedy. There are people inside YouTube who are like, “No, this is not what we wanted at all,” but it’s complicated to snuff these things out so quickly. That first crisis where LGBTQ creators were being demonetized, YouTube employees were like, “We don’t want this. They work really hard.” They then figured out the problem and launched it. As they were doing that, there was a massive ads boycott about a totally different issue. So the YouTube employees working on this issue were like, “Oh, great. We are working on this little fire, and there is a gigantic firestorm happening behind us.”

That machine learning has come up several times in this conversation. There are no YouTube employees watching every video. There are computers that are scanning videos and trying to match patterns and make complicated decisions at scale. To YouTube’s credit, that has largely worked in the sense that YouTube exists and mostly careens from crisis to crisis with periods of relative quiet in between. No one has figured this out. YouTube is as close to figuring it out as it can. 

On the flip side, I often joke that most people understand the copyright system on YouTube better than how their local government works, because they are just constantly exposed to it. You see it, you might not even know the speed limit two streets over from you, but some content creator has complained about content ID. It’s this thing that enables YouTube to exist. It’s a moat for YouTube in a massive way. What is your perception of that understanding of YouTube? At some level, are computers just doing whatever they want and people are going to scramble back in to try to guide the ship back on course?

That’s fair. I think they felt that most acutely during that big Elsagate moment. That was a really powerful example of a trend taking off on the platform and employees watching these videos like, “We don’t want this trend to take off on the platform, and yet.” They have had a much more hands-on approach recently, but back then there was a sentiment of, “Who are we to impose our viewing judgment on viewers?”

Guillaume Chaslot, a former YouTube engineer, has been one of their biggest critics on algorithmic transparency. When he initially brought his findings in 2016, he said, “Hey, the recommendation engine is recommending Alex Jones and all these sort of conspiratorial videos.” A former colleague of his was like, “People are clicking on it. What are we going to do?”

You have heard this argument from other companies too. I do think that YouTube, like Facebook, is aware that they are living in a relative bubble. I think that the Trump election and even the most recent election reinforced this idea that, “Oh wow, there are 70 million people that don’t necessarily think like us. They’re our users. We need to be more thoughtful, careful, and cautious about what decisions we are imposing there.”

After their big controversy, they went out and contracted thousands of moderators. In an ideal world — and they talk about this a lot — 98 percent of inappropriate or violative videos are flagged by machine systems and a human never has to see them again. Part of this is to avoid the Casey Newton stories about the real traumatic toll of content moderations. That is a job we want to shift to robots basically.

Content ID is shifted to robots and I think that works out pretty well. Aside from a few complaints a year, they are very happy with that tradeoff, with YouTubers complaining about copyright or content ID versus the extreme financial success and lack of lawsuits that content ID brings. It is still a Google company, and Google’s DNA is like, “Whenever we can do machine learning at scale, we are going to do it.”

Whenever the robots can do it, for Google. For me, it really comes down to Google being a company with pretty strongly expressed internal values. I think about this with all the social media platform companies. Inside the company, the employees are expected to live by the company’s values, which often include some amount of inclusion, diversity, tolerance. Like every company, they want to celebrate the wide variety of people that use the platform. They want to spotlight gay and lesbian creators, they want to spotlight people of color, they want to spotlight trans people, and then YouTube itself, the product, does not do that thing, in very real, tangible ways. That disconnect is real on every platform, but it seems very pronounced on YouTube.

YouTube’s premise is, “We don’t have the gatekeepers of Hollywood.” Some of the earliest creators that really broke through were people of colour doing really inventive and creative stuff. They said, “Hey, I don’t have a clear path to me in Hollywood or on TV, but I do on YouTube.” YouTube has that power and has profoundly changed the media landscape but they don’t trumpet that a lot, which makes me think that perhaps it’s not quite there in the data.

YouTube burnout has been a problem for a long time. Creators don’t have a long lifespan on this platform for a variety of reasons. I have no idea if this is true, but there are a lot of prominent women that have left YouTube. That is something that YouTube hasn’t really addressed that well.

I think there were times during the Trump era, when they were trying to – and forgive the term — lean in on this a bit, where YouTube was like, “Well, we are the only social network run by a woman. That’s a great opportunity for us.” I talk about the reasons why they were really timid making these steps around the issues of gender equality and racial justice. After George Floyd, they started a fund and made a big push for that like all companies did. These efforts are sort of short-lived because they are responsive to what they see as a news cycle issue, rather than larger OKRs at the company.

I want to end with a little bit of lightning round.


We live in a moment of increasing antitrust scrutiny of all these companies. Do you think YouTube would be better off if it got split up from Google?

I don’t think it’s going to happen so it’s all theoretical. That is a really interesting question though, because I think I can say yes and no. I would be curious to see what they do with more constraints, fewer resources like bandwidth and servers, and without Google’s advertising system. I’m a little bit willing to buy the argument, but if you want YouTube to do moderation at scale now, you need the resources of a company like Google.

We both know Kara Swisher. Her theory is that they would immediately launch a search engine.

