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YouTube CEO, Neal Mohan, speaking with Shannon Beckham of the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s ‘View from the Top’

Rene’s Top Five on YouTube: November 9, 2023 Edition

These are the top 5 things I saw this week.

It’s snowing, I’m drinking coffee, and this blog post is way overdue, so it’s time for your friendly neighborhood Creator Liaison to swing my way through YouTube, X/Twitter, Insta-Threads and all the Slacks and Discords betwixt and between to bring you the most interesting and impactful news of the week!

✨ Take the YouTube Home page discovery algorithm and smack it right on top of your channel’s Home tab and what does every visitor get? The new ‘For you’ section — a selection of YOUR videos personalized just for THEM. Creators can customize it for our channels starting today and viewers will start seeing it on November 20. Just go to your channel, hit ‘Customize Channel’, scroll past the trailer and featured video sections, and you’ll see ‘For you’. You can toggle it off if you really don’t want it, but I’d encourage you first to check out ‘More settings’ where you can control exactly which content types are included in the recommendations: videos (long form), Shorts, and/or Live streams. You can also choose to include all of your content or just more recent content from within the last 12 months. (If you’re on mobile, you can launch the YouTube Studio app, tap on your profile pic at the top right, tap on the pencil, and toggle ‘For you’ on or off as well). I know a lot of creators, myself included, like to curate our own playlists for the top of our Home tabs, but we can get busy and they can get outdated. Plus, it’s hard to make one list that’ll really appeal to every type of viewer at different times and on different devices, so I’m going to let ‘For you’ be the co-pilot on my channel for now! Check out TeamYouTube for more!

🗂️ Speaking of tabs — Of so… many… tabs! — you may have noticed that after YouTube started breaking the old (all) Videos tab out into the new (long form) Videos, Shorts, Live, and Podcasts tabs, things started getting just more than a little cramped on the channel pages. And we noticed you noticing, so in an effort to help clean things up and provide a little breathing room, YouTube is making a few more changes. The info that was in the stand-alone About tab is being integrated into the heading on pretty much every other tab. Just click on it and you’ll get all the deets. Channels is going away as a tab but sticking around as a section on the Home tab, so customize and deploy there as/when needed. I know long term About and Channels tabs stans will feel some way about it and change aversion may abound, but this will hopefully let all of our content shine, while not losing any of the extras along the way. Hit up Creator Insider for more, and social me your feedback as well. We’re all listening!

🎤 YouTube’s CEO, Neal Mohan, sat down with Shannon Beckham of the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s ‘View from the Top’ to chat about how AI will unlock creativity, leaning into change, lessons in leadership, and his vision for the future of the platform. YouTube was built on the principle of giving everyone the ability to share our unique voices with the world and it quickly made that possible by removing the gatekeepers and democratizing distribution, but not everyone had the skills, time, or equipment to share our voices in a way that expressed our true vision. Listen to Neal talk about AI tools, and it’s not hard to imagine YouTube making that possible next, and for even more of us. You can watch the whole video on the Stanford GSB YouTube channel

🥒 It’s a wrap on season one of the YouTube Blog’s ‘In a Pickle’ series — aka every creator’s favorite ‘answer the question or do a shot of pickle juice’ production! Jordan Matters and Salish cap off the cap-no-cap game, serving up secrets while bingeing on brine, and if you missed any of the previous dill-icious installments, you can catch them all right on the blog: Haley Kalil, The Beverly Halls, Peet Montzingo, Ashley Yi, Carter Kench, and Ms. Beanie

📈 Tip of the Week: Does it matter to the algorithm what time of day or night I publish a video? Better question — Does it matter to the audience what time of day or night I publish a video? The algorithm tries to follow the audience, so if it doesn’t matter to the audience, it probably doesn’t matter to the algorithm. But wait! There’s a shiny ‘When your viewers are on YouTube’ widget right on the YouTube Studio Audience tab, you say! It tells us when our audience is most active, you say! It does indeed! And right below it, it says publishing time is not known to directly affect long-term performance. So… what does that mean? Well, if you’re streaming, you will want to pay attention to that and go live when your viewers are awake and available to watch. Otherwise, it’s most helpful as a velocity indicator. If you publish when not many viewers are online, it’ll probably take you longer to get views. If you publish when a ton of viewers are online, you’ll probably rack up views faster. But, a few weeks or a month later, you’ll likely end up with the same amount of views. In other words, don’t let those analytics dictate your publishing time — do what’s best for your schedule and health! — but do let them help set your expectations for how many views roll in during those first few hours. (Especially if you’re doing breaking news or topical content that has a limited shelf-life and you want to get it up as fast as creator-ly possible!)

Now get with the contenting!