Around a week ago news started spreading that YouTube, the popular internet video site, changed their algorithm that decides which videos get recommended to viewers. It used to be that keywords in the title, views, and similar subscribers are what got a video recommended. What that means is if you subscribe to cute dog channels and watch a lot of cute dog videos, then cute dog channels that you don’t subscribe to but other cute dog fanatics do would get recommended to you. Also, cute dog videos that you haven’t watched that had a lot of views would get recommended to you. Under this system, new channels had a good shot at growing if they uploaded frequent good content. YouTube has changed this algorithm, and now instead of views, keywords and subscribers, recommended videos are based on likes and comments. This means that the only cute dog videos you will be seeing as recommended are the cute dog videos with a lot of likes and comments, and not necessarily the best cute dog content.
Now, this may not seem like a big deal on a surface level, in fact, it may seem to even make sense. Naturally, wouldn’t the best content get the most likes and comments? Big channels will continue to prosper, and new channels will continue to grow, and bad content won’t get recommended because it won’t get any likes. In a perfect world, yes. But that’s just not how these things work. The fact of the matter is people just don’t take the time to like and comment on videos. A majority of people, myself included, do not like or comment on a video unless it was a truly remarkable video or they have something actually worth commenting. This new algorithm is punishing YouTubers for not asking for likes or giving stuff away to get likes. It’s punishing growing channels for not having enough viewers let alone getting that small amount of viewership to like and/or comment on their videos. Many YouTubers are getting around 40% less views since this change and, to make matters worse, they are losing subscribers every time they upload a video. Some say this is a glitch, but others are starting to say that YouTube is automatically unsubscribing people from channels if they haven’t watched their videos in a while. This is very bad news because, believe it or not, this is how these people make money. Making YouTube videos is their job. Imagine your boss came to you, the top salesman in the company, and told you that you were going to lose 40 percent of your commission because your clients weren’t sending reports of how you handled business. Now imagine your entire paycheck is commission. That’s what is happening to these major YouTubers. And as for the small/growing channels, they will not be able to grow because they simply don’t have enough subscribers to the extent that even if every subscriber commented and liked their videos, it still wouldn’t be enough to get the video recommended to non-subscribers.
It’s sad to see such an incredible website with such incredible content shoot itself in the foot. It’s sad to see these people terrified that their livelihood is being destroyed. It’s sad on a personal note, that were I to ever start making videos, they would never be viewed unless I asked individual people to like and share it. It’s sad that the only people talking about this are the people being directly affected, and there is no news coverage. It’s just a sad time for the entire YouTube community.
— Arden Rose (@ardenrose) November 30, 2016
— My name is Byf (@MyNameIsByf) November 30, 2016
When you spend so much time making videos you love and are excited for people to see and then the YouTube algorithm messes it up 🙄
— Tanya Burr (@TanyaBurr) November 24, 2016