YouTube will soon implement a new metric named “responsibility.” The media giant wants to create a “better environment” for creators and reward people who make meaningful content. Low-effort content and short viral clips that may generate user engagement but doesn’t make their experience any better will receive less appreciation from updated YouTube algorithms.
Right now, Google tracks two essential metrics: “quality watch time” and “total time spent on YouTube.” These two metrics allow the company to evaluate the quality of content. Some may wonder why now?
YouTube received some harsh criticism for being socially addictive and even destructive. People watch meaningless content and follow controversial content.
Google engineers believe that making a useful metric that would evaluate content and good content creators will help reduce the popularity of extremist materials.
Some critics also pointed out that YouTube did not work hard enough to stop the spread of toxic content.
The watch time metric implemented in 2012 was both effective and controversial. Many content creators noted that watch time metric often rewarded low-effort or highly controversial content. YouTube uses multiple parameters to determine how successful videos are. YouTube will use “quality watch time” and “total time on site” as well as older metrics to determine which clips are “responsible.”
Implementing such changes can very be risky. The new algorithm will tag videos as responsible based on many factors that only Google knows. How this metric will work, we don’t know for sure, but this may affect user engagement negatively and reduce revenues.
Some people are concerned with the fact that YouTube wants to make the review and evaluation processes more “humane.” Actual people will affect the “responsibility” metric of some videos by manually reviewing content and even comments, and we all know mush YouTube hates content that isn’t politically correct.
YouTube creators have all reasons to be worried. The last significant change to content moderation resulted in demonetization of many videos deemed inappropriate by the content despite featuring nothing questionable or offensive. The new change may affect creators even more and significantly reduce earnings of specific creators who may not enjoy overwhelmingly positive likes to dislikes ratios.