Breaking News: Video, Mobile & Social Media Trends

At today’s iMediaConnection “Breakthrough Summit” in Vegas, Hitwise’s Bill Tancer ( 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?

  1. By surfing YouTube’s most popular content (like this page that shows the most-popular of the week),
  2. Via your subscriptions (which is again broken, causing subscribers to not see recent videos from those to whom they’ve subscribed)?
  3. 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 or Vloggerheads!? See Renetto announcing 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.

29 Replies to “Breaking News: Video, Mobile & Social Media Trends”

  1. I joined Youtube November 21, 2005, a month after I signed up for Putfile and Revver. I was using social sites to find videos to view for a while but I’m kinda getting tired of the rising level of chatter. It’s getting too damned noisy on Facebook and Twitter has, well, too many twits.

    I never looked at Youtube’s Most Popular pages. Popular to who? Junior high kids? No thanks. I find the vids I want to watch by searching for them. I know the subjects I’m interested in. If that makes me a dinosaur, so be it. Moo.

  2. While I’m certainly not one of the earliest YouTubers, I’m with MDJ on this one. I rarely look at the most popular videos either. Who wants to watch to watch the same stuff as all the tasteless perverts who seem lurk everywhere on YouTube?

    I can usually find the content I want by searching (if such content exists), or if I don’t have anything particular in mind I usually surf via related videos.

    By the way, people have been subscribing to other people’s favorites and embedding YouTube videos on various social media sites for quite some time now.

  3. I think there is a necessity for filters on the web since 20 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube during every minute of the day. I think users want to cut through the noise and need personalized recommendations.

    The stumbleupon recommendation engine and the Digg recommendation engine are both still in their infancy. And no matter how advanced these social media sites become I think there will always be a demand for recommendations from the taste makers.

  4. About cutting through the noise:
    I’m curious about you people who follow hundreds of users on Twitter.
    What fraction of those tweets do you actually see? I would think it would be pretty cacophonous especially with all those people who think they need to tweet about every mundane detail of their day.

    How do you manage it Kevin, since you don’t even use a program like TweetDeck to help organize things? Pretty much like your email (that is, by just ignoring most of it)?

  5. wow you actually watch the stuff I send? j/k. Nutcheese must have bathroom wireless

    Long rant about the history of viewership……………………………… skipped.

    btw, anyone into flash development?

    I wish You Tube would work on something more elaborate when it comes to favorites, course I have a few ideas and more secret sauce… I call it OOD or DOO or ODO – Some start up, and off we go!

    Snort I mean Sorff needs a screen shot before I clutter my drive.

    The world just got a little faster – I like twitvid = youtubelite
    some competition never hurts.

    can also help to make a company more responsive to the customer/viewer. – Google You Tube is morphing into the old AT&T

    Let’s talk about twitter

    PSA – keep your cell phones away from your body.

  6. @7 Kevin follows more than twice as many twatters as you do and doesn’t seem to use anything to help filter the chaos. Either he’s constantly reading people’s tweets or he misses a huge portion of them (or else he’s got superpowers I don’t know about).

  7. @10 I pooped at around 4 pm today too (2 pm your time, I think). I’m about 1.6 pounds lighter now. It was long and skinny. 😛

  8. ^ C’mon people, let’s synchronize these poops! Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork. Can you imagine what would happen if we ALL flushed at the same time? D.C. would be sucked out into the Atlantic!

  9. You might see some slightly more social aspects cropping up (and we have – i.e. Real Time Sharing or whatever that bullshit bar at the bottom is) in the YouTube experience, but if you think it’s going to turn into Facebook (or that to survive, thrive, or grow that it needs to) I think you might be wrong.

    I am in accord with the people advocating search. I don’t pay attention to popular anything. I find things I am interested in via search, of which YouTube is – if I’m not mistaken – one of the largest search engines. That’s also how I do well on YouTube.

    Twitter = YouTube’s social networking function.

  10. It’s been harder and harder finding interesting videos and users on YouTube since their first redesign that shrunk the importance of YT community.

    I usually do random searches of niche terms for videos and users (content creators), check a few videos like that, check out related videos, I read the comments and visit profiles of the most intriguing commentators, click on anything that looks interesting; it is basically a clicking quest to find what I like. I did try to use YT’s experimental tools but those don’t provide me with enough info.

    And as for most popular/viewed… that is not a good way to discover new content to my liking.

  11. While I was at Metacafe we were all about crowd-sourced success. We saw a lot of video and often before anyone else picked it up but we wouldn’t build a forum for recommending it to others.

    Back in the early days, we were always impressed with the eclectic work the YouTube editors did filling up their homepage with suggestions. Their picks regularly got 250k+ views and many longer-term fanbases were launched on the back of a good feature position.

    I think there’s a good argument that YouTube’s editorial policy back then was a key part of their success in establishing the community even if it was one of the less scalable elements.

    I kinda miss their recommendations and have fallen back to relying on blogs to point me towards interesting fare.

  12. I sometimes check the activity of friends on YouTube to see what my YouTube friends are watching. This sometimes leads me to some videos that I would have otherwise missed. Probably most of the videos I watch are from my list of subscriptions. Also the favorites lists of some of my YouTube peers often yield videos worth watching. It’s all pretty hit and miss and I agree that someone who put together a blog of video recommendations would be great providing that the person in charge of this enterprise had tastes similar to mine!

  13. Oh this comment stream is just jam packed with Saturday-morning reading. Who needs cartoons? From pooping, to sage advice about filtering the chaos, to the alarmingly intelligent use of the word “cacophonous.” I’m not sure whether to be comforted or frightened by stalkers that have good vocabulary. At least the last words I hear will be learned ones.

  14. @22 Wowzerz, I didn’t know you still read the comments.
    You were impressed by the word “cacophonous”? You should see the way I write when I haven’t slept in a couple of days and am too tired to dumb down my vocabulary for the benefit of the unwashed masses.

  15. @27 Me too. I think I used that particular word to describe Kevin’s abuse of the English language some time ago.

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