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rene ritchie youtube creator liaison

Rene’s Top Five on YouTube: October 26, 2023 Edition

These are the top 5 things I saw this week.

Every week I take a quick break from helping YouTube’s product and policy teams better empathize with creators, and creators better understand YouTube so that I can scour YouTube, X/Twitter, Insta-Threads and all the Slacks and Discords in between to bring you the most interesting and impactful news of the week! So lesgoooooo!

🤫 'Pause Comments' is a very new, very small experiment running on YouTube. Just like it says on the label, it gives creators a new 'pause' setting for comments. That’s in addition to the existing 'on' and 'off' settings. The difference between ‘pause’ and ‘off’ is that new comments can’t be posted on video(s), but the existing comments are still available to be seen and read on the watch page. YouTube is interested in seeing if this type of ‘time out’ helps creators catch-up if a comment section feels out of control but we don’t have time to moderate, or if we just want to hit the brakes while we take a break! See Creator Insider for more!

🩳 This week I co-hosted a session on the Shorts Algorithm for a group of new Shorts creators. One of the topics that came up, and comes up fairly often, is how to best make use of the new Related Video link. That’s what lets you place a prominent link, right on your Short, that goes directly to another one of your Shorts, or one of your long-form or archived live videos, public or unlisted. So you can link from Part 1 of a Short to Part 2, or from an unboxing Short to a long-form review, or a lead-gen Short to an unlisted live funnel. Whatever! And what I’d encourage is thinking less ‘I want viewers to click through!’ and more ‘how do I get viewers to want to click through!’. In other words, viewers are already in the Shorts feed. They’re swiping. They’re happy! In order to get them to click-out and leave the feed, you have to make a strong call-to-action, promise them something of value, and then make sure you over-deliver on that once they’ve clicked! Think about what it would take for you to click from another creator’s Short, and start from that!

🎃 #HalloweenWithShorts is a great way to hop on a spooky-fun trend this month! From slapping skeletons and glow’d up ghouls to the best vamp vibes, there’s a ton of different options, moods, modes, and feels to get you inspired. There’s makeup, decor, food, and more! Whether you’re new to Shorts, looking for a boost, or just to experiment and see what happens, check them all out on the YouTube Blog!

🤳 If you’re new to creating on YouTube or you just want to get in on the more casual, on-the go creation vibe, there’s a ton you can do right from your phone — and the main YouTube app! Everything from capturing and sharing a Short to going Live pretty much anywhere and any… when! It all starts with tapping the Create button but then it goes as fast and as far as your creativity will take it! Watch the brand new YouTube Creators video for more!

📈 Tip of the Week: Why does the upcoming Thumbnail Test & Compare (A/B testing) feature return Watch Time instead of an array of other metrics like click-through rate (CTR)? I’m getting that question a lot and the answer is — Watch Time is just plain better! The thumbnail and the video have to work together. The thumbnail makes a promise and the video delivers on that promise. If the thumbnail over-promises and the video doesn’t deliver, viewers will abandon it, tanking retention and performance. If the thumbnail under-promises, fewer people will see the video regardless of how well it delivers, also reducing performance. If A/B testing returned CTR, creators would focus on CTR, and we’d very likely see a rise in click-bait and a drop in performance. And that’s exactly what’s great about Watch Time — to watch, people have to click, and to win at Watch Time, they have to retain. So you’re getting both click and retention working together to deliver the best result — same as thumbnail and video are supposed to!