Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Jump The Big Brother Queue With YouTube

Love it or hate it, Big Brother is on its way back – and this time around YouTube users will be first in line for a chance to enter the house for the 10th instalment of the show.

The Big Brother Team is inviting YouTube users to pitch for a place in front of their cameras via 60-second videos uploaded to the Big Brother Auditions channel. Just in case you haven’t yet grasped what works in the house after nearly a decade on TV, here are a few tips from former housemates (which you may or may not elect to heed):

Top entrants will be invited to a VIP audition day, bypassing the usual unruly scrum for a slot on the show. There is just one further thing that would-be winners of the £100,000 top prize should bear in mind: Big Brother audition videos are subject to the same terms and conditions as all other YouTube content. So if you’re thinking of “doing a Kinga”, we respectfully urge you to think again…

Have fun,

The YouTube Team

New, Wider Layout For Your Channel

We wanted to give everyone a heads up that we'll shortly be expanding all standard channels over to the new 960 pixel width. This is the same change we made with the video watch page a few weeks ago, and will make channels wider and consistent with the rest of the site.

Have channel backgrounds you want to get ready for the change? You can get a sneak peek of what your channel will look like by visiting the following URL today:

(e.g. if your username is "jane12345," then replace "YourUsername" in the URL with "jane12345" to see how your own channel will appear).

Holler at us with your feedback,

The YouTube Team

Monday, 15 December 2008

Win a Trip to Davos, and Have Your Say

It has been a year of crisis in the global economy. The collapse of credit has left countless people in crushing debt, prompted governments to bail out their nations' strongest companies and brought instability to markets that had seen decades of unfettered growth in a newly globalised economy.

That's the bad news. The good news is that it often takes a crisis to bring about change.

This year at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, the world's top thinkers and leaders will gather to discuss how to bring about that change. They believe that fresh solutions have to come from fresh sources, so they're asking for your help: YouTube is partnering with WEF to give you the chance to join the debate on four key issues facing the planet today. One lucky YouTuber will even get to fly to Davos, all expenses paid, to attend the Forum, which takes place January 28-February 1, 2009.

It's called the Davos Debates - and there are four main topics being discussed: the economy, politics, ethics, and the environment. Go to the Davos Debates YouTube channel to vote on the 4 questions - or add your own video outlining your ideas for shaping the post-crisis world. WEF will choose the top video submitted by January 20, and that person will get to fly to Switzerland to join the discussion in person.

In addition, many of your videos will be played at panel sessions at Davos, where world leaders will listen to your thoughts and opinions as they debate these issues. Tell them your personal stories: how are the world's new challenges affecting your life, and what do you want to see happen next?

We live in a world that continually presents new challenges but also offers seemingly limitless possibilities. This is your chance to impact history with your own creative ideas. So submit your video by January 20, and help shape our collective future in 2009.

Steve Grove

YouTube News and Politics

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

"Recent Activity" on Your YouTube Channel

We're happy to announce a couple of new changes to your YouTube channels, based on the feedback and suggestions you've given to us.

The first is the creation of a "Recent Activity" box on your YouTube channel. This box will provide your viewers with a snapshot of recent changes you've made to your public channel, making your channel more dynamic, fresh and timely. For example, if you recently added a new favourite to your channel, visitors can find this favourite in the new Recent Activity box (as well as in the usual "Favourites" box). The Recent Activity box will also consolidate the separate "My Recent Ratings" and "My Recent Comments" boxes into this single activity window.

As always, we give you maximum control over how your channel is configured on the channel design page. And now, the Recent Activity privacy settings page (also available in the upper-right corner of the Recent Activity box) lets you choose what activity you want to appear in the Recent Activity box. It's important to note that we've set your initial Recent Activity settings according to what you already publicly show on your channel today - so, for example, if you're not already showing the Favourites box on your channel, then the Recent Activity box won't suddenly start showing new favourites you make.