I mean, they have. It’s the second biggest search engine in the world.

Right. That’s what I mean. They would just extend it to text and call it a day. YouTube has other products. They have YouTube TV, which is rapidly becoming one of the biggest cable providers on the internet. You mentioned several times now, YouTube was pointed at TV as the thing they wanted to kill. Now it is a huge provider of television and it’s competing with TikTok. So where is the lane now with YouTube? What are they going after, or are they just trying to eat it all?

They have had a problem with mission drift. The Originals program was a big focus for them. They were like, “Oh, we need to wait. We need to jump in and compete with Netflix and Amazon.” Then that died out. This year, they eventually killed it and are going in on Shorts. I think TikTok is actually posing a more significant threat to them. I do think that Shorts will be a long-term investment.

They talk a lot about commerce, but there is an uncanny valley there about how much you want to push that before it becomes unpleasant to viewers. They have Shorts, TV, and commerce. But they are also pushing podcasting and whatever they are going to do on YouTube Music. They see themselves as an underdog there also.

Last lightning round question. One of the themes in your book is that YouTube is a social network, but Google refuses to see it as one and act like it, which would lead to a variety of different decisions. There is a theory out there that even Zuckerberg has floated. Every generation grabs a social sharing dynamic and that’s it. The winner there is the winner. He bought Instagram because, “Photo sharing is going to capture a new demographic and we have to have it.” Obviously with Gen Z, that is TikTok. All the companies are trying to compete with TikTok. Is TikTok as much of a threat to YouTube as everyone seems to think it is? Is it the new social sharing dynamic that will take over, or is YouTube more durable than that?

If you look at the Tubefilter as a reliable source for most popular YouTube videos of the week, every single week, it is Cocomelon and kids’ shows. It is dominated by shows for toddlers or children, so I think the question is a bit different. Does that generation watch religiously, or are they going to jump to TikTok when they turn 12? Or when they are preteens?

Or something else.

Or something else, for sure. I feel like YouTube is sort of always there in the background. Not to discount the fact that TikTok is a real threat, but I feel like as far as business threats go right now, Apple and ad targeting has had more of a kneecapping effect for YouTube and Facebook than TikTok.

Actually, I don’t think we have talked about this at all. Do you think the Apple ad changes have really affected YouTube on mobile?

I think they have hit YouTube in a meaningful way. The FTC regulating YouTube on kids’ stuff has had a really pretty profound consequence. It made the kids’ environment on YouTube demonstrably better in quality.

I won’t let my kid use real YouTube, only YouTube Kids. There will be stuff that is not on YouTube Kids and she wants to use the regular YouTube app, and I’m like, “You’re not getting closer to that!”

Once she hits eight or nine is when it gets really weird. YouTube hasn’t solved tweens yet.

Mark, you have given us so much time. The book is great. Like I said, it’s my favorite of this genre in recent years. I encourage everyone to go buy it. It’s on sale when this podcast is coming out. Where can people get it?

People can get it anywhere they buy books.

Are you going to do a reading on YouTube?

Only if you’ll have me. I don’t think I would start a channel just to do that unless I’m desperate. That would be a good performance art piece though.

That’s pretty good. All right, Mark. Thank you so much for being on Decoder.

Thanks for having me.

Feature Image Credit: Will Joel / The Verge

Sourced from The Verge

By Xintian Tina Wang,

TikTok is expected to beat YouTube in average user time consumption this year.

As more people bookmark TikTok, the short video app is expected to surpass YouTube, by the end of the year, for the first time in terms of time spent by their respective adult users in the U.S., according to a report released on eMarketer last week.

The report indicates that TikTok users will spend an average of 45.8 minutes per day on the video-sharing platform, in contrast to the 45.6 minutes they’ll tune into YouTube. Despite emulating TikTok with short-video features like Instagram Reels, Instagram accounts for an average of 30.1 minutes per day.

The difference between those stats on YouTube versus TikTok may be negligible, but it harbingers a turning of the tide. And for business owners, the ByteDance-owned app has huge potential to engage new consumers.

Here are three ways to capitalize on the app’s newly minted engagement stats:

1. Be authentic.

You’ll hear this a lot in reference to TikTok: In many ways, TikTok and Instagram are polar opposites. Whereas picture perfect tends to rule the day on Instagram, TikTok users, rather, crave authenticity. So on TikTok, don’t sugercoat, and stick to videos that can spark an emotion in the viewer.

“If brands are authentic on TikTok, they are not just perceived as advertisers, but seen as members of the community who understand what’s happening around them,” says Lyle Underkoffler, chief marketing officer at the New York City-based social ad automation platform Smartly.io.

Evan Horowitz, CEO of creative agency Movers+Shakers in Santa Monica, California, agrees with this strategy. He says TikTok users prefer content that “feels low stakes.” Horowitz explains that videos that have a strong advertorial value usually won’t perform well on the platform.

