YouTube Makes Waves with More Content Restrictions, Video Ads and Live Streaming
March 26, 2018
YouTube, a video sharing website, has made new restrictions on content being shared, specifically content involving any reference to fire arms. This includes guns, gun accessories, offers of firearms, ammunition, or information on how to use guns. They updated their policies, saying that they will not allow any content which may lead to the sale of firearms, both directly through an individual or a company online.
It’s not just videos which include references to firearms, or which show firearms and how to use them. The ban also encompasses videos which have any link to a firearm website or accessories website. While this latest ban is new, it’s not unusual for YouTube to make such a change. Their policies are constantly evolving, and they have had to update guidelines to restrict videos involving other negative images and ideologies in the past.
The reason behind this latest ban seems to stem from the slew of gun violence that has occurred just before the beginning of the year. While gun violence in the United States has always been a problem, this year has already seen far too much of it, and it’s only just beginning.
The Role Out of Go Live
In the past, live broadcasts from YouTube required software from a 3rd party website, while non-video related social media sites like Facebook, have incorporated live streaming for some time. The new feature, called Go Live, is available on Google Chrome now, and will possibly be added to other browsers in the near future.
The Go Live feature was offered to some users early on for testing, with reviews available to new users online. Following testing, YouTube deemed the feature a hit, and presented it to the public. The feature will be added to their camera apps on select mobile phones, including LG, Samsung, and Nokia, in the near future.
To access Go Live, users can visit www.youtube.com/webcam, or select the Go Live link at the top of the YouTube home page. This helps reduce the number of steps necessary to stream live feeds through your YouTube channel. With no necessity for 3rd party software, equipment, or steps, aside from a few clicks, users can streamline their streaming once and for all.
Video Ad Service from YouTube Hitting 170 New Cities
Last year, Google launched a new video ad service to users in six cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, and Washington. Now, the service, titled YouTube Director Onsite, will be open to 170 other cities across the United States. Originally, the service was to work in tandem with an iPhone application which would assist in the production of video ad creation via mobile phone. YouTube eventually dropped this app idea, but stuck with their offer of YouTube Director Onsite.
The service, which is useful to U.S. based businesses looking to expand their digital marketing frontier, films and edits an advertisement for free. The video ad is up to 30-seconds in length and is completed entirely by the professional team from YouTube. To be eligible for the free service, business users must commit to spending $350 or more in Google Adwords on YouTube.
The expansion of the service isn’t the only thing that’s changed; the price has also increased with the addition of new townships across the U.S. In the past, the 6 cities which received the offer previously only had to spend $150 to benefit from the free service. This new price point drives up value to more than double the original cost.
Why the sudden change in price? Google believes the service to be more valuable than originally thought. One business which has benefited from the service is Warmoth Guitar, which saw a 130% hike in revenue following the release of their 30-second free ad. A map of cities where the new service is available can be seen through the YouTube site.
Live Streaming Captions and Replay Options Available Now
Another change to the YouTube platform is the option for chat replay and automatic captions on videos which are being livestreamed via YouTube. This is in an effort to increase creator features after a cutback this year which included the removal of demographic information. The benefit of this new feature is that it allows users who are watching a livestream later to witness the chat exactly as it happened originally. So, celebrities and businesses sharing information, contests, or content can re-watch a conversation as it happened in the livestream, and followers can do the same. Livestream only became available last year but has already become a hugely popular feature among subscribers. Livestreams will also be able to be tagged with location information for users who are filming in areas which may be of interest to their viewers.
This change comes just in time for the addition of automatic captions, which is helpful in videos where the user is deaf or hard of hearing, the speaker is difficult to hear, using another language, or has too much going on in the video to understand what is being said. Captions which have been added professionally will still be available, but this isn’t always the case, which is when these automatic captions will come in handy.
These are some of many recent changes seen this year and last as YouTube works to create a bigger, better platform under the Google brand. Fortunately, these latest changes seem positive, while some, like the new rules on making money based on subscriber numbers, caused waves. For more information on these changes, keep an eye on the Google and YouTube news sites.