This week on Reel Web, we take a look at a lot of real exciting changes and updates coming to YouTube, many of which were announced only at Vidcon last week.  We have been talking to a lot of YouTube people and we sat in on some of their sessions and managed to pick up some features and changes coming to YouTube that haven’t been announced to the public.

Associating Domains w/ YouTube Partner Channels & IRDB

First, if you’re wondering what IRDB is and do a Google search, be aware the first ten results you get have nothing do with it.  It stands for Internet Registry Data Base.  This is a recent change discussed last week, that if you are a partner, YouTube had mentioned there would be a change which allows you to link and authenticate your domain to your channel.  Just go to settings, on the left-hand click on associated domain, and enter domain.  There’s a verification method, but if you’re signed in to webmaster tools, it takes care of that.

Google understands a lot about your domain if your domain has been around for a while.  They want to take what they’ve learned and use them within YouTube.

YouTube to Allow ALL USERS to Upload Custom Thumbnails

In the next couple of months, if you’re monetized, which anyone can do, you’ll be able to upload custom thumbnails.  We don’t know how or when, but it is coming sooner than anticipated.  It will be interesting to see how they monitor and police that.

Bulk Annotations 

Thought We're not totally sure what this will be, they annouced that we'll have the ability to do "bulk annotations."  Apparently, this means that we'll have the ability to create pop-up description changes across all videos on a creator's channel.  Really, I have no idea what that could mean but Im hoping that this really will allow you to create default annotations for videos  so as to not have to manually add annotations that you would normally add to multiple videos. We'll let you know when we have a better understanding as to what this is but feel free to comment below if you have more information.

Playlist Changes

This cool change allows you to create playlist and specify start and end times within that video.  If you have a long video on your playlist and part of it is just people getting settled or whatever, and you want it to start at about 34 minutes, you can specify the actual point you want it to start.  You can imagine how this may also be used to create some interesting mashups with other videos.

Reward System—Giving Creators Gold

YouTube is working on reward systems for awarding creators.  We’re not too sure about the complete details of this new rewards program, but at this point, we know that anyone who has had over a million subs will get a big gold play button.  We assume that their play button will turn gold but what we do know is that that they will actually mail these creators a big gold-plated button.  That’s kind of like a movie star award.

Changing Channel Name Displayed

This change will allow you to change your displayed channel name through Google + to be your actual name or whatever your Google + name is.  It’s not open for brands or partners, but only to regular users.  YouTube got a lot of feedback from new users, because if you’re new, you can’t customize your name and stuff.  Somehow, now you’ll be able to can the name displayed on your video.  It won’t change your actual URL, but it will change how it is displayed across other places in YouTube.  Here's some additional information on how to do that.

Hush, Hush Home Changes

YouTube will be making changes to the home screen.  We wanted to talk to someone to get more information about these changes but, no one would talk publicly about them.  The best we understand is that one complaint is when you go to your homepage, it’s almost like a Twitter feed, it shows your most recent video from your most recent subscription.  If you want to see someone’s video, and are subscribed to someone who posts a lot of videos each day, the one you want to see will be difficult to find.  They’re trying to fix it.  We think it will have individual channels on left sidebar and give you a number of how many unread or unwatched videos there are.  The thumbnails are going to be much bigger.  It’s going to be look like Google +, with a very clean interface.

Private & Scheduled Upload Dates Fixed

This is already live and we’re very excited about it.  It used to be that when you would set a video to be public after initially setting it to private or scheduled,  the date shown would be for the day you uploaded it vs. the day that you made it public.  The problem with this is was that subscribers wouldnt always see the updates as they may have been treated as if they were made public on the date initially uploaded as opposed to when you wanted it available.  They've finally fixed this and now it shows the time you send it as the day you intended to and make it public.

