Today's Reel Web episode is focused entirely on YouTube news and updates from the past week.  While we certainly love the fact that YouTube is rapidly evolving, it sure would be nice if they'd take a week off so that we could digest all that's new.  In any case, here's a run-down of several YouTube updates and news items from the past week including, a new YouTube app for shooting mobile video, new functionality to customize social notifications, and changes to some of YouTube's contests and programs like On-the-Rise and Next-Up.

NEW Capture App for YouTube

YouTube Capture, Custom Social Notifications, NextUp Contest, & More... [The Reel Web #70]YouTube just released a unique app for your iPhone called Capture. Unfortunately, this is not yet available for Android. What the app does is as soon as you open it, you can take video instantly from your phone and upload it straight to YouTube. The goal of the app is to make uploading video content to YouTube channels easy. There are a lot of benefits to utilizing Capture; it has stability built in, makes sharing automatically very simple and has filters, music, and other options you can add quickly.

NEW Custom Social Notifications

YouTube Capture, Custom Social Notifications, NextUp Contest, & More... [The Reel Web #70]You will notice on the YouTube upload page it now gives you options to share automatically to Google+, Facebook, and Twitter as well as a box where you can send a custom message so that it doesn’t share it with the default title and link. This now let’s user create a custom message to send out to their networks and shows those messages in the feed on the YouTube channel.

If you tend to tag other people who are in the video on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ then You can craft a custom message to have like @replies in it so that when it goes to Twitter, it will automatically send those @replies to those people. It doesn’t appear to work quite the same way when tagging people on Google+ or on Facebook but overall it does seem to be a step in the right direction.

On the Rise Accepting Nominations

YouTube has had this program called “On the Rise” for a while now where they would pick a couple of different channels that they thought were really on the rise and promote them, push them, and give them a lot of publicity. Previously you just had to wait and hope to be picked but now, the program is opening up to accept nominations. You can nominate your own channel or someone else’s channel by filling out and submitting a form.

NEW Next-Up for How-to Gurus

Along the same lines as “On the Rise,” YouTube has another promotion coming. It’s called “YouTube Next Up How-to Guru.” The requirements are to have 5,000 subscribers or more on channels about how-to videos, training, or tutorials. Unlike some of the previous Next Up contests, it doesn’t include a trip to LA and tons of promotion, but it does include things like equipment, upgrades, and training via Google Hangouts.

Best/Worst of the Top YouTube Channels for 2012

Here on ReelSEO we recently did a post about the best and worst YouTube Channels of 2012. Our list didn’t just look at who had the most subscribers or views but instead it was looking at a combination of things. Hopefully this list will help you to compare to metrics you are using for analyzing the success of your channel and help you to make choices on how to move forward in 2013.

QUESTION: How are you planning to improve your channel and videos in 2013 to convert more viewers to subscribers?