Tag Archives: youtube

YouTube Stops Counting Views of PSY’s Gangnam Style

One of the interesting new reoccurring comments is about the counter stopping on 808,219,585 views, so it seems much of the prediction that the YouTube video will be the first to crack 1,000,000,000 views might be slower at this point.  It's not unclear if there is a YouTube limitation on the number of views that Google can track beyond 808,219,585 views, but it's stopped at this magical number for several hours. It's impressive that PSY has passed Justin Bieber's Baby in 4 months compared to 2 years, along with Guinness Book of Records noting it down as the first YouTube clip to receive more than 2,000,000 likes.Updated: This counter bug appears to have been fixed and the count of views is growing again.But if you count the top 125 "Gangnam Style" video clips (sorted by views) the total views of PSY's Gangnam Style is more than double that figure at 1,721,724,823 views.  This includes the original, live performances, tv appearances, parodies, flashmobs, dance moves instructions, lyris showing, and also numerous versions of promotional videos for Just Dance 4. On average the top 125 videos of Gangnam Style have received around 13,773,799 views which is still fairly impressive. Some of the many variations of PSY Gangnam style videos included in the count are listed below.CRYSTAL PALACE CHEERLEADERS DO GANGNAM STYLE PSY - "MIKO STYLE" (Gangnam Style) Parody By Miss Korea 2012 Contestants Jockey Style (Gangnam Style Parody) GANDALF STYLE - Parody of PSY - GANGNAM STYLE STAR WARS Style, Gangnam Style music video parody Gangnam Style parody "Aussie Battler Style" by Fitzy and Wippa KOFFIA Melbourne Gangnam Style Flash Mob

Refresh trends to end 2011

In what looks to be a trend that appears to be ramping by business up as traffic patterns typically decline as the year ends. A product relaunch can be at times risky if users love your existing design/functionality or if you take away or hide popular features within a new interface.Twitter Relaunch #letsfly Twitter relaunched its platform with a new version of twitter "Fly" which is designed for a more common experience across Twitter.com and mobile devices. Their relaunch was focused on bringing everything under 4 new tabs but not everyone has responded positively to the radical change to the interface. Their new interface seems to bring them closer to a Facebook style interface but even with an improved search function the new interface has been found confusing by a number of their users. YouTube interface Refresh In what was an expected move YouTube finally flicked the switch and rolled out its interface across all its users bringing the interface closer to the other Google properties. The rollout was unusual for Google as it was not progressively rolled out but was done in a single update which was fairly risky for the company considering the size of the audience that could be impacted. The new interface brings the platform up to scratch with a new look and feel but also seems to make it easier for Channels and Google to maximise both their advertising revenue but also the branding and visitor experience as YouTube chases higher quality content.Path upgrades to 2.0 One of the big upsets to the idea that a refresh could hurt your growth or revenues was Path, who after upgrading their platform saw a reported 30 fold increase in user sign ups. Their personal journal style platform offered new and improved lenses; greater privacy and less noise for their users which was a successful and welcomed refresh ending 2011.WordPress goes Sonny While it only appeared to be a minor update going from WordPress 3.2 to WordPress 3.3, the actual admin interface refresh too a large step forward. The new more responsive admin design offers better functionality for adoption to smaller screens such as tablets. The new liquid layouts and scaling media seemed focused on the growing audience of Mobile users that WordPress needs to cater for if it's platform is to continue to grow. The media support gets a welcome boost as does the co-editing functionality and is certainly worth the update even with the increased number of sometimes annoying notification tips.Google Toolbar relaunched Google just recently rolled out a consistent black Google toolbar across a number of its platforms which made navigation more consistent for users across Google properties.
Google Black Toolbar