YouTube Analytics Changes

  • One analytical change is that the algorithm changed to be more related to the time watch and how long people are getting into videos.  This means you’ll be able to see how long people watched your video from anywhere your video is played.
  • Second is Instant Audience Retention.  You used to have to wait for a couple of hundred thousand views, before you can find that out.  Now, they’re working on a way for it to show up instantly what the retention is.
  • There will also be a change in Annotation Reports.  Wouldn’t it be great to know if your subscribe annotation is working and people are clicking on it.  New stats are coming out about annotations that will be helpful.  Annotations that link to other videos, channels, and playlists are a factor in the algorithm.  Collecting data and giving it to us, but how will we use it.  Will we link to other videos if people aren’t clicking on it or clicking on it and watching it for a short time.
  • The last one is Improved Device Metrics.  You’ll have better analytics in regards to what people are viewing it on—tablet, mobile device, flat screen TV, etc.  You’ll have better metrics concerning how players react based on which device they’re watching your videos on.  That will be huge.

QUESTION:  Have any interesting ideas as to how you could use the new playlist feature?

  • maxtrack

    I just noticed the custom thumbnail option is now active on my channel.  Hmmmm, what should I do with that?  I am very interested to know if anyone has any information on what appears to be the random flagging of "talking head" videos regarding potential "commercial rights" violations. I have a few videos where there is only the video I shot and my voice over which were flagged. How does one prove the content is your own when the content is completely your own creation?

  • Kyle Clouse

    Looking forward to being able to select the custom thumbnails.

  • MattWilcko

    Great to hear the custom thumbs are coming back? Any word on criteria? 100,000 views, etc? If anyone else recently got custom thumbs, can you share your total channel views, etc?

  • JeremyVest

    Just noticed that we now have the custom thumbnail option this morning.

    • http://www.videoleadsonline.com/ videoleadsonline

      JeremyVest I'm not seeing it yet... how are you seeing it show up.. when you upload a new video? When you edit an older video?Is it an ability to "upload" a new video or maybe just choose from more choices of thumbnail images... which one is it?

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ reelseo

      JeremyVest Ohh, can you send screenshots so we can write something up?

      • JeremyVest

        reelseo  videoleadsonline  At this time it just allows you to select an image. Here is a screenshot. http://t.co/C1KLrCsV

        • JeremyVest

          reelseo  videoleadsonline Sorry guys, we just became a partner today and did not realize it. 

  • http://www.wordandmouth.com/ DaveThackeray

    This article blew me away because I genuinely had no concept of any of these great enhancements until now. Keep rocking out this great content, folks!

  • Rune Flækøy
  • Rune Flækøy
  • http://www.videoleadsonline.com/ videoleadsonline

    I use the new playlist trim feature to help make Hangouts more digestible! I have experimented with this and YES we can have the same video in a PL multiple times... Cool Beans!That means We can have (for example) 1 PL that shows 3 different segments of the same video. So you can basically say to the viewer, watch the highlights of this crazy long video here in this Playlist instead of watching the whole thing. Then if the viewer gets hooked, they can just watch the entire video start to finish.I love the summary of all the new stuff, good Job Guys! Can I go with you next year?

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ reelseo

      videoleadsonline That would be great to have you join us next year.  DEFINITELY

  • Carla Marshall

    Hugely exciting news about the update to GA regarding annotations and device metrics - it's going to give us so much more  information to feed back into VSEO campaigns. Yay for custom thumbnails too.

  • http://www.wordandmouth.com/ DaveThackeray

    This article blew me away because I genuinely had no concept of any of these great enhancements until now. Keep rocking out this great content, folks!

  • Rune Flækøy
  • Rune Flækøy
  • http://www.videoleadsonline.com/ videoleadsonline

    I use the new playlist trim feature to help make Hangouts more digestible! I have experimented with this and YES we can have the same video in a PL multiple times... Cool Beans!That means We can have (for example) 1 PL that shows 3 different segments of the same video. So you can basically say to the viewer, watch the highlights of this crazy long video here in this Playlist instead of watching the whole thing. Then if the viewer gets hooked, they can just watch the entire video start to finish.I love the summary of all the new stuff, good Job Guys! Can I go with you next year?

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ reelseo

      videoleadsonline That would be great to have you join us next year.  DEFINITELY

  • Carla Marshall

    Hugely exciting news about the update to GA regarding annotations and device metrics - it's going to give us so much more  information to feed back into VSEO campaigns. Yay for custom thumbnails too.