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YouTube

  • YouTube’s VP9 codec has enabled users to watch 25bn hours of faster, better, buffer-free videos

    YouTube has revealed that video buffering is no longer a thing. Thanks to the VP9 video codec, which is the default codec for YouTube’s HTML5 video player, YouTube claims that its users have already watched more than 25-billion hours of video, and all of these in HD. The VP9 codec is designed to bring HD and even 4K (2160p) quality at half the bandwidth used by other known codecs, making watching movies or videos on YouTube an awesome experience. Videos have always been compressed on YouTube because it is not possible to play them at the rate in which...

  • Design Indaba 2015: Celebrating the continual incubation of ideas

    "Whatever the hell this thing is, it's amazing. I never even heard of it until this guy sent me this weird fake film And now I'm here. How did I get into this?" It was the last day of Design Indaba and Dan Wieden, the man who coined the term "just do it", suddenly made us sit up and realise this is a pretty special conference. Every year Interactive Africa invites some of the world's most creative thinkers to share their creative process with South Africans (and a growing international group) over three days at the CTICC. And every year...

  • YouTube Kids debuts next week to focus on family entertainment, elearning

    With a new app in the pipeline, YouTube is gearing up to tap into the online family entertainment sector, which is reportedly showing four times more growth in viewership than your average YouTube video. The new Android app called YouTube Kids, to be launched on 23 February, will feature a simple-to-use interface that rids the viewer of trolls a comments section, among other potential distractions. There will also be a parental-control feature, but instead of just filtering certain content, adults will be able to limit the screen time their kiddies spend with the app. When time runs out, the app asks...

  • Whoops! YouTube discovers hidden porn in Irish language videos

    In the last few years, YouTube has taken a serious stand against pornography. As its community guidelines clearly state: YouTube is not for pornography or sexually explicit content. If this describes your video, even if it's a video of yourself, don't post it on YouTube. Also, be advised that we work closely with law enforcement and we report child exploitation. Please read our Safety Center and stay safe on YouTube. That last rule and warning echoes that of parent company Google which last year started working with authorities to track down child abuse images in Gmail. Still, this hasn't stopped users from...

  • Give your audience choice, don’t use non-skippable YouTube ads

    Imagine walking in a mall, browsing through the shops and suddenly an invisible barrier appears in front of you, forcing you to now spend 30 seconds engaging with a brand and you can't continue until the ad is done. Or you're sitting in your usual morning traffic, an ad comes on the radio and the channel up and down or power button becomes disabled. Traffic is bad enough on its own, now you're forced to listen to another 30 seconds of the same ad you heard 20 minutes ago (because lets be honest, during the morning and afternoon drive-time...

  • 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...

  • 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...