Google Black Toolbar

Google Toolbar relaunched (again) Just as most users had started to see and accept the new Google black bar at the top of Google pages they introduced another Google bar within a few months. The new interface has now moved the navigation to under the Google icon and centralised the search panel across Google properties. The new Google menu is a bit more confusing way to navigate Google products and the quick links are surely going to be missed by most users and will change how you navigate within Google properties.Gmail refreshes Gmail has been one of the slowest adopters of new Google features over the past few years but there has been a number of recent improvements including the overhaul started in July. While the navigation had a big upgrade the search functionality is still below expectations. The biggest issue for users is to get used to the new streamlined conversation view which strips out much of what was previously shown meaning searching an email thread can be more time-consuming. The biggest benefit for the mobile users is the elastic density which allows easy changing of display to suit any device automatically. Blogger refreshed While it happened a few months ago Google's blog platform got an update as part of the overall Google product refresh. The biggest elements to get updated was around streamlining the blogging experience but also improving the audience analytics and insights information for admins. Recently there has been the addition of the ability to publish your Blogger posts straight to your Google+ circles. There is certainly a fair bit more work needed across the Blogger network to match WordPress or Tumblr but it's a good start to finish off 2011.Color 2.0 tries again Following on from what was a slightly disastrous launch, Color decided it was time to start again following on from the success of Instagram. The new app updates focus around a "visit" which also now allows for sharing of 30 second movie clips but also offers a visual timeline similar to the new Twitter/Facebook streams. The question is it all too little and too late with the new website being far too forceful to remind users to login to interact, and their mobile app does not work on a majority of Android devices.Facebook Timeline rollout Based on the growing amount of media its users are sharing online Facebook has finally rolled out its timeline feature for all accounts. This is not yet enabled on all accounts but is available if you want to upgrade your profile globally. Finally Facebook is learning its a global platform and not limiting features to it's US users. Learning from its privacy failures in the past it now offers a 7-day review period before anything that appears in your timeline is made public. It will be interesting to see how many users fill in the blank spots in their timeline as more accounts enable Timeline. There has already been so many complaints about Facebook interface refreshes it will be interesting how warmly this overshare functionality might be accepted.

Watch the Facebook Timeline (download video)

Ending 2011... So it seems that a number of platforms have taken the time to allocate resources to updating their interfaces, how many will rollback functionality after user riots during 2012? Mostly it seems the interface updates revolve around making them more usable on mobile devices so will desktop users benefit from this continuous update process or will it led to more resentment and drop off?

Facebook expands link blocking

While Facebook has been progressively censoring links from sites that might contain illegal material such as Torrents they have been progressively expanding this security technology to also track onpage content. This expansion may not be a bad step forward a majority of the time as it reduces the number of spam and malware spread via it's platform my issue is that it's reading the page for any suspect or reported links and not allowing you to share the link on your page. This is a massive move forward by Facebook in it's process of cleaning up the web and potentially censoring any content that it feels is illegal or unsuitable for it's 700,000,000 members.  The potential risk for user-generated content providers and open discussion platforms is one of a concern and what is the potential impact for publishers?Facebook Blocked LinkThese new notifications appear to be part of the expanded Web of Trust platform that moved beyond re-active into pro-active screening of everything shared.  This new Web of Trust platform thereby offers Facebook real-time monitoring of what is being shared across it's platform, since the beginning of last week. The question is what is next for social censorship? Can you no longer share content if the context of the discussion does not fit within Facebook's vague guidelines or impacts on their commercial agreements?So what is being blocked?The link that I was trying to share was a YouTube clip, which in it's description actually contained a Bit.ly link that pointed to a free web hosting account that before being suspended could have possibly have been sharing torrents of the song for download or loaded with advertising and affiliate links. The broad messaging from the Facebook notification was that the link was being blocked for being spammy or unsafe but this is very vague and there is no easy process for appealing your content if you have been added to their blacklist....You can see the link is not a central part of the content and would not be clicked or noticed by most users watching the YouTube clip but because it's featured on the page you are not allowed to share this YouTube clip via Facebook.  The other issue is that you might need to manually check your content can be submitted to Facebook and how unreasonable it is to block content based on any links that might be listed as part of the content. The implications on how your content will be censored based on the content around it seems to be a bit broad and obviously very based for YouTube as most popular clips feature similar links.Blocked YouTube ClipSo what is the implications?The issue is that Facebook is reading and tracking the content on your pages and potentially the any spam comments that might be automatically approved.  This is one of the strongest reasons why you should be moderating your comments and removing any spam or unknown links otherwise you might find that your content may no longer be able to be shared on Facebook. There is also another reason that you might not want to approve pingbacks on your content as it could jeopardise the ability for users to share your content via Facebook.

