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By 2017-04-16

By Shanuka Kadupitiyage
Ceylon Today Features

Even if a person uploads content every single day on YouTube, it won't mean anything unless it gathers enough views. How the media giant manages content on everyone's screen is the most important thing to know for a YouTube creator.

Each person's taste is different, because of that, showing everyone the same video recommendation isn't the best choice. To give everyone what they want (what YouTube thinks they want), the website has a system that is very similar to Facebook.

If a person clicks a video on a certain subject, and continues to watch similar videos more than a few times, YouTube instantly flags this content to be relevant to you and starts to push titles that are like it more and more on the video feed.

Similarly, when a person doesn't watch a type of video for a certain amount of time, every similar title including that video will be removed from the user's feed. To connect similar titles and group them together, a "tagging" system has been introduced. When videos with similar tags are clicked on, the trigger for this system activates.

However, YouTube has begun to promote something new. Nearly two years ago, the average YouTube video only lasted up to three minutes, with videos rarely topping the five minute mark. This has changed a lot when compared to the present where almost every video on screen lasts more than five minutes.

This is because the system had begun to promote watch-time instead of the traditional likes and views.

YouTube has begun to aggressively place themselves as the replacement for television and the primary source of people's entertainment. For that to happen, audiences must start viewing longer and longer. Since recently, videos that were watched longer by other people are pushed to the top of every search result. The entry of large media corporations into this platform has only increased the competitiveness of the ecosystem.

What once was a hobby has become a full time professional venture that needs its own production team and equipment. Many have begun to use the platform for starting up businesses and new ventures in enterprise.

However, while there are great benefits, there are also some drawbacks with this shift. Because of the new systems, content creators have to put out new videos almost every day to stay relevant in the suggested videos of every person. When considering how high the production quality of any YouTube video is today, dropping video quality will only bring negative results.

With the pressure of paying monthly expenses with only YouTube's income, such a lifestyle has become demanding physically and mentally.

While there are yet to be full-time YouTube creators in Sri Lanka, the community continues to grow. Google introduces the partner programme only if the local creator community has the potential and a solid viewer base.

While the life of a full-time content creator seems far away from our standpoint, the opportunity to earn from one's creativity is not far away. All it takes is love for the craft and the drive to achieve.



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