At today’s iMediaConnection “Breakthrough Summit” in Vegas, Hitwise’s Bill Tancer (ilovedata.com) told hundreds of leading marketers about three trends based on research of “early adopters.” Tancer will release the data this week on his blog, but here’s what matters:
- Tancer developed three classifications of “early adopters,” in part by isolating the people who began using YouTube in the early days (fall 2005). He and his team observed their recent web behaviors (via Hitwise’s panel of 10 million US and 25 internationally), and noticed two video-related trends.
- First, early adopters are shifting from finding videos via “most popular” (crowdsourced) content to portals with editorial viewpoints. Remember when YouTube editors picked what was on the homepage? Seems these early-adopters want their help again. Maybe your blog featuring your favorite new videos will be more useful to us than the most-viewed pages? Certainly there are some of you who send me videos, and I’m far more likely to trust Nutcheese or Jan’s opinion about something I should watch.
- Second, video and social-media are colliding. These “avant garde” peeps want more social-media tools mixed with their video content. YouTube, in an attempt to attract more mainstream users and monetize content, has minimized its attention to social-media tools that facilitate dialogue adjoined to video. Instead, the videos “spotlighted” are chosen presumably based on a) “hot” trending videos, b) videos which captivate viewers longer (relative to similar videos of the duration), and c) based on content that commands higher advertising revenue. I’m not sure I fault that algorithm, but it may not satisfy the early-adopters. If Tancer is right, perhaps there will be a surge in Facebook or other social-media sites offering video as an add-on (either hosted or via embedded YouTube widgets).
- Third, he expects to see more mobile-driven sharing of video and other content. So watch for sites like TwitVid (I’ve been asked by TwitVid founders to advise the company, and Alexa shows the site is taking off). The site allows for sharing of video content using the Twitter API and login.
I’m keenly interested in any WVFF readers who might have been among these early adopters… people who joined YouTube even before I did (in January 2006). How are you finding videos now?
- By surfing YouTube’s most popular content (like this page that shows the most-popular of the week),
- Via your subscriptions (which is again broken, causing subscribers to not see recent videos from those to whom they’ve subscribed)?
- Or have you found a niche site that alerts you to the most interesting content? There are no shortage of sites that track trending videos, but are there blogs or websites you use to find videos that aren’t crowdsourced? Will Renetto solve it all via RenettoTube or Sorff.com or Vloggerheads!? See Renetto announcing Sorff.com in this video.
This could be a new niche for people who watch lots of videos, and have knack at finding videos that many other people may enjoy. Perhaps in the next months, we’ll begin “subscribing” to individual’s “favorites” (which YouTube functionality permits) because we trust their opinion of good content.
Perhaps the day of the YouTube editor (or even novice) is soon to return. I’m going to try using Twitvid now that I learned how to do so via my Blackberry.