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Twitter Movie Trailer

Following on from the serious nature of the upcoming movie The Social Network which focuses on the background to how Facebook was started comes a light hearted view on how people interact on social media and how strange talking about it actually sounds. I expect the trailer will go viral soon, as the clip was highlighted by Kristine Schachinger about 4 hours ago on Facebook, with only a few hundred having seen the clip so far compared to over 546,000 seeing The Social Network trailer it has a lot of potential growth past the original 140 characters....The Twitter movie trailer highlights the common practice of adding Tw- to the start of words or products to make them seem more relevant to the social media audience but The Twitter Movie manages to pull this joke off with some class and will likely only offend only a handful of the social media experts out there. It pokes fun at the rise of the celebrity twits so it will be interesting to see if they see the humour in it....The Twitter Movie Trailer is well according to the initial reactions and creators is rated simply awesome, so watch the movie trailer below and see if you agree its awesome!The clip creators IndyMogul decided that if Hollywood can make an overly dramatic film about the early years of Facebook and how it got to 500,000,000 users, why can't they make an even more overly dramatic movie about Twitter? Well at least they have started with a award winning trailer and wait for the upcoming "The Twit Network" film, it will be simply awesome!

YouTube Video Ads

youtube logo

On of the biggest issues around video has been its been a typically one way medium, while people can comment back by text or video can it be used for viewer feedback.  Recently YouTube has shown the potential to offer multiple response options for advertisers interactive videos using the overlays linked to other videos. While it is not clear if this is a beta test or just a very smart and inventive person who is pushing the boundaries of the YouTube platform.

The video player is built in Adobe Flash so technically anything you can do in a standard flash application can be overlaid on user videos, and this is becoming increasingly common with popular videos.  The multiple choice survey test shown below is running on Machinima.com's YouTube channel where, they are broadcasting game previews from Comic Con 2009. They are very clear with different choices with individual colours and even a text box at the top of the screen to explain what they want you the viewer to do. 

youtube-rate the game

The "rate this game" option is shown towards the end of the game preview.  When one of the options are selected a new YouTube video loads, with a clear title as to which option you selected, but could the video instructions be a bit more clear for the next steps as you can see in the screenshot below. 

The reason I feel that the steps are not clear is that around 15-20% of people used the 5 star rating system to provide feedback and not the text comment box below the video. Although the text is explaining the call to action is very large, since this is a visual element, a short video showing the desired action would make sense but only because its YouTube.

If you were running this on different medium/platform such as your website screenshots or flash animation could deliver the same visual explanation as not all users maybe used to using the comment field.


So how do you measure the results, the video requests for comments to be made in the text comment field below, but this also requires the user to have an account and login.  Based on the chart below based on the YouTube comments reaction more people are unsure if they want the game so they must analyze the comments for more understanding.

An easier way to measure survey results is to track which of the three videos options get the most views, the benefit is that the viewer doesn't have to login to track their response.  From the chart below we can see that around 62% of views of the 3 options were that people want the game which may not be the perfect campaign result but to scale for large campaigns with thousands of comments its more efficient.

Comments can still be useful as they can provide feedback such as the "game lighting is too dark" or the "there appears to be glitches in background images" but the number of comments were a fraction of video viewings.  There is also the issue which is visible of users responding and interacting amongst themselves off the topic and even starting abusive attacks against other users commenting.

There are a few issues, one is that YouTube makes all videos public, so once one option such as "hate it" is selected it is easy to see related videos such as "not sure" and "want it". If campaigns like this are to be more transparent, it should not be possible that users can select one option and then click to view other options skewing your results.

The obvious issue for analysis based on the chart below is that the number of comments were fairly consistent between each option so do not provide as much feedback compared to the video viewings, the lower the number the higher influence of duplicate posts, and multiple posters, spam...


So how can web analytics help this test deliver better results for business?

Using methods such as A/B testing, they can test a different second trailer for the same game, using the same question but with 3 new video response pages.  This way they can test which particular scenes or clips generate the most positive reaction to the game.  This information can be further analysed as why but can be used to make a simple decision as to which would be best in an advertising campaign.

Further tests could be would you buy this game based on this preview, using the same call to action tracking and comparison of data to measure if a second trailer generated higher "want" results but also higher "buy me now" results.

Click to see the video Iron Man 2 Comin Con "Rate This Game"

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