Want to know how popular YouTube is? Think how many conversations you've had lately that included the phrase, "I saw this great video on YouTube ..." News, instructions, cat videos, instant celebrities, music, humor, emotional stories and more are all within a split-second search.

But if you just go to YouTube and click "Play," you're missing out on some great features. Let's take a look at some tricks that could change how you use the service.

1. YouTube on your TV

Turning your TV into a computer monitor isn't hard, but it can make some common programs and websites a little harder to use. You have to deal with small type and icons that are harder to see from a distance, and you won't always know exactly where that small mouse cursor is.

YouTube has a simple solution. Head over to https://www.youtube.com/tv to load an interface designed just for TVs. You can easily navigate videos using the keyboard arrow keys, "S" to search and "G" to open the left-column guide.

2. Turn off annotations

You know when you're watching a video and little clickable messages pop up over the video and block what you want to see? Most YouTube creators use these sparingly, but some go overboard, and it can ruin the video.

To turn these off, click the gear icon at the lower right of the video player, and next to "Annotations," click "Off."

But that's only going to be for that one video. To turn off annotations across the site by default, click your profile icon in the upper right corner of YouTube, then click the gear icon to visit your YouTube settings. In the left column, select "Playback." Under "Annotations and interactivity." uncheck "Show annotations ..." Then click the "Save" button. Easy.

3. Change your video speed

Have you ever been watching a YouTube video and something amazing happens really fast? It would be nice if you could slow the video down to see what really happened.

There are entire YouTube channels devoted to slow-motion videos, like this one that shows what happens when a CD shatters. But you don't need a high-speed camera to slow things down.

On any video, click the gear icon in the lower-right corner of the video player and click the drop-down box next to "Speed." You can drop the video speed to half or a quarter of the normal playing speed. 

Or, if you want, you can speed the video up by a quarter, half or double. Speeding up a video is a good way to condense a long instructional video, or just a fun new way to listen to favorite song.

4. Get smoother streaming

YouTube is fairly smart when it comes to picking video quality settings. It adjusts the quality based on your Internet connection speed so you don't get too much buffering (i.e. waiting around for the video to load).

Unfortunately, if you have an unstable Internet connection that speeds up and slows down, it can throw YouTube for a loop. When your connection speeds up, YouTube will try to push you to a higher video quality setting, and then you're stuck buffering when the connection slows down again.

Fortunately, if that starts happening, you can take control. Click the gear icon in the lower-right corner of the video player and look at the number next to "Quality."

Try dropping it down one setting and see if that smooths things out. So if it's 1080p, make it 720p. If you're still having trouble, drop it down another level until the buffering stops.

You can also use this to force YouTube to a higher quality setting than it would normally use for your connection. You'll be waiting longer for the video to start playing, but it should be smooth once it gets going.

Of course, continual buffering might actually indicate a problem with your Internet connection or Wi-Fi. Here are three tricks that can improve your streaming speed.

5. Share a video at the right time

You found a hilarious video you want to share with a friend. Unfortunately, it doesn't get good until three minutes in. The first part is boring and you don't want your friend to stop watching.

Cue up the video to the start of the section you want your friend to see. Then right-click the video and select "Get video URL at current time." Copy the link that appears and paste it into an email or on Facebook. When someone clicks on the link, the video will start at the exact spot you wanted.

Handy hint: Copying the link using the CTRL+C command doesn't always work. If you test the link and it doesn't start the video at the right time, do this instead: Right-click the video and select "Get video URL at current time." Then right-click on the link and select "Copy." Then paste it and it should work.

Bonus: Autoplay

Just recently, YouTube added an autoplay feature that advances you to a new video when your current video is done. It bases the next video off of related videos and what you've watched in the past.

But what if you want to stay on the same video? Just click the gear icon in the lower-right corner of the video player, and next to "Autoplay" click "Off." You can also turn it on and off from the "Up next" area of the right-hand column next to the video.

On the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show, Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com. Kim also posts breaking tech news 24/7 at News.Komando.com.

Source: This article was published on foxnews.com By Kim Komando

Categorized in Search Engine

YouTube User Stats From Brandcast 2017: 3 Trends in Video Viewing Behavior...

