Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Placing Videos Into Google Docs Presentations

Last month, we posted about our efforts to make YouTube as open as possible and shared a few examples of partners who were integrating YouTube content into their applications. Today, we'd like to point out another example.



Google Docs is a free, web-based word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation application that allows you to share and collaborate with others in real-time. The Docs team just announced on their blog that you can now search for and insert YouTube videos into your presentation slides. This means that you'll be able to insert your favourite videos in your presentations and play them to your audience.



To see this new feature in action, check out this published presentation.



Haven't heard of Docs? Watch this video that explains what Google Docs is:







The YouTube Team

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Capital Ideas: London's Mayoral Candidates

You asked, BBC London mediated and they answered: the three men most likely to assume one of the highest profile jobs in UK politics have responded to your questions and the results make fascinating viewing.


While Crime, Transport and Housing topped the list of burning issues you wanted the London Mayoral candidates to address (which have been reflected in the videos we have featured on the UK homepage today), Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson and Brian Paddick also tackled subjects as diverse as drugs policy, Islamophobia and… well… haircare:






As this is the first election-based politics project we have run out the UK, we would love to hear your thoughts on how you felt the process went and what you did or didn’t like about the initiative so that we can feed these back into our plans for the General Election (whenever that may come to pass). Looking over the videos, one thing that the YouTube approach to the political process does seem to have provided is an interesting level of relaxation in the candidates and – dare we say it – a glimpse of the personalities behind the politicians. Next thing you know we may even start believing they’re human after all…


Have fun,

The YouTube Team

Sunday, 20 April 2008

UK Site Updates: Tell Us What You Think

As you have probably noticed, we recently introduced a raft of updates across YouTube. While some of these affected all site domains, others were focused on the non-Global homepages (of which the UK is one). Having given these some time to bed down, we would love to hear what you think of two of the updates in particular: changes to the how we generate the Most Viewed toplist and a new approach to the Channels information.


MOST VIEWED IN THE UK


Since the UK homepage was launched last year, the Most Viewed videos of the day, the week, the month or of all time were listed on the UK page according to territory. This is to say that if you told us at sign-up that you were located in the UK and uploaded a video, it would be eligible to make the list provided it generated enough clicks. While this system worked well enough, we felt that it gave a slightly skewed window onto what users in the UK were actually watching, not to mention leaving the list open to a degree of manipulation (no matter how gentle, as in this fallofautumndistro video):





The Most Viewed list is now generated according to what users located in the UK are watching, which means that the videos listed can have been uploaded anywhere in the world. One side-effect of this is that the chart can look out of synch, as the total number of clicks does not necessarily tally with the number of UK-based users who have watched the video – so please bear this in mind when offering any feedback.


CHANNELS PAGE


One of the big things that we at YouTube UK hoped to achieve after launching the UK homepage was to enable local users to find one another more easily, whether that be by showcasing local talent in the featured area or generating charts drawn from UK users. We have now achieved the latter on the Channels page, where you will be able to identify the Most Subscribed UK user of all time (congratulations Charlieissocoollike) along with the local Comedian, Director, Guru, Musician and Partner channels that are generating most interest. To date these lists were drawn from Global performance figures, and if you still want to track who is hot worldwide, then just navigate to the Global homepage and head for the Channels page.


We are working hard to give all of our users in the UK the best possible insights into what is happening on their local site. Do these updates help or hinder that effort? Let us know, either by leaving a comment below or mailing us here


Have fun,


The YouTube Team

Saturday, 19 April 2008

YouTube Policy Enforcement Changes

We are very excited to announce some big changes to our policy enforcement systems. Having clear rules and fair consequences are genuinely important to us and these improvements have been a long time coming.



STRIKES THAT EXPIRE



It didn't seem fair that a user who uploads three videos that violate the Community Guidelines over the span of a year was being treated the same as someone who uploads those same videos over the course of a week. To change this, we've made it so that violations are now rescinded after six months. Accounts that had one or two warnings (as of April 16, 2008) for Community Guidelines (or Terms of Use) violations have been given a clean slate and are going forward under the new system, too!



Note that this does not apply to copyright claims, which don't expire and are not being cleared.



NEW NOTIFICATIONS



It used to be that if a video was removed for violating the Community Guidelines or due to a claim of copyright infringement, the user would be sent a notice via email. But these notices sometimes get caught by spam filters or go unread. The new system also displays the notice on YouTube the next time they access the site.



MUTING ACCOUNTS



We are experimenting with ways of correcting some types of abusive behaviour that aren't as harsh or as permanent as suspending users. What we've come up with is to temporarily mute users, so that they can still use the site and watch videos, but they can't post new content. Right now it is set up to affect users who have two Community Guidelines warnings in a six-month period and will last two weeks. Let us know what you think, if it works well we may expand it to help address other kinds of abuse as well.



