With all the recent talk about Instagram’s new direction and Facebook becoming Meta, you may have missed the news regarding our old video-sharing pal, YouTube. Although we wouldn’t say that YouTube’s latest updates are indicative of the app forging an entirely new path, they do show that the app is trying to keep up with these times we find ourselves in, aka the TikTok era of social media. These two major changes involve the dreaded dislike button and short-form video content:
To Like or Not to Like?
That will be the question if YouTube does away with their dislike button entirely. For now, however, YouTube announced that dislikes will soon no longer be public, although viewers will still have the option of disliking a video. Additionally, if you’re a creator who just can’t get enough of watching those dislikes roll in, then you’re in luck, because users will continue to be able to see how many dislikes their own videos receive. In all seriousness, we’re glad that YouTube didn’t do away with dislikes for good, since they can be an incredibly useful tool for determining if our audience is enjoying the type of content being produced—even if that means wounding our sense of pride every now and then.
Addressing issues created by the dislike button is part of the company’s wider movement to discourage negative behavior, like cyber-bullying, on their platform. YouTube’s decision has certainly had its fair share of compliments and criticisms, but that’s not what we’re interested in covering here. You can always head to Twitter for that type of…dialogue.
Our main interest is in how this will impact marketing efforts on the platform. With cautious optimism, we view the dissolving of public dislikes as being a favorable turn of events for companies that utilize YouTube to generate sales and promote brand awareness. It’s not uncommon for users to dislike marketing campaign videos for reasons that are unrelated to their experience with the product. If enough dislikes are generated on a video, it can deter other users from checking out the product. If users would like to see what others think about the product or company, they can almost always scroll down to read reviews in the comments.
Although this update will surely have significant and complex effects that will become clearer over time, our current perspective is that it may be helpful to those who use YouTube as a marketing tool.
The Tube is Taking on TikTok
Right when you were just getting used to Instagram’s TikTok knock-off, Reels, YouTube entered the bite-sized media game with its (aptly named) Shorts feature. YouTube has been the head honcho of internet video content for so long that only college students were allowed to join Facebook when YouTube first appeared on the virtual scene. Now, it seems that the video-sharing giant is facing a serious threat in the form of TikTok, which recently surpassed YouTube in the number of hours users spend watching videos on each app.
YouTube’s reaction to TikTok’s lightspeed rise to prominence has been to develop Shorts, which is a feature focusing on time-constrained videos that appear in their own section on your YouTube homepage. This feature is still in beta, but it has been gaining plenty of momentum since its debut. Whether or not it will be able to take a chunk out of TikTok’s user base is yet to be seen, but at least one prediction seems certain—the YouTube Shorts feature is here to stay.
If your company has been marketing on apps, like Instagram and YouTube, this is an excellent time to take advantage of the rapidly growing genre of short-form videos by producing your own content for TikTok, Reels, Shorts, and whatever else comes next.
If you would like to have a team of social media marketing experts by your side while you explore new platforms and mediums, or simply to help you buff up your current content, feel free to contact us anytime.