Categorized in Social
Over a year since Google started public testing of a radical overhaul of YouTube's website, the company has made the new look official. The revamped design is the most substantial change to YouTube in years. Google said future features will arrive faster.
 
The Material Design version of YouTube has been available using a variety of tricks for several months. The company has been gradually expanding access to the feature as part of an A/B testing scheme over the past year so many of its features are already known. This week, the company finally made its work official, confirming YouTube's current design will be phased out before the end of 2017.
 
YouTube's desktop interface has been rebuilt from the ground-up. It's now bigger, bolder and brighter, unless you turn on the optional dark theme. Google's Material Design visual language permeates every corner of the site, creating a cohesive feel that aligns YouTube with the current state of web design.
 
Google has essentially implemented the design used in its YouTube mobile apps on the web, creating a newfound consistency across platforms. Wherever you use YouTube, it'll now have the same core look and feel. Three years after being announced, Material Design is finally making its way across Google's properties, unifying them in the process.
 
YouTube Material Design overhaul
YouTube Material Design overhaul
YouTube hasn't been given such a far-reaching design overhaul in several years. According to Google, this is because of architectural changes the team has been working on to enable the new look. YouTube's Material Design view is built on top of Google's Polymer framework, a set of JavaScript components that make it easier to implement Material Design on the web.
 
Moving to Polymer means future features will require much less development time. Although it's taken years to get to this point, the path forwards will now be much easier for Google to negotiate. The company said users can expect more advanced features like dark mode to be added in the coming months. The dual-theme support is the first of the capabilities that Polymer has enabled.
Google intends to focus on improving the performance of the website once it's done with releasing the design. The Polymer base will enable the company to reduce the site's latency, making it feel generally faster and more responsive. This could induce people to watch more content if it loads almost immediately.
 
YouTube Material Design overhaul
YouTube Material Design overhaul
Although the design is now official, Google still isn't ready to widely release the new-look YouTube. It has progressed beyond the beta testing stage but is still looking for feedback from users before it lets everyone access the new interface. Fred Gilbert, YouTube's Head of User Experience, told Mashable that the aim is to "show the work early," letting the community add "ideas and suggestions on how to improve and fix the company's work.
 
Starting today, we’re opening up a preview of the new design to a small group of people from all around the world so we can get feedback," said Google. "While we hope you'll love what we’ve been working on, we’re also really excited to involve the YouTube community so we can make the site even better before sharing it more broadly."
 
If you're impatient to access the new site, you can convert your account today by visiting youtube.com/new. If you decide to revert to the old design, a "Restore classic YouTube" option is available from the account menu. Google intends to migrate all users to the reimagined interface within the next year, after which classic mode will be disabled.

This article was published in digitaljournal.com By JAMES WALKER

Categorized in Social

 

YouTube might be getting a lot more social and conversational in the near future.

TechCrunch reports the Google-owned video platform is currently testing a new in-app messaging feature on iOS and Android that will allow users to exchange clips, texts and links without ever having to leave the app.

But there’s one catch: The functionality is solely available in Canada for the time being. Google product manager Shimrit Ben Yair told Canada’s Financial Post the decision to run trials on Canadian soil has to do with the fact that it’s the country that shares videos more than anyone else in the world.

The messaging platform is pretty straightforward and has no specific video-centric features. Still, the move towards in-app messaging could have much larger implications for the future of YouTube.

A few months back, Google toyed around with the idea of giving certain channels the option to send direct messages to their audience. It also briefly tested with in-app messaging last year in May.

As our own Justin Pot remarked back then, the move was likely aimed at encouraging creators and fans to interact more on YouTube itself, rather than resorting to other platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.

While it’s unclear whether Google has any plans to roll out the feature to all users in the future, the experiment is a strong indication that the company hasn’t quite given up on turning YouTube into more of a social network.

In case you want to sneak a peek at YouTube’s new messaging feature, get one of your Canadian friends to add you to a conversation – that should give you an early preview.

Check out the video below to get a better idea of how the messaging platform looks like.

Source : thenextweb.com

 

Categorized in Social

YouTube has enhanced its comments section with new features which promise to make it easier for creators to build a community and show extra love to their die-hard fans.