These are just a few of the first visible changes made to the way these things work. There is a lot of work being done behind the scenes to continue to improve upon them. We look forward to your feedback and further enhancing the safety and experience of the YouTube community.



For more information, please see our new Help Centre article on General Policy Enforcement Information.



The YouTube Team

Friday, 11 April 2008

Site Update 4/9

Some very cool new features have just been unveiled on YouTube, check 'em out...



VIDEO SHARING IMPROVEMENTS



We revamped the video watch page by adding more sharing features and a new streamlined design to the Share, Favourite, Playlists and Flag sections. We now show some top social sharing sites directly on the video watch page, making it easier for you to share your favourite videos with your network. These top sites are also personalised based on your usage - so if you Digg more often than you Facebook, Digg will show up instead. Video comments and responses have also been reorganised into a "Commentary" tab, including thumbnails for video responses and a handy scroll bar for easier navigation. The new "Statistics & Data" tab houses collapsible sections for recent ratings, video honors and sites linking to that video.



ADVANCED SEARCH OPTIONS



New advanced search options are now available anywhere you see a search field on YouTube. Just click "advanced search" to choose the results you want, based on different key word combinations such as exact phrases, all words, excluding certain words, etc.. You can also hone down your results further to find videos matching specific upload criteria like language, category, date uploaded, duration of video, as well as videos uploaded within a specific time period (i.e. "This Month, "This Week" and "Today").



MULTIFILE UPLOADER FOR MAC



When we launched our multifile uploader for Windows PC users last year, we promised to follow it up with a Mac-friendly version. Now Mac users can download the software and access the Multifile Upload page where you can upload several videos at once. Each video may be up to 10 minutes in length and up to 1GB in size, and all will be available in My Videos after processing.



Now, for the video version of these exciting changes, here's Mr. Pzottolo with this edition of YouTube News:







Keep your eyes peeled for more updates coming soon,

The YouTube Team

Thursday, 10 April 2008

New Viewer Discovery Metrics In Insight

When we announced our free analytics tool called YouTube Insight two weeks ago, we promised to update Insight with new features and information fairly quickly, and we weren't kidding. Today we're releasing a new feature that helps you better understand the viewing trends of your YouTube videos: a discovery tab that shows how viewers found your video, whether by searching on YouTube or Google, browsing under "related videos", receiving a link to the video from an email or website, or watching it in an embedded player away from YouTube. Insight even breaks down the specific YouTube or Google search queries that led to your video, as well as the external websites driving traffic to your content. (Insight will show up to 50 inbound links.)



We think you'll find this helpful in several ways. For example, users can learn how different parts of their identity on the web (perhaps their pages on MySpace or Facebook) are effective in driving traffic to their content. Partners can reach out to form relationships with those publishers who consistently point readers to their videos on YouTube. And since advertisers can now access reports detailing the search queries that lead viewers to their videos, they can make more informed decisions about the keywords and bids they select to appear on Google.com.



You can find these new metrics under the "Discovery" tab within the Insight dashboard. Click on the "Insight" button under "Account > My Videos."



As always, we're keen to hear about new ways in which you'll put Insight's resources to good use. Let us know what you think by commenting below.



The YouTube Team

Monday, 7 April 2008

London Mayor: Ask The Candidates

Together with BBC London, from today YouTube is offering you the chance to put your burning questions to the three front runners in the race to become London’s next mayor. So whether it’s bendy buses, knife crime, or the Olympic Games that have got you thinking, this is your opportunity to get some straight answers.


Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson and Brian Paddick have all committed to answer questions put by YouTube users in a series of interviews to be broadcast by BBC London over the coming weeks. In order to be in with a chance to put a politician on the spot, you need to upload your big asks – which should weigh in at under 30 seconds to qualify for broadcast – to the London Mayor 08 channel. Feel free to get creative with your queries, as in this classic example from our YouChoose programme in the US:






So, get creative and join the conversation around what matters to you about London.


Have fun,

The YouTube Team

Friday, 4 April 2008

Introducing Living Legends

Today we are proud to launch Living Legends, a new monthly programme that invites luminaries from around the world to communicate directly with the YouTube community by answering your questions and becoming a genuine participant on the site. We plan on bringing you an exciting roster of leaders in film, sports, politics, and a whole lot more. But, first, we begin with a little rock 'n' roll.







Only these gentlemen are not exactly little, with more than 24 studio LPs released and over 200 million albums sold. They've got an unquenchable passion for blues and R&B and have blended it into a unique sound that has influenced countless musicians around the world. Take a look at the video they made just for YouTube, part of which was shot -- intriguingly -- in a bathroom:







Yep, it's the Rolling Stones. So, start thinking of a good question for Mick & Keef, fire up those video cameras and upload your question to the Living Legends. And, of course, stay tuned for more legends to come…



Getting Our Ya-Ya's Out,

The YouTube Team