In a recent interview, YouTube creator liaison Rene Ritchie sat down with Todd Beaupre, YouTube’s growth and discovery leader, to discuss the future of the algorithm and how it will impact creators in 2023.
Beaupre shares many insights that can help content creators understand and navigate YouTube.
This open-ended question-and-answer session uncovers important details, such as:
- How important it is to focus on audience satisfaction rather than algorithmic manipulation.
- The role of audience feedback and poll responses in refining YouTube’s recommendation system.
- Strategies for creators to build long-lasting relationships with their audience for sustained success.
- YouTube’s dedicated efforts to support new or smaller creators.
- Advice on managing content in multiple formats and languages, and the benefits of experimenting with channels.
- The future of content discovery on YouTube, including the potential of new technologies and user interface improvements.
This article provides an overview of her insightful conversation with all the details on how to optimize your YouTube content in 2023.
From Algorithm to Audience: A New Perspective
Q: When it comes to the YouTube algorithm, what should creators focus on most?
Beaupre emphasizes the importance of not thinking about algorithms, but about the audience. Creators are often asked for the best time or frequency to upload videos to optimize algorithm preference.
Beaupre encourages a change of perspective:
“Creators often ask about optimizing their upload time or frequency for the algorithm. But we want the creators to change the way they think. Instead of focusing on the algorithm, they should focus on the audience. Replace the word “algorithm” in your questions with the word “audience”. We design the algorithm to serve the audience. So, understanding audience preferences helps the algorithm prioritize their content.”
The satisfaction metric: A holistic view of engagement
Q: Can you explain the importance of the satisfaction metric in the YouTube algorithm?
Beaupre addresses an essential aspect of the YouTube algorithm: audience satisfaction.
While replay time is a well-known factor that the algorithm takes into account, Beaupre says that not all replay times are equal:
“Everyone knows that watch time is one of the factors we look at. But we’ve found that not all watch times are created equal. We also need to understand the value an audience gets from a video. To do this, we conduct surveys on recommendations and specific videos, and feed those responses into the recommendation system. This helps the algorithm recognize patterns of satisfying content by considering various signals such as likes, dislikes, watch time, and poll responses.”
A long-term strategy: the key to the Creator’s success
Q: What strategy should creators follow to be successful on YouTube?
Beaupre says that creators who prioritize long-term audience value over instant views will benefit more in the long run.
He explains that a video’s potential to make a lasting impression and create a lasting bond with the audience correlates well with satisfaction.
“I would advise creators to think about the long-term value to their audience. Instead of focusing on getting a lot of views in a week, make a lasting impression on your audience. This could mean they want to come back to your channel in the future.”
Smaller channel support
Q: How does YouTube support new or smaller creators who don’t have a large audience?
For creators with smaller audiences, Beaupre reveals that YouTube has a team focused on helping them identify their audience using different approaches like video title and description ratings.
“We have a team focused on that challenge. They use different approaches, like rating video titles and descriptions, to help these creators identify their audience. We track the success of new creators on the platform and are committed to helping them succeed.”
Multiformat, multilingual content:
Q: With the proliferation of multi-format and multi-language content, how should creators manage their channels?
Beaupre addresses the evolving content landscape, including feature length video, live video, short films, and podcasts.
His advice to creators navigating this space is:
“My advice to creators is simple: ‘Same audience, same channel, different audience, different channel.’ We’re looking at ways to make it easier for creators to manage their channels in this multi-format, multi-language world. We encourage creators to experiment with different formats on the same channel and see how their audience responds.”
The future of discovery on YouTube
Q: What is the future of discovery on YouTube?
Beaupre discusses the challenges and opportunities ahead and highlights several areas of focus.
This includes the use of new technologies such as B. large language models, and the improvement of the discovery experience.
“We have several priorities. We welcome new technologies such as large language models that could improve recommendation quality. We are also working to enable seamless user journeys across different formats. Another challenge is to make the discovery experience more enjoyable for users. We’re exploring ways to make the UI more fun and less overwhelming.”
Beaupre concludes with the message that YouTube’s algorithm prioritizes audience satisfaction.
By creating long-term value for your audience, understanding their needs, and experimenting with different formats, you can better align with platform goals and thrive.
Featured image created by the author using Midjourney.