Now, it’s possible to “pin” comments to the top of a thread. This can be used by creators to highlight comments they feel are especially insightful or funny.

Ever been to a tech festival?

TNW Conference won best European Event 2016 for our festival vibe. See what's in store for 2017.

While YouTube – like Twitter – only supports one pinned message at a time, it’s possible to for creators to show their appreciation to other commenters by “hearting” them.

And now, when channel owners leave a comment, it’s more visible who it’s from. These have the owner’s username appear under the text, highlighted with a splash of color so viewers know who wrote it.

If the channel owner is verified, it will also display a checkmark.

This is the latest in many moves by YouTube to raise the standard of its comments sections, which have long been regarded as chaotic and difficult to manage.

Earlier this year, it introduced moderators. This allows channel owners to delete the task of comment moderation to other members of the YouTube community they trust.

YouTube has also added the ability for content creators to blacklist specific words and phrases. And in the coming months, it will allow channel owners to hold potentially inappropriate comments for review.

These opt-in feature will algorithmically identify abusive or inappropriate comments, and prevent them from being displayed under videos. Channel owners will then have the choice to approve, hide, or report them.

These are small changes, but a step in the right direction to make Youtube a safe, welcoming platform for all.

Source : thenextweb.com

Categorized in Social

YouTube TV is officially happening. Google (GOOG, GOOGL) on Wednesday announced that the world’s largest video sharing website is getting a live TV streaming service that will let you watch 40 channels at launch, including the five major broadcast stations, with more coming in the future.

The $35 per month service, which launches in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago and Philadelphia with other regions to follow, will let you stream ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and the CW. That’s a coup for Google, as competing services like Dish’s (DISH) Sling TV and Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation Vue either offer only some of or none of those broadcasters.

Outside of those channels, you’ll get Fox Sports and its FS1 and FS2 affiliates, ESPN and its various offshoots, CBS and NBC’s sports channels … you know what, let’s just say there are a bunch of sports networks. There’s also Syfy, Bravo, FX and FXX, E, Disney Channel, Fox News, MSNBC and CNBC and a slew of others.

YouTube TV channels.
YouTube TV is launching with 40 channels, but will add more in the coming future.

Google says it’s also adding AMC, BBC America, IFC, Sundance, We tv and BBC World News in the near future. You’ll also have the option to add on Showtime and other channels for an added fee. You’ll get access to YouTube Red Originals as part of the standard package. Interestingly, Google doesn’t make any mention of adding HBO to the mix.

YouTube TV will include six user accounts, as well as a cloud-based DVR with unlimited storage. Which means you can save every episode of “Big Bang Theory” for when you have guests over and want a not-so-subtle way of chasing them out at the end of the night.

Beyond TV

Naturally, you’ll be able to stream YouTube TV through your browser on your desktop or laptop, as well as your smartphone or tablet. Google is also throwing in a free Chromecast after your first monthly payment, so you’ll be able to stream your shows to your big-screen TV when you want to relax on the couch and not have to hold your phone or laptop.

With its $35 price tag, Google immediately undercuts Sony’s PlayStation Vue, which starts at $39 per month. Sony’s offering, however, gets you more than 45 channels for that extra $4. Sling TV, meanwhile, starts at $20 per month for 30 channels, but gives you 45 if you jump to the $25 option.

Still, with its brand recognition and Google’s massive reach, YouTube TV could put a hurting on Vue and Sling TV.

Naturally, I’m taking it upon myself to test YouTube TV for you, dear reader, by locking myself in an office for the rest of the day and watching TV. The sacrifices I make for you people.

Source : yahoo.com

Categorized in Social

Inconsistencies behind the company’s ability to police advertising on controversial content are coming to light.

Google’s decision-making process over which YouTube videos are deemed “advertiser friendly” faces scrutiny from both brands and creators, highlighting once again the challenge of large-scale moderation.

The company last week pledged to change its advertising policies after several big brands pulled their budgets from YouTube following an investigation that revealed their ads were shown alongside extremist content, such as videos promoting terrorism or antisemitism.

