YouTube has rolled out another change that’s making it harder for independent creators amid the coronavirus outbreak.
From today, YouTube has started promoting “authoritative sources” (legacy media outlets that YouTube deems to be trustworthy) on its homepage via a coronavirus news shelf.
The change is likely to cause a drop in homepage recommendations for independent creators as an increased proportion of homepage recommendations will now presumably go to authoritative sources via this coronavirus news shelf.
We want everyone to have access to authoritative content during this trying time, so we’re launching a COVID-19 news shelf on our homepage in 16 countries. We’ll expand to more countries, as well. pic.twitter.com/nivKDZ2mHo
— YouTubeInsider (@YouTubeInsider) March 19, 2020
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The coronavirus news shelf has launched in 16 countries and YouTube plans to expand it to more countries going forward.
These authoritative sources were already being promoted in YouTube searches and recommendations related to the coronavirus before this coronavirus news shelf launched.
We’re using Search and recommendations to raise up authoritative sources. Videos and searches related to COVID-19 now feature information panels driving to government sources. pic.twitter.com/kLp2Gcj3cQ
— YouTube (@YouTube) March 7, 2020
And YouTube is also directing users to coronavirus information via large health alerts, even when they don’t search for topics.
In addition to prominently boosting authoritative sources via several of YouTube’s pages and features, the site is also picking and choosing which channels are allowed to monetize coronavirus content, with “news partners” getting preferential treatment in this area.