My daughter made an interesting observation about social media yesterday. We were talking about how TikTok is currently for "younger" people while Facebook is more for "older" people. But someday, TikTok will be for old people - because all those smarty-pants kids are going to grow up!
My daughter's observation was that YouTube will survive through all of this! Why? Very simply, YouTube continues to be everything to everyone. You can have six-second videos, or three-hour documentaries. In addition, they are a medium for broadcasting. The closest analogy is to old-school broadcast TV - in which YouTube is the atmosphere through which every station broadcasts.
There are several ongoing debates around social media that revolve around the question: Are you a content creator or a platform? The answer to that question affects discussions of regulation and liability. On this question, YouTube is very solidly a platform on which millions of people create content.
New YouTube Features
Like all social media, YouTube rolls out new features from time to time. On a few occasions, they make a big deal about it. Other times, they just quietly show up. And some times, they only show up for some people. So you might tell a friend to try something, but they don't see it yet.
Here are three new features you may have missed . . . because they snuck up while you weren't looking. I am presenting them from least-cool to most cool:
1. Download. You can now download almost any YT video. Even old videos are now part of the new common license. This one seems odd to me. Just like downloading all the music on earth, it seems a bit odd to download videos when I know they're going to be on YouTube anyway. I'm sure there's a rare use case, but I don't expect to use this feature much.
2. Thanks. Here's a fun one. I think this was a response to Patreon. For some channels, you can click the Thanks button and make a donation to the creator. Just be aware that YouTube keeps 30% as a finders fee/transaction cost. So your $2.00 donation becomes a $1.40 payout. Still, that's a $1.40 the creator didn't have before.
3. Clip. This one is pretty cool. You can now share a key clip from a video. Here's an example. I love the channel Smarter Every Day. And one of my favorite themes on that channel is the Prince Rupert's Drop. Destin, the creator, just added another video. And just so you can see how cool it is, I've created this clip for you:
NOTE: Blogger and YouTube are both owned by Google, but Blogger doesn't yet have a way to post a thumbnail of a YT clip. So it's either the whole video or nothing. That's why I just posted the link. Oh well.
Basically, what you're looking at is a specific kind of exploding glass trapped inside Epoxy resin, filmed at more than 250,000 frames per second. And, of course, there's science behind all this.
When you click on that clip, it puts my title on the tab at the top of the browser and then plays the short clip in a loop. Over on the right is a big button to Watch the Full Video.
4. Save. This is my favorite new feature. Unlike download, I expect that I will use "Save" a lot. When you click the Save option, you are given a list of playlists to add the video to. For example,
- Watch later
- Any playlist you've created on your account
- Create a New Playlist
Check out the new features on YouTube. Play around. If my daughter's right, this will be the social site that you can count on in the long run.