Recently, I've been haven't been seeing eye-to-eye with YouTube. YouTube, just one of the many social media websites consuming the lives of millions, has undergone many changes lately that I, quite frankly, do not like.
According to YouTube's official website, they have 1 billion users, 6 billion hours of video and 100 hours of video are published every minute. Those numbers are pretty incredible and they definitely show that YouTube is indeed a big deal. Since YouTube is such a huge part of our culture now, people, including myself, have begun to rely on it for multiple purposes. Whether it be DIY-projects, beauty tutorials or even comedic videos, we all use YouTube as a platform to better ourselves in the long run.
So why is YouTube trying to take that away from the billion of us?
YouTube is supposed to be solely a means of watching self-uploaded videos, but back in November 2013, the website decided to expand its name. On November 3, YouTube held its first ever "YouTube Music Awards." The "YTMAs" was YouTube's attempt at branching out. Considering the impact and influence YouTube has made thus far, branching out was the last thing they needed to do. But you know the Internet -- whatever you don't want to happen happens!
Already pessimistic about these awards, I checked out the nominees. Scattered throughout the categories were names of actual YouTube content creators. A nomination for an award by the Big Brother himself is a huge deal! Unfortunately, more Hollywood celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus overshadowed a lot of these names. The first question we probably asked ourselves was, why? If you have the opportunity to honor a select few of your 1 billion users, why not make them all YouTubers and not pop stars that are more likely to get nominated for other awards?
Scrolling through various tweets the night of the 3rd, it was no surprise that the entire awards show was a disaster. Attempts at recording "live music videos," hosts not being able to control the awards and not enough recognition for the real YouTubers who should have been honored, the YTMAs were an unnecessary extension to YouTube's name.
YouTube content has been declining, in my opinion. Personally, I'm subscribed to an array of people who post an assortment of content. However, a lot of what I have been watching recently seems very contrived. For us viewers to stay interested, the videos people create should hopefully be unique and different. If every major YouTuber starts doing challenge videos, where is the creativity? But there are still many individuals who continue to watch these unoriginal videos.
Now I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the people who watch these videos or the video creators themselves, but it would be nice to see content creators show more individuality in their videos. I want to remember these YouTubers for the videos they made, not because of their popularity. YouTube constantly promotes certain, already popular videos (which thus overshadow the more thought out but less viewed videos of someone with less subscribers). Our Big Brother YouTube has the ability to take someone with a pretty face, over-promote them and earn both the individual and the company more money with every increasing view.
I don't know much about this topic because it's more tech-related and I'm more of a which-button-do-I-press-to-do-the-thing kind of girl, but I have noticed the major integration of Google+ pages into YouTube accounts. Signing into YouTube could prompt you with the request to change your old YouTube username and connect your Google+ to YouTube; this will thus make your actual name your username. I would much rather stick to what it was before with the whole, make-your-username-similar-to-your-old-AIM-username idea. However, an abuse of power has shown through Google and YouTube's new layout.
People are renaming themselves to names like "Barack Obama" and "Abraham Lincoln" and spam the comment sections of videos in the style that said person would speak in. Speaking of which, the comment section is now a mess. There are no more top comments, comments have no word limits, so who knows how many huge ascii art people will create, and there seems to be little moderation of the "forum." I've spent time watching videos from current creators and they too are disagreeing with the Google+ initiative. It has completely changed and impaired the way both creator and viewer use and enjoy YouTube.
From cover singers getting record deals to comedians landing their own television shows, YouTube has launched the careers of many. However, you can't create an awards show and expect the viewers, and nominees, to be okay with being overshadowed with non-YouTubers. YouTube is under the assumption that it is okay to make boring, forgettable videos as long as they generate views and money. You can't force users to use your new Google platform and expect them to be satisfied and willing to adjust to change without warning. You most certainly cannot expect users to continue to watch videos if they can see right through the money.
I'm not going to sugarcoat it: I miss the old YouTube. YouTube is no longer a means to watch videos, but YouTube is our Big Brother: they rule over us; and what we want we can no longer have.