Impact on Content Creators and YouTube

Following my last article on how YouTube’s new layout (swapping comment section and video recommendations) impacts the audience. The new layout also impacts both content creators and the platform itself. This article delves into the effects of these changes, exploring how they influence content creators’ strategies and YouTube’s overall user engagement.

Youtube’s new layout swapping comment section and video recommendation

1. Impact on Content Creators

1.1 Enhanced Visibility of Product Links

Traditionally, product links and descriptions were tucked away under the video, requiring users to scroll down, which would minimize the video to a smaller size hovering at the bottom. The new layout moves descriptions and comments to a right-side panel that scrolls separately. This means users can view product lists without interrupting the video, enhancing the visibility and accessibility of advertised products.

1.2 Increased Interaction

The prioritization of comments on the right panel encourages more user interaction. With a dedicated and prominent space for comments, users are more likely to engage by commenting, liking, and sharing. This independent and larger interaction space can lead to a more vibrant community around each video, benefiting creators through higher engagement metrics.

1.3 Potential Distractions from Recommendations

However, introducing three columns of video recommendations directly below the video might feel cluttered and distracting. This busy layout can divert attention from the main video, potentially reducing viewer focus. Creators might need to advocate for adjustments to the spacing between the video and recommendations to maintain viewer engagement on their content.

1.4 Changes in engagement strategies

Content creators who have optimized their strategies around the old layout might find it challenging to adapt. This transition period could disrupt established engagement patterns and necessitate adjustments in how creators prompt viewers to interact with their content. For example, content creators with visually busy videos might need to simplify their content due to the new layout’s visual density. Calls to action (CTAs) should be placed earlier in the video to avoid distraction from the recommendations below. Encouraging real-time comments during video playback can enhance engagement (compared to encouraging comments at the end of the video).

2. Impact on YouTube

2.1 Endless Scrolling Similar to Netflix

The new layout’s design facilitates endless scrolling, allowing users to continuously discover new content without interruption. This setup mirrors Netflix’s interface, which is known for its ability to keep users engaged for extended periods. By adopting a similar approach, YouTube can potentially increase watch time and enhance user retention. Higher engagement and retention translate to more ad impressions and increased revenue. YouTube can leverage these metrics to attract more advertisers and provide better value to content creators

2.2 Boosted User Interaction

With interactive elements like comments and descriptions more accessible, user engagement is likely to rise. This increased engagement can translate to more data on user preferences and behavior, which YouTube can leverage to refine its recommendation algorithms and ad targeting strategies.

Personal Thoughts and Suggestions

While the new layout offers numerous benefits, it also introduces challenges. The clutter from excessive recommendations needs addressing to avoid overwhelming users. Striking a balance between interactive elements and video content is crucial to ensure the new design enhances, rather than detracts from, the viewing experience.

Content creators should adapt their strategies to take full advantage of the new layout, emphasizing using descriptions and comments to drive engagement. Meanwhile, YouTube must continue to gather user feedback and make iterative improvements to optimize this new design for all stakeholders.

In conclusion, YouTube’s new layout represents a significant shift toward a more engaging platform prioritizing live user interaction. By carefully managing its design elements, YouTube can foster a more immersive experience for viewers, enhance opportunities for content creators, and ultimately drive higher engagement and revenue for the platform.

Analyzing YouTube’s new Layout 2.0 was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.