2. Don’t jump on every big trend.

While you should attempt to post regularly about your products–and do so in a consistent manner–avoid jumping on every hot topic, which can range wildly from cute dog videos one minute to the “I am not meant to work” trend the next. Consider whether a trend is a fit with your business. A party outfit trend, for instance, may not be suitable for an energy saving company’s marketing campaign.

Further, “entrepreneurs and small-business owners should find the most relevant hashtags for their brands, which may not necessarily be the most popular ones,” Jason Galloway, marketing consulting practice lead at multinational accounting and consulting firm KPMG, tells Inc. He adds that brands should also consider collaborating with smaller influencers for partnerships and product placement. “Speed and natural fit is far more important than polish, so focusing on trending content that fits the brand is the main strategy,” Galloway advises.

3. Embrace “live” interactions.

Last week, TikTok announced it will test out a new function, dubbed TikTok Live, to allow creators to generate recurring revenue via payments through livestreaming. In a statement, TikTok says that the function aims to bring brands and viewers closer.

You can also now invite your best customers to a “VIP Room” by way of Live Subscription. TikTok’s monthly subscription for people to show their appreciation for their favorite Live creators grants brands the opportunity to grow their community and get exclusive offers for VIP customers. When the subscriber-only chat is turned on, advertisers and their subscribers have exclusive access to one another. Brands can build a personal network globally through livestreaming.

“It’s increasingly important for brands to be relatable to their new and existing consumers,” advises Underkoffler. Regardless of how you engage, the point is to just start–and be authentic. “When advertising on TikTok, creating a genuine connection and interacting with the audience are critical,” he adds.

Feature Image Credit: Getty Images

By Xintian Tina Wang,

Sourced from Inc.

By Johan Moreno

Short videos can lead to big outcomes, just ask TikTok.

When eMarketer compared average time spent on the top social platforms by U.S. adults, TikTok surpassed YouTube. Users spent an average of 45.8 minutes on the Bytedance-owned social video platform versus 45.6 minutes on YouTube.

This milestone follows a series of changes on the TikTok platform that were seen as threats to YouTube’s video dominance. In February, TikTok extended the video length limit from 3 minutes to 10 minutes. The platform also announced a new revenue sharing program that is very similar to YouTube’s.

YouTube has likely caught onto the success of TikTok and is looking to stop its roll: Earlier this year, YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan announced a series of product announcements that would be coming to the platform, centered around YouTube’s answer to TikTok, Shorts.

TikTok is also delivering these results on videos shorter than 10 minutes. The data does account for company’s virtual MVPD service YouTube TV. YouTube also offers videos longer than 10 minutes, which likely increase the overall time spent on the platform. The survey was conducted in April 2022 and accounted for all viewing engagement with a platform, be active or multi-tasked.

Despite efforts to emulate the features found on TikTok, Instagram accounted for an average of 30.1 minutes per day. Its parent platform also had an average of 30.1 minutes.

TikTok and YouTube were followed by Twitter, with 34.8 minutes spent on average, Snapchat with 30.4 minutes, Facebook with 30.1 minutes, followed by the aforementioned Instagram. Users spent an average of 23.8 minutes per day on Reddit.

However, it is worth noting that TikTok has a smaller user count, 1 billion monthly active users, while YouTube is believed to have north of 2.6 billion.

Feature Image Credit: Getty Images

By Johan Moreno

I’m a contributing writer for Forbes covering Google and Alphabet. I’m also a writer and curator for Inside.com, where I have covered a variety ot topics, ranging from automotive to Google. Send tips, pitches or notes via email ([email protected]) or on Twitter (@dudejohan).

Sourced from Forbes

By Stephanie Mlot

The feature lets users anonymously share emoji reactions at an exact moment in a video.

YouTube is experimenting with a new option to share emoji reactions at an exact moment in a video.

The video platform is piloting timed reactions with a “small number of channels to start,” YouTube community manager Meaghan wrote in a blog announcement.

Those watching as part of the trial can tap into a separate reaction panel via the comments section, where users can share their thoughts as colourful pictograms and see how others are (anonymously) reacting—similar to Facebook Live or Twitch. “We’re testing multiple sets of reactions and will add or remove reactions based on how the experiment goes,” the blog post explained.

YouTube last year began testing a function that lets users view comments timed to an exact moment in the video they’re watching. Folks can already timestamp video comments, adding a direct link to a specific point—making it easier to navigate a video or simply highlight a particular moment.

“We heard such positive feedback about the times comments beta feature,” the blog said, “that we wanted to test out similar features.” There’s no word yet on whether timed comments will be made more broadly available.

Emoji reactions are historically hit-or-miss: Twitter has twice tried the iconic retorts, last year asking people to choose between three different sets featuring classic options like a laughing face, thinking face, crying face, astonished face, and flame. Nearly a year later, the microblogging service has yet to roll out any reactions beyond the usual heart.

By Stephanie Mlot

Stephanie joined PCMag in May 2012, moving to New York City from Frederick, Md., where she worked for four years as a multimedia reporter at the second-largest daily newspaper in Maryland. She has also written about technology, science, culture, and Doctor Who for PCMag sister site Geek.com. She is based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Sourced from PC