Every year, I'm reminded of how unique and special our YouTube community is and 2017 is no different. This was a year of amazing growth and innovation, but I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on what has also been a very tough year for our creator community. In the past year, we saw a significant increase in bad actors seeking to exploit our platform, from sharing extremist content and disseminating misinformation, to impersonating creators, to spamming our platform with videos that masquerade as family-friendly content, but are not. These actions harm our community by undermining trust in our platform and hurting the revenue that helps creators like you thrive.
In light of this, we’ve just announced new actions to protect our community from inappropriate content. We want to give creators confidence that their revenue won’t be harmed by bad actors while giving advertisers assurances that their ads are running alongside content that reflects their brand’s values.
To do that, we need an approach that does a better job determining which channels and videos should be eligible for advertising. We’ve heard loud and clear from creators that we have to be more accurate when it comes to reviewing content, so we don’t demonetize videos (apply a “yellow icon”) by mistake. We are planning to apply stricter criteria and conduct more manual curation, while also significantly ramping up our team of ad reviewers to ensure ads are only running where they should. This will help limit inaccurate demonetizations while giving creators more stability around their revenue. We will be talking to creators over the next few weeks to hone this new approach.
As I’ve said many times over the years, creators are the lifeblood of YouTube’s community. It is their originality, authenticity, talent and dedication that attracts a global audience to YouTube. It is their passion and presence that turns casual viewers into devoted fans who are eager to learn, share and come together. And it is their inclusiveness that gives over a billion people who visit YouTube every month a place to belong.
Though it’s been a difficult year, time and again, we’ve seen our creators come together to do incredible things on YouTube. We saw an acceleration in channel subscriptions, bringing the total number of channels to hit the 1 million subscriber milestone to well over 5,000. We saw a Reggaeton song explode in global popularity, becoming the most-watched YouTube video in history. And we saw our creators rally their fans after natural disasters in Mexico City and Houston to raise millions for relief, or engage world leaders from Joko Widodo to Jean-Claude Juncker on important issues.
These stories are at the heart of what makes YouTube’s community so special. It’s a place where creators and fans can come together to reach new heights, break records and turn an online audience into a real-world movement. That’s why we need to do all we can to protect this community, to counter threats from bad actors and to ensure that YouTube remains a place where all creators can thrive.