YouTube, being the second biggest search engine in the world, behind Google, is not planning to lose ground. To rival with its competitors and to keep the loyal audience, YouTube creators are launching a new social network, so-called ‘community’.

Let’s face it: new social networks appear on a daily basis and some of them compel attention of clients, investors and business society. However, no less interesting is when social giants introduce new functions or even completely change their framework. Recently Youtube disclosed its secrets: company is going to launch a Community: a set of social instruments to incorporate creators and their viewers.

 

The ‘structure’ of community: Members, Goals and Social Instruments

Are you already intrigued? Let’s explain what community actually represents.

New social network will be located in one tabbed part of a YouTube page, offering a number of features. 12 Creators (who include the John and Hank Green, Sam Tsui, Key of Awesome e.t.c.) can post the favored content: text stories, photos, GIFs, create polls and, certainly, publish videos. What is more, the service will provide users with an opportunity to make a live broadcasting, the tendency which actually picks up steam in the modern community. Consider Twitter or Facebook examples, for instance. YouTube should keep up with its competitors, don’t you think?

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We’ve recently posted an article which mentioned that YouTube is less and less beneficial for creators, however with the introduction of community, the situation is being changed.

Viewers, in their turn, could post comments and approve or disapprove (by giving a thumbs up or down). By the way, critics who claim that 12 creators do not compose a community are significantly mistaken: these twelve have more than 40 million fans and subscribers, which actually exceeds the population of Canada.

Initially the idea of new structure was founded on the conception of ‘backstage’, where creators could let their back hair down, and only the most loyal viewers could familiarize with the content they publish. As for now, all subscribers can view the content they are concerned with and leave the comments, however all their remarks are subjected to creators’ moderation. Is it freedom of speech or a figment?

 

The problem of a single-task platform

YouTube, despite its growing popularity and usability, always faced an issue of being a single-task network. On one level, single purpose and the lack of different content is what makes platform juicy and special. On the other, creators themselves claim that  they had “a long-standing issue, which is YouTube can’t be the hub of our channels’ community if videos are the only hub,” tells John Green in the interview to Harry Mccracken.

Another point is that community provides creators with an opportunity to make all their social activities in the one place: on YouTube, which definitely poses an obstacle to its primary rivals. The crucial thing is that making fascinating videos on a daily basis is hardly possible, and community finds a solution to keep in touch with your loyal audience and make them feel valuable.

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For business purposes, it would also be beneficial: billion-plus users every month can transform content into considerable profit. Moreover, the influence of creators is significant. According to Ipsos Survey, 70% of viewers watch creators videos weekly and more than 60% make brand decisions based on the creators’ opinion. A great tool for content marketers, isn’t it?

Investors realize the value of creators’ influence as well. Consider NetFlix, for instance.

 

Comments VS Community

Previously the sense of community was transmitted through the comments users left on videos. However, this fact was discouraging both for company and the society: comments were childish, nasty and sometimes even odious.

The state was so flailing that in 2014, BuzzFeed’s Mark Slutsky declared that “the YouTube comment section has long been considered the worst place on the internet.”

New community, conversely, should tackle this issue as well. The reason is that it would assemble people who care, loyal audience who are interested in the specific content type. Experience has demonstrated that random viewers do more harm than good, with regard to comments, certainly.

 

Keep calm: YouTube is still YouTube

For those who worry about radical changes, we have good news: YouTube as a video platform is here to stay. Community is incorporated in one single section and does not radically change the network’s layout. More importantly, the variety of content styles does not displace videos, in fact photos, text posts and live broadcasting complements it.

 “I don’t view this as a move away from video at all,” tells Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer, in the interview to Harry Mccracken. Moreover, YouTube’s management considers the integration of new functions much more favorable and beneficial than a creation of a freestanding service.

As for 2016, nearly 5 billion videos are watched on Youtube on a daily basis, and launching a community service would hardly intervene this growing tendency.

“I view it as really leaning into the essence of YouTube, which is that connection between our creators and fans” – adds Mr. Mohan.

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