Regarding bulletins, we've listened to you, and most of you didn't see the value in bulletins as they are today. So, we're taking a first step to make bulletins more useful. Although the bulletin box will be going away, now you can broadcast a bulletin directly to your channel visitors in your Recent Activity box. This not only provides a fun place to shout out personal updates and news, but also provides an additional way to communicate and engage with your channel's fans.

We hope you like these changes, and are always eager to hear your feedback - so please feel free to share your thoughts with us!

The YouTube Team

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

A YouTube for All of Us

As a community, we have come to count on each other to be entertained, challenged, and moved by what we watch and share on YouTube. We've been thinking a lot lately about how to make the collective YouTube experience even better, particularly on our most visited pages. Our goal is to help ensure that you're viewing content that's relevant to you, and not inadvertently coming across content that isn't. Here are a few things we came up with:

  • Stricter standard for mature content - While videos featuring pornographic images or sex acts are always removed from the site when they're flagged, we're tightening the standard for what is considered "sexually suggestive." Videos with sexually suggestive (but not prohibited) content will be age-restricted, which means they'll be available only to viewers who are 18 or older. To learn more about what constitutes "sexually suggestive" content, click here.

  • Demotion of sexually suggestive content and profanity - Videos that are considered sexually suggestive, or that contain profanity, will be algorithmically demoted on our 'Most Viewed,' 'Top Favourited,' and other browse pages. The classification of these types of videos is based on a number of factors, including video content and descriptions. In testing, we've found that out of the thousands of videos on these pages, only several each day are automatically demoted for being too graphic or explicit. However, those videos are often the ones which end up being repeatedly flagged by the community as being inappropriate.

  • Improved thumbnails - To make sure your thumbnail represents your video, your choices will now be selected algorithmically. You'll still have three thumbnails to choose from, but they will no longer be auto-generated from the 25/50/75 points in the video index.

  • More accurate video information - Our Community Guidelines have always prohibited folks from attempting to game view counts by entering misleading information in video descriptions, tags, titles, and other metadata. We remain serious about enforcing these rules. Remember, violations of these guidelines could result in removal of your video and repeated violations will lead to termination of your account.

The preservation and improvement of the YouTube experience is a responsibility we share. Let's work together to ensure that the YouTube community continues to thrive as a positive place for all of us.

The YouTube Team

Monday, 1 December 2008

The Internet Symphony: YouTube's Orchestra

Starting today, musicians around the world can submit audition videos to for a chance to participate in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra and summit, the world's first collaborative online orchestra connecting aspiring musicians with leaders and stars in the classical world. The first YouTube programme of its kind, the YouTube Symphony Orchestra will transform individual performances into a global symphony and change the way musicians connect over the Internet. This is your opportunity to perform alongside world-renowned conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, learn from composer Tan Dun and many members of the London Symphony Orchestra, consult with pianist Lang Lang, and collaborate with YouTube users from around the globe. Selected musicians will have the honour of participating in an April 2009 summit where you'll learn from today's classical masters before stepping out at New York City's Carnegie Hall for a performance. Here's how to get started:

From today until January 28, 2009, musicians from around the world can submit videos showcasing their personal style as they perform two pieces: "The Internet Symphony", an original Tan Dun composition written specifically for this programme, and a second classical piece of their choosing to demonstrate their musical ability. Hear composer Tan Dun talks about his inspiration for his piece:

All entries received by January 28 will be considered for a massive global video performance of "The Internet Symphony". Meanwhile, musical experts from the London Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and other leading orchestras around the world will narrow the field of entries from localised YouTube countries to a group of semi-finalists. In February, the YouTube community will be invited to vote for their favourite semi-finalists, and those chosen will be invited to participate in the three-day classical music learning summit, culminating in the Carnegie Hall performance.

So, no matter what instrument you play, from bassoon to trombone, timpani to piccolo, head here to download the appropriate sheet music and tune into a video tutorial, London Symphony Orchestra masterclasses, and instrument-by-instrument playthrough with the conductor. Once you feel ready to share your performance, upload and submit for your opportunity to join the ranks of the first-ever YouTube Symphony Orchestra!


The YouTube Team