Social guru and digital marketing entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuck, often refers to the current state of social media as the second Industrial Revolution. Integral parts of this revolution include auditing, social listening, and crisis management. Social Media listening is typically limited in its definition to the monitoring or assessment of what is being said in reference to a particular company, brand or product. It’s a practice, when combined with authentic innovation, can really prove to be successful for companies, with particular emphasis on the success of social media platforms. Recently, we’ve watched Snapchat and Instagram take over the top platform spots while surpassing historically key players with their niche dynamics. The design, functionality, and consistent improvements in Snapchat and Instagram play a crucial role in each platform’s respective growing user base.
YouTube, on the other hand, has somehow managed to stay exceptionally relevant with very little design and functionality change, in addition to a pretty streamlined concept. Sure, YouTube has tried to add several weird sub channels that mostly just annoyed users. This past month, however, YouTube showed up to the party with the beta stages of several new exceptional initiatives:
- YouTube Community – the only one of the new initiatives to score it’s own tab, YouTube Community was designed to strengthen the relationship between Creators and their viewers. YouTube Community will give certain Creators the ability to add text updates, live videos, images, animated GIFs, and more to share with their viewers. Viewers will see updates on their community tab in the Subscriptions feed and also have the ability to opt in or out of getting notifications. This initiative is big for YouTube, as it’s a major
- YouTube Creators for Change – developed as a program to promote social change, YouTube Creators for Change is “dedicated to amplifying the voices of role models who are tackling difficult social issues with their channels.” YouTube explained that “Over the next year, program ambassadors will drive greater awareness of social issues and foster productive dialogue around these topics through the videos they create.”
- YouTube Heroes – Ah, the flaggers. YouTube Heroes is an extension of the Trusted Flagger program that was first introduced in 2012 as a result of the platforms users who reported community guideline violations at a much higher rate of accuracy, and awarded these users with more tools to make their “job” easier. “YouTube Heroes is designed to recognize and support the global community of people who consistently help make YouTube a better experience for everyone.”
- YouTube Go – as a relatively new idea, YouTube Go is an app built from scratch to bring YouTube to the next generation of viewers. It includes features such as trending videos, video preview, resolution or streaming, and sharing with friends nearby.
I think the most noteworthy take away here is that YouTube has taken social media listening to the next level with these innovative concepts. Typically, when we think about social monitoring or listening we’re drawn to a damage control state of mind, when in reality, social media managing and listening can be so much more. YouTube has taken the time to listen to their users who are making a difference across the platform in order to enhance the platform to better meet their needs, and in a way, to reward their loyalty, virality, and good work. Additionally, the initiatives demonstrate a new shift toward expansion for something that the world so desperately needs, social change.