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YouTube

  • 10 ads that rocked YouTube in 2014

    Back in the day, if you wanted to see that ad everyone was talking about, you had to spend a decent amount of time in front of the TV, or hope that one of your mates could be bothered to video tape it for you. YouTube changed that forever. Campaigns which would’ve once only been seen by a national audience can now go global, generating millions upon millions of views. And in 2014, plenty of ads did just that with their creators making full use of the freedom offered by the video-sharing platform. For evidence of that, you need not...

  • These are South Africa’s 10 most watched YouTube videos for 2014

    As we head toward the end of the year, it’s inevitable that tech companies start releasing their years in review. We’ve already shown you what was big on Facebook and YouTube’s quirky rewind for 2014. But what’s big around the world isn’t necessarily what’s big in a specific country. Take South Africa for instance. When you exclude videos from major music labels, the country’s most watched videos have far more of a political slant than the ones on the international list. That’s hardly suprising. Politics is, after all, largely a local phenomenon. It is interesting to see how prominent...

  • YouTube’s 2014 Rewind puts a fresh spin on the year’s best video moments

    What’s your favourite YouTube memory from 2014? Does flashing back to all those ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos leave you feeling nostalgic? What about all those different video versions of Pharell’s “Happy”? Do they still put a smile on your face? Or maybe you got your kicks from watching cover after cover of “Let it Go” from Disney’s smash hit Frozen. Whatever got you going this year, chances are it’ll have a spot in YouTube’s 2014 Rewind video. According to YouTube, this edition of its annual look back video includes more than 100 creators from Japan, Germany, Israel, Mexico,...

  • YouTube now allows users to check copyrighted music before uploading a video

    Google has launched a new feature in the YouTube Audio Library which allows content creators who use copyrighted music to see what will happen to their videos before they upload them and not as it has been, after. Before this there was no warning at all, all that happened was that if the song had been taken down, one would be confronted by a blank video. Beginning yesterday, when users uploads a video to YouTube, its Content ID system will automatically try to figure out if you’re using any copyrighted music in it. This service will allow artist and labels...

  • Google plans to revamp its products for kids

    Beginning next year, though the exact time has not been specified, Google plans to create specific versions of its most popular products for Googlers aged 12 and younger. The products that are likely to see change are YouTube and its evergreen search engine. Pavni Diwanji, the vice president of engineering charged with leading the new initiative, said: “We want to lay the foundation right, and then make sure every single part of Google is great for kids. They are the future, so why not give them the tools to let them create it.” Google processes 40 000 search queries a second,...

  • Yup, Gangnam Style’s been viewed so many times it broke YouTube

    Everyone and their grandmother knows that “Gangnam Style” is the most viewed video in YouTube history. What no one’s really known, until now, is how many views of the video YouTube could actually handle. The answer, as it turns out, is 2 147 483 647. Once the video went past that number, it broke YouTube’s stat counter. The reason for that is because YouTube’s conventional stats counter relies on 32-bit intergers, meaning that it simply couldn’t express a larger number of views. Here’s YouTube’s explanation: Read more: Viral mega-star Psy is now the best Korean-language teacher...

  • YouTube finally introduces its ad-free subscription service for music

    Used by over a billion people each month, YouTube has finally introduced Music Key — an ad-free music subscription service for your computer, tablet or smartphone. While the Google-owned service will only be available to the US, Britain and a selected few European countries, it’s something worth looking forward to. Similar to what similar services like Spotify offer, by paying the promotional price of US$8 per month (discounted from US$10), you can jam YouTube songs in the background while you’re busy with other apps and tasks as well as when you’re offline. You’ll also get a subscription to Google Play...

  • 50% of YouTube’s traffic is now from mobile

    YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has revealed that 50% of views on YouTube now come from mobile phones and tablets. This is impressive growth considering that mobile accounted for 40% of YouTube videos last year and only comprised six percent of views on the video-sharing platform as of 2011. “Mobile is super important. I think it’s important for every business right now,” Wojcicki said. Wojcicki is correct, and one only has to look at other platforms to realise how big the number of people who access social and content platforms on mobile. The 50% growth in mobile views is not a fluke for...

  • YouTube can kill your brand: here’s how

    While digital advertising offers brands a unique platform for reaching potential customers, there are instances when using digital advertising insensitively or in a way that annoys users can actually put a brand at risk. An example is the 2013 YouTube video of a tragic accident in Pinetown in which an out-of-control truck ploughed into a series of cars, killing more than 22 people. The clip was viewed by more than 100 000 people. But, as part of a wider digital campaign, a popular fast food chain had adverts that appeared across the bottom of the clip — obscuring more than...

  • YouTube is opening a school and it has an easy curriculum: listen, laugh and give

    YouTube is opening a school and wants you to listen, laugh and give. The School of YouTube will open from 8 to 12 September. Though YouTube has, since its inception, been a school for many things, it is now taking advantage of its use as a learning portal and they are doing it for a good cause. Who hasn’t gone to YouTube to find a video on how to install a program or how to set up a game? Ever thought that is a form of learning. After the ice bucket challenge, it appears that ways to raise funds are...

  • YouTube debuts Fan Funding so we can tip our favourite video channels

    There are people making a living via their YouTube channels. Well, a lot more than a living actually. Twenty-four-year-old Felix Kjellberg, for instance, is running a video channel under the name PewDiePie. He clocks in an estimated monthly revenue of US$140 000 to US$1.4-million depending on the viewership. These figures, however, are all based on pesky ads. In a move that will hopefully curb the prominence of pre-roll ads and pop-up banners, YouTube recently launched its Fan Funding feature, which provides the option for viewers to donate to their preferred video channel. While it’s currently only live in a handful of countries like...

  • 7 awesomely geeky YouTube channels you can learn something from

    You’ll often hear people bemoaning the fact that great inventors like Vint Cerf and Sir Tim Berners Lee have given us amazing tools in the shape of the internet and the web and that all we use them for is posting inane updates and watching cat videos. Aside from the thoughts that often creep into my head about what a search of those people’s browser histories would reveal, that kind of sentiment is far from accurate. Sure there’s a measure of truth to it — the same could be said of pretty much any new medium humans have throughout...

  • Is your favourite cat video buffering? YouTube’s shifting blame to your ISP

    You know the feeling: you curl up to watch a nice video on YouTube, and you’re met with that annoying swirling circle. Chances are, in between griping about how this is 2014 and you should be able to watch HD video without buffering (darn it), you’re probably feeling some not-so-pleasant feelings towards YouTube. But it may not be YouTube’s fault. In a bid to explain why your videos take so long to load, Google has introduced a new pop up which appears underneath the player, allowing you to find out why you’re having to wait for the clip to buffer....

  • YouTube gives its creators a whole bunch of extra video swag

    If you spend a lot of time posting video content to YouTube, the latest changes made by the video-sharing service might just bring a little smile to your face. To a large degree, the updates it announced at Vidcon are about giving people more control over their content but it’s also included a couple of new ways of making money. In the case of the former, you can now check out your analytics on the go, thanks to the YouTube Creator Studio app, which is available now on Android and is set to arrive on iOS in the next...

  • Suck at YouTube? Here are 4 steps to remedying that

    This is an intervention. There are too many brands on YouTube posting bland marketing content in the hope of getting a ‘viral hit’. It’s painful to see. And it’s time for them to hear the hard truth. Video is one of the most persuasive and engaging mediums available. It makes sense that brands eager for social cred and relevance would gravitate to the platform in the search for fans. But the unfortunate reality is that as a channel it simply isn’t for everyone. Brands only account for 75 out of the top 5 000 YouTube channels (which have over 43 million...