YouTube changes all the time, so it’s easy to imagine changes that might make the site better. Whether you are a viewer and/or uploader, there are many things you probably have fantasized about YouTube making better and giving everyone choices that tailor their experience for maximum enjoyment. I’ve been asking around, getting ideas, and decided to compile it into a list. There are probably a lot more things even than this that would make the YouTube experience better, but the following ones are really good, possibly even genius. So let’s make it happen (somehow)!
These Are Things We Want, YouTube! (Part 1)
In no particular order:
Sometimes, you have a channel that churns out different kinds of content. A clear case in point of this was the “Nice Peter” channel, which mixed a bunch of music videos with…Epic Rap Battles of History. The problem for the Nice Peter channel is that ERB became so popular that his other content could often be greeted with indifference. People subscribing to Nice Peter, for the most part, wanted ERB. That’s why he ended up creating a whole new channel for his popular property and leaving Nice Peter on its own. In fact, here’s the exact video where that happened (some bad language):
What might have helped out is a way to “sub-subscribe,” where people who wanted Epic Rap Battles could subscribe to that particular show and then have the option to subscribe to the entire channel later if they wanted. With YouTube’s suggested videos and channels area, that option could always be visible in case people wanted to check out the other content sometime. Sub-subscribing could easily be implemented with a simple sub-category in the Video Manager. You would select all the videos that you want to go in one subscriber feed in one category and the others go in another category and so on. There’s always the option to subscribe to the whole channel. So there’s a tailor-made experience right there.
A Channel Page that Stays During Clicks
I’ve mentioned this a number of times during discussion about channels. The whole emphasis on the new channel design and the various things they say about channels in the YouTube Creator Playbook doesn’t make much sense when you consider that anytime someone goes to a channel, they are immediately taken off the channel as soon as they click on any video.
Having people being able to stay on a certain channel has a lot of upside for the uploader, because viewers can see the whole library of videos underneath the player and will know for certain that the content is from the channel and not some “suggested video” peaking in and taking people further away from your channel. Each channel page should have a “Go Back to Main Page” function for people who want to leave. If people are visiting your channel, they should be able to stay there.
No surprise, I got a few suggestions from our frequent commenter and Google+ guru Ronnie Bincer from Video Leads Online. One of his great suggestions was the idea “to let us limit where embeds can happen or make private videos embeddable (i.e. a way to allow for ‘premium’ content to be behind our own paywall).”
As of now, you have only the option to make a video embeddable, or not embeddable. But you can’t just tell YouTube that “these certain sites are OK” for embedding and everything else isn’t. Opening that up would definitely allow you to embed a video on your own site and you can charge whatever you like for people to watch it (or perhaps to embed it).
Ronnie further says, “if the above doesn’t work, then a better ‘rental’ system for monetizing our own videos (not via ads, but more on a PPV or Paid Access methodology).”
In other words, if we can’t make them embeddable on our chosen sites, perhaps a way to do it on YouTube. They already have movie rentals on the site, why can’t we make our own videos that way? Although that might be coming for some creators soon, as YouTube apparently approached a select group of people about paid subscriptions a few weeks ago.
Google+ Comments/Interaction with YouTube
This also came from Ronnie a long time ago. The idea is that your Google+ comments can appear on your YouTube page and YouTube comments can appear on your Google+ page. This allows for a greater interactivity. Although you can do this with a Google Chrome plugin, SocialTube, it isn’t completely integrated for everyone.
As always, this should be a simple option, and not forced on everyone who might not want Google+ and YouTube frolicking about with each other.
Hinted at back in November, you were given the ability to allow other people to “manage” your Google+ page, and there was a thought this would include YouTube. In the YouTube Blog post back then, they alluded to the possibility that Google+ page managers could also be YouTube managers. This means that if you run a channel, you can give other people the power to run the channel without giving your personal login information. This is supposedly still in the works and will be coming soon, but since it was announced in November, it seems like it would be here already.
Better Mobile Options
This is a vague term, but so many things need to be improved here. For instance, if YouTube is able to make TrueView ads skippable on mobile, with the ability to touch a button on the screen to make it go away, then why isn’t there a way to get annotations on mobile, or live links to other videos?
Also, there are so many problems with mobile commenting. I have an iPhone and at least on the app there, you can’t “reply” to anyone, you only have the option to write a regular comment devoid of context. And all the comments you see on a mobile app are devoid of context as well. Read them in a line and some people could be commenting to other people, or they could be commenting about the video, but you won’t know until you find a desktop.