Havas, the world’s sixth largest advertising and marketing company, pulled all of its UK clients’ ads, including O2, BBC and Domino’s Pizza, from Google and YouTube on Friday, following similar moves from the UK government, the Guardian, Transport for London and L’Oreal.

Google responded with a blog post promising to update its ad policies, stating that with 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube each minute “we don’t always get it right”.

However, the inconsistencies behind the company’s ability to police advertising on controversial content are coming to light – and it’s not just advertisers who are complaining. Some YouTube creators argue their videos are being unfairly and inconsistently “demonetized” by the platform, cutting off their source of income that comes from the revenue share on ads placed on videos.

Matan Uziel runs a YouTube channel called Real Women, Real Stories that features interviews with women about hardship, including sex trafficking, abuse and racism. The videos are not graphic, and Uziel relied on the advertising revenue to fund their production. However, after a year, Google has pulled the plug.

“It’s a nightmare,” he said. “I can’t trust YouTube any more.”

Policies seem more reasonable when you ask a human, but the algorithm that catches videos originally is really unfair

Quinby Stewart

“It’s staggering because YouTube has a CEO [Susan Wojcicki] who is a feminist and a big champion for gender equality,” he said, pointing out that there were other far more extreme videos such as those promoting anorexia and self-harm that continued to be monetized. He also referenced PewDiePie’s videos featuring antisemitic “jokes” that were allowed on the platform for months.

“It’s bad that YouTube attempts to censor this very important topic and is not putting its efforts into censoring white supremacy, antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, jihadists and stuff like that,” Uziel said.

He wants Google to be more open about how exactly they moderate content. “I want them to be transparent about what they think to be advertiser friendly,” he said.

Google currently uses a mixture of automated screening and human moderation to police its video sharing platform and to ensure that ads are only placed against appropriate content. Videos considered “not advertiser-friendly” include those that are sexually suggestive, violent, contain foul language, promote drug use or deal with controversial topics such as war, political conflict and natural disasters.

Transgender activist Quinby Stewart agrees there needs to be more transparency. He complained after YouTube demonetized a video about disordered eating habits. “I definitely don’t think the video was even close to the least advertiser-friendly content I’ve posted,” he said.

He complained to the platform and the company has since approved the video for monetization.

“YouTube’s policy is just very vague, which makes sense because I think demonetization needs to be handled on a case-by-case basis. Their policies seem more reasonable when you ask a human to check it, but the algorithm that catches videos originally is really unfair,” he said.

Sarah T Roberts, an information studies professor from UCLA who studies large-scale moderation of online platforms, said that large technology companies need to be more honest about their shortcomings when it comes to policing content.

“I’m not sure they fully apprehend the extent to which this is a social issue and not just a technical one,” she said.

Companies such as Google and Facebook need to carefully think through their cultural values and then make sure they are applied consistently, taking into account local laws and social norms. Roberts said the drive to blame either humans or algorithms for decisions was based on a false dichotomy as human values are embedded into the algorithms. “The truth is they are both engaged in almost every case,” she said.

The fact that it is now hitting Google’s bottom line should be a wake-up call. “Now it’s financial and is going to hit them where it hurts. That should create some kind of impetus.”

The Guardian asked Google for more clarification over how the moderation process works, but the company did not respond. 

Source : theguardian.com

Categorized in Social

Google’s television streaming service is finally online.

The search giant said that its YouTube TV service is available in five metropolitan areas: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

Categorized in Social

It made too much sense to not have existed already. But the waiting game is over — YouTube TV is finally here. Television, as we've always known it, will cease to exist.

On Wednesday Alphabet (GOOGL) subsidiary Google's new television experience launched in major metro markets such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, offering cord-cutters a bundle of live programming at $35 per month. And more cities will soon become eligible. What does this mean? The rate of cord-cutting, referring to cable/satellite subscribers who cancelling their bloated TV services in favor of “skinny bundles,” is about to accelerate.

YouTube’s package consists of more than 50 channels, including major sports networks such as Disney’s (DIS) ESPN, Fox Sports from FOX (FOX), along with and Comcast’s (CMCSA) SportsNet. Combined with a host of premium broadcast channels such as Disney Channel, Bravo, MSNBC, and Fox News, YouTube TV carries a big punch.

