Tag Archives: Google

Is YouTube losing hobby video producers?

Back in 2012, views of my hobby videos on YouTube collapsed. Views that had low thousands or occasionally tens of thousands of views were no longer being watched. I hypothesized then that this was due to a flood of new content on YouTube, diluting the views, some sudden change in viewer habits or that YouTube had changed something.

Mostly this is due to YouTube changes. Starting in 2012, YouTube changed its search algorithm to reward videos that had more viewing time. Consequently, search results are steered towards the videos that YouTube thinks you will watch the longest.

A possible side effect of this change, also, is that short form videos may be likely to get higher rankings. The ideal YouTube video length has long been said to be 3-5 minutes. Longer videos get abandoned before they end.

To get seen on YouTube requires a combination of search engine optimization strategies, short videos, some specific types of content, and at least a weekly video release. I suspect that videos that enable advertising are ranked higher (all of mine have advertising disabled by me), which makes sense because ads pay the bills for YouTube.

This has impacted a great many, mostly small hobby producers. I went through my video subscription list yesterday and began pruning out those that have not posted a video in more than a year. I found dozens of content producers who stopped posting content over the past 1-3 years. Looking at their uploads list, it was apparent that their recent videos were no longer getting the views they once had for their older views – and not surprisingly, they gave up posting videos on YouTube.

This result is probably the “right result” for YouTube but not a desirable one for hobby video producers. This turns YouTube away from the serendipitous viewing of funny, independent little videos, to focus increasingly on sophisticated productions. Many of our favorite “channels” may still look like a guy or gal standing in front the camera in their bedroom, but in reality, many now have full production staff behind the scenes.

Today’s announcement doesn’t come as a total surprise. Earlier this year, the company already explained its focus on ‘watch time.” When it updated its suggested videos algorithm, YouTube noted that it did so to “better surface the videos that viewers actually watch, over those that they click on and then abandon.”

Source: YouTube Changes Its Search Ranking Algorithm To Focus On Engagement, Not Just Clicks | TechCrunch

Meanwhile, Facebook is now hosting videos, although its search and organization of videos is terrible. Facebook is also faking high view counts by making Facebook hosted videos play automatically in Facebook news streams while YouTube auto play is disabled. Further, Facebook counts any video that plays for 3 seconds as a “view” while YouTube only counts 30 seconds or more as a view.

Google intros subtle “three dimensionality” to Android user interface

It’s subtle – page to the bottom to see the sample user interface: What is Google’s Material Design for Android? Appvigil – Android App Security Scanner.

The software API’s provide new “shadow” features to enhance the Z-axis “elevation” dimension of a control or window. Details of the feature are available from Google.

These effects are – so far – very subtle. I am not sure of the point of this –  its a basic element of graphic design that was used in software more than 25 years ago.

An “API” is an “application programming interface”. Operating systems – such as Android, Windows or Mac OS X – expose features to application programs through an interface, known as an “application programming interface” or just API.

Youtube viewership skews very young

I reviewed the stats for my own Youtube channel and discovered that 77% of all viewers are between the ages of 13 and 44 and about 60% are between the ages of 13 and 34.

Youtube does not present statistics on those under age 13 (think this is due to Federal laws to protect children) but there are third party reports that suggest the very young also view a lot of Youtube videos. Would be reasonable to add another 10% to 15% in that age group, meaning 90% + or – are below the age of 44.

But merely counting viewers by age does not give us the full story. I suspect that younger viewers also watch more minutes than do older viewers.  If we had access to that data, we would probably see that nearly all of our channel views come from a young viewership.

This age skew is why some topics get large viewership, notably:

  • Video gaming videos
  • Hair, makeup and fashion videos are targeted at “tween” and teen girls – and older. Surprisingly, 25% of “Generation Y” and “X” have dyed their hair a non-natural color at some point. This is a bigger audience category than one might think.
  • Music videos (which usually target a young audience)
  • “Adventure” videos – often doing crazy stuff or even well organized crazy stuff, score highly too. Remember that the younger demographic has a bias towards breaking the rules and trying new and crazy stuff.
  • Some physical activity interest area videos (mountain biking, dancing, skate boarding)

Those topics appeal to the younger viewers that make up the bulk of Youtube viewers. If you want to attract a big channel audience, you will probably want to target topics that interest young viewers.

This demographic is also very important for advertisers – brand identification starts young. Buying habits start young. And many young people spend a lot of money. Youtube is an advertiser’s dream audience.

More Youtube demographics over on my other blog.

Update: No surprise – Youtube “stars” are better recognized/more famous among teens than are “A-list” movie stars and celebrities.

Hyper3DPhone – Android App – links two phones together for stereoscopic 3D photos

Hyper3DPhone – Android Apps on Google Play.

Designed for taking hyperstereoscopic 3D images using two Android phones.

Run the app on both phones (its free). Identify one phone as the left and the other as the right phone and then move the phones apart.

The app communicates over Bluetooth to synchronize taking photos on both phones at the same time, giving you the left image on the left phone and the right image on the right phone.

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Macro Mondays? Time to ramp up close up 3D photography

Yesterday, on a whim, I shot some 3D close ups using my Canon SX1 IS macro wide angle lens feature. One of the examples I posted yesterday, and repeat again in this blog post.

It occurred to me that we do not, exactly, see good 3D with our binocular vision on extremely close up subjects. In fact, when looking at things really close, it may be easier to shut one eye and focus only with the one eye.

Our eyes are too far apart to see good 3D on very tiny objects at very close range. But a camera can take images just millimeters apart, creating beautiful 3D rendering.

Perhaps we should start a new online meme of “#3DMacroMondays” or similar! If you use Google+ and follow any photographers, you know what I mean – there are days for landscapes, portraits and what not.

I know that I am going to start shooting a lot more 3D close ups. Its easy to carry a single camera while hiking and there are plenty of miniature subjects to choose from!

If you do not have a macro capable lens, you could always pick up some inexpensive extension tubes. For example, here are some micro-four-thirds macro extension tubes – I plan to eventually get these for my m43 camera: Macro Extension Tube Set for Micro Four Thirds Cameras

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My first 3D wiggle animated GIFs

Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamute (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Both photos taken using a Lumix GH-2 and the 3D lens, which creates a MPO file. The MPO file was then processed in Stereomaker and resized to 400 pixels wide and saved as an animated GIF “3D wiggle” image.

Tip – It seems that to upload animated GIFs to Google+, you need to be about 400 pixels or smaller. If the image is larger, Google+ converts it to a non-animated PNG file.

Update: the “wiggle” image does not appear in Chrome on one my computers, but works on another. However, when I click on the image, Chrome shows the “Wiggle” 3D image correctly. If the images below appear stationary, then try clicking on the image.

This is Sable, our Alaskan Malamute (best dogs in the world!!!!!)

 

This is Mocha, our Siberian Husky and retired sled team dog (most fun dogs in the world!!!!)

 

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Google Street View car drove down my street today

This was a lucky shot – lucky that I had gotten a glance “of something” going down my street and on a hutch, sprinted for my camera, ran back, saw what it was, and got this shot.

This is the second time I have captured their car on my camera. The other time, I was bicycling on an off road bike trail and encountered the Google bike taking pictures.

The Google vehicle scarfs up photos, laser measurements to create a 3D world model, Wi-Fi access points and MAC addresses, and in the past, also stored any private email you might have been sending over Wi-Fi as they drove past. Now I need to change my router ID and create a new fake MAC address for it.

File this under “Cameras” because, well, it is!

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