Tech Talk: Users Are Complaining And YouTube Should Listen

YouTube has long been a bit of a playground for Google, letting them figure out how best to manage a modern media superpower in mid-operation. There are constant changes as the landscape of the web and popular media changes around YouTube, and some of those changes have left a bad taste in community members' mouths. Everybody from nigh-anonymous commenters to hugely famous YouTubers are speaking out on some of the same issues with the platform. While some of these issues revolve around the role of the user, most of the grievances on offer are purely about how YouTube is managed and how content is presented. The system, as it is now, favors bigger names and can tend to leave smaller channels in the dust, making sub-million subscriber count territory a wild west of sorts, where somebody who may love your content will never find you unless somebody more popular name drops you, they see you in comments, or they happen to search for covers of a certain song or videos of a certain game and find you that way. Even once you've won users over, the way things are managed right now can turn keeping them interested and subscribed into a struggle.

Recently, PewDiePie elaborately pranked the whole YouTube community, and most people took it as just that; an elaborate prank. The thing is, it was his way of speaking out, and he's not alone. For starters, there are a lot of YouTubers out there with tons of subscribers and lots of content, but who are rarely featured on the front page or in the media, thanks to YouTube's lack of attention to content discovery. The Play Store has an Indie Corner, so why shouldn't YouTube have a showcase for less popular channels? On top of that, channels that do manage to reach users can't always retain them. Recently, many YouTubers noticed their subscriber count suddenly plunging. According to YouTube, this was a purge of fake or inactive accounts, as well as the correction of a bug that showed an inaccurate subscriber count. Big names mostly laughed it off, but for some, the hit was devastating, and since many perks of YouTube are based on views and subscribers, they lost ground. The new YouTube Heroes moderation system, allowing common commenters to play community police, was also decried by both users and YouTubers alike who see the potential for false alarms.

YouTube Red was one of the biggest complaints of smaller channels. Big names get featured in exclusive content, giving them more visibility. Smaller creators, meanwhile, are snubbed with the way things are right now. Changes to the enforcement of community guidelines have recently left a lot of ambiguity as to what content is and is not acceptable, and gotten a lot of videos deleted. This, too, has angered YouTubers and users alike. The community is speaking out, loud and clear, both on YouTube and on the internet at large. While YouTube may hold the majority of the streaming traffic on the internet right now, along with the majority of content and a massive user base, they could lose it all if they don't start listening to their community. Many big YouTubers have more than enough money and influence to roll out a competing product, and many competing products already exist or are being built. YouTube is not in any immediate danger due to the large amount of exclusive content that people won't find on other sites, but as creators start to get fed up and leave, users will likely follow, and that could mean that YouTube loses its biggest current advantage over other streaming solutions; sheer numbers.

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About the Author
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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]