Notably, the service — at $35/month — falls in line with offerings from AT&T's (T) DirecTV Now and Sling TV from Dish Network (DISH). When considering the recent arrival of PlayStation Vue from Sony (SNE) and Hulu, which plans to launch its own skinny offering later this year, the competition will be intense. And this doesn’t even include Apple (AAPL), which is often regarded as the next major TV entrant.

Where YouTube TV may stand out, however, is the fact that it offers a cloud DVR, which Google says offers unlimited storage. The service, which allows six accounts per household — higher than Netflix (NFLX) — not only features customized DVR storage, but also allows for three simultaneous streams per household. Another distinct advantage could be with YouTube’s channel offerings, which includes CBS (CBS) — the top-rated network on television. CBS is not available on either DirecTV Now or Sling TV.

Likewise, YouTube TV will soon offer AMC networks (AMCX) — home to top-rated shows such as The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul. For consumers who insists on having more choices without being held ransom to bloated channels they pay for (but don't watch), YouTube TV could be a viable option. And for those who crave technology with their TV-watching experience, Google’s massive cloud storage feature and the ability to stream shows across multiple devices will be tough to match, especially with Android dominating the smartphone OS market with a 90% share.

Meanwhile, the likes of Charter Communications (CHTR), which recently merged with Time Warner and other cable/satellite TV providers such as Comcast, Dish Network and DirecTV should be terrified. With YouTube already boasting more than 1 billion users worldwide, which amounts to about one-third of all internet users, it was already a force to be reckoned with. And YouTube TV is just the horror scenario they expected, but can’t turn off.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Source : nasdaq.com

Categorized in Search Engine

YouTube is going to start selling TV today. At least to people who live in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and two other cities.

This is the 50-plus channels, $35-a-month service YouTube announced in February. The one major update since then: It will be adding channels from AMC Networks, including BBC America and IFC.

That makes AMC the only pure-play cable programmer in the bundle; the rest of the networks in the package are either broadcasters (CBS) or owned by broadcasters (ABC/Disney’s ESPN).

I haven’t played with YouTube TV yet, though it has a 30-day free trial, so I’ll noodle around with it over the next few days.

I assume, since the people who work at YouTube and Google are smart, it will be a pretty slick piece of software.

I also assume that it will work, more or less, like the other internet TV systems that have launched in the past couple years: It’s an updated interface on top of a fairly traditional bundle of TV channels.

Can you hear the ennui in my typing? It’s partly because I’m sick. (Sorry for the overshare!) But it’s also because these internet TV packages, which seemed ground-breaking and/or impossible just a few years ago, now seem pretty ho-hum. They’re all basically delivering the same thing, with slight tweaks for pricing and channel lineups.

And it’s really because I have yet to get the sense that regular people actually want this stuff.

Some people do: Sling et al have likely rounded up at least one million subscribers, which isn’t nothing.

But the more I see of these packages, the more I see the traditional TV business trying to stave off cord-cutting/cord-nevering by selling the same packages people aren’t buying already, with new wrappers.

I know why the TV Industrial Complex wants these things: They think they can sell people on the notion of flexibility and a slight cost savings (remember that when you pay $35 for YouTube TV, you still need to pay another $50 or more for broadband, likely delivered by Comcast*, Charter or some other pay TV company you say you hate) without fundamentally disrupting their business.

Doubt it.

Which doesn’t mean I don’t want these folks to try. I’m certainly up for new ways to access traditional TV. (Hulu, which is launching its own pay TV bundle this spring, has done away with the standard cable TV grid, which sounds like a nothingburger unless you’re an old like me and are used to finding TV that way.)

And at a bare minimum, the fact that internet TV isn’t geographically constrained, like traditional pay TV is, is worth applauding.

It means that instead of a choice of one or two TV providers, you now have a half-dozen or more, which means that they will gradually be forced to distinguish themselves based on price and selection.

That’s good!

But it’s not mind-blowing. So forgive me if I’m not doing cartwheels about this stuff. Also, does anyone have any green tea?

*Comcast’s NBCUniversal is an investor in Vox Media, which owns this site.

Source : recode.net

Categorized in Social
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