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Reputation and Gaming at YouTube (via @simonowens)

February 28, 2020

There is a good interview with Chris Stokel-Walker (who covers YouTube for FFWD) by Simon Owens. Here is a few quotes that caught my interest. One on the all-powerful recommendation algorithm;

The algorithm rewards high quality posts. So people have to like it, they have to engage with it. The videos have to be long — 10, 20 minutes or more, and they have to be uploaded frequently. That’s why the most subscribed channel is a Bollywood film and music TV channel. … It’s massively influential because it essentially puts your video in front of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people. The reason that people complain about it so much is because it is dominated by traditional TV on late night TV hosts. There’s a reason for that. The trending page is YouTube’s showcase to the world and, having had so many problems in the last few years with its reputation, it wants to make sure it presents a squeaky clean face to the world.

YouTube has justly been under fire for the algorithmic promotion of both anti-science conspiracy theories and far-right hate speech. Plus we’ve all know for a long time that the comments on YouTube are basically garbage-magnets. So if this means they are taking thier role more seriously, then good.

Also noted (and a pressure point on YouTube) is that they are far from the owly game in town now when it comes to online video;

Why YouTube keeps offering lucrative contracts to gaming streamers
We are seeing guaranteed contracts being laid down for streamers, particularly game streamers, to secure their services for a prolonged period of time. And YouTube is having to enter that market because they are competing against Mixer, which is backed by Microsoft. They are competing against Twitch, which is backed by Amazon. They are competing against Facebook, which has billions of dollars to throw at anything. There’s a gold rush going on.

Anyhow, article and podcast links are here.

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