If you have been browsing YouTube lately you may have noticed something new. I only noticed it today, it could be that the update started today. While it may not show up for all users or in all browsers yet, it is possible that this is going to be a permanent YouTube update. We hope so.
YouTube videos have been notorious for what many call “clickbait”, which for YouTube means that a video has a thumbnail designed to get people to click on it – and either that thumbnail is not relevant to the video, or it isn’t even found in the video at all.
People hate clickbait, but just when we thought YouTube didn’t care at all about its users, it appears that YouTube also hates clickbait. This new update to YouTube may indeed defeat notorious clickbait.
What is this update? Now, when you hover over a thumbnail in the youtube sidebar, instead of taking a gamble what the video is about, it plays a 3-second random clip from the video – just enough to not give anything away, while at the same time giving viewers a sneak peek at the video before actually clicking on it. After the 3-second clip it is converted back into the thumbnail, with a “play” icon.
This is actually a really great, awesome, user-friendly update that we are surprised YouTube has actually done because past YouTube updates. For example, the latest horrific update to YouTube was the eradication of a useful comments notification bar that destroyed ability for uploaders to read and respond to comments, and made it annoying, tedious, and somewhat impossible for commenters to view and reply to their own comments.
However, this new update is an excellent and refreshing update. What is even more surprising is that this is going to use a considerable amount more resources at Google in order to play all these clips on hover; but we welcome this nonetheless. After all, Google has virtually unlimited monetary and server resources, so they can handle it.
Maybe the reason Google did an actually helpful update (for once) is because it started losing a lot of youtubers after it took on a liberal bias and started demonetizing all conservative YouTube uploaders. A really crummy and dirty thing to do. Maybe Google felt guilty (doubtful) or wanted to actually do something to make up for this major mistake on their part. After all, this horrible thing they did has millions of youtubers looking for an alternative to YouTube.
If uploaders started really moving to another platform and making a competing site viable, this could really harm Google’s bottom line – especially since Google is still in debt from their nearly $2 billion dollar acquisition of YouTube over 10 years ago, which has still not paid off yet. YouTube is still not yet profitable for Google, which really makes me wonder why they would do such a damaging thing to their business by alienating half of its userbase with political censorship.
Anyhow, this new YouTube update is going to really hurt many malicious clickbaiters looking to trick unsuspecting youtubers into a stupid irrelevant video, trolling video (like RickRolling, which I haven’t seen in a long time though), or simply clickbaiting people into a boring video that doesn’t contain the thumbnail. Now, YouTube viewers will have more power, and uploaders will be forced to be more honest, or lose video views. No more tricking hapless or unsuspecting visitors into clicking on clickbait.
Granted, malicious clickbaiters can also put a super-clickbait title, but still the 3-second clip does help a little. It doesn’t help a lot, and it doesn’t completely eliminate the issue, but it certainly helps. At least it is no longer going to be a total gamble when clicking on a video, if YouTube really does make this a permanent update. Even at the very least, it will certainly put a damper on those stupid clickbaiters.
Do you like this new YouTube update? Or do you think this will cause more problems than it helps? Share your thoughts.