The top U.S. YouTube earner since 2019 MrBeast took the stage at the first VidCon in 2019 to discuss how the recommendation algorithm truly functions with Todd Beaupré, YouTube’s director of discovery.
Speaking to an audience of hundreds of creators jammed into every available seat, Beaupré joked, “There’s actually a lot of monkeys in a room.
However, according to MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, investing in short-form video is a practical approach to up your content game right now. Creators are keen to figure out how to optimise YouTube’s recommendation system.
“Short-form is here to stay and will only grow in popularity,”
said Donaldson. If you’re not already doing it, you should.
Beaupré and Donaldson both had high hopes for YouTube Shorts, the business’s expanding TikTok rival. Beaupré claimed that the company was just in the “first inning” with the product despite the fact that 1.5 billion people watched YouTube short-form videos. He urged content producers to produce both long-form and short-form content.
Donaldson also made clear that creators can use Shorts to funnel funds to their main channel, where they can post more long-form content. The YouTube team is presently figuring out how to teach the algorithm to distinguish between viewership patterns for YouTube shorts and regular uploads.
Additionally, Beaupré highlighted that more people are currently livestreaming on YouTube. He noted that live video makes it simpler to feel connected to a community and that it is more of a simultaneous experience. He added that although watching YouTube videos on mobile devices is the most common way, TV is the method that is increasing the fastest. Therefore, content producers should ensure that their work looks nice on a large screen.
Uploading longer or shorter films is obviously far less complicated than “the algorithm.” YouTube models how users consume content using deep learning AI. What else might someone enjoy if they enjoy Mr. Beast and a Minecraft creator? Would they watch another well-known YouTuber whose material is similar if they only follow one Minecraft streamer?
According to Beaupré, a YouTube employee of eight years, “all this stuff is ultimately trying to find out what’s the video you’re going to be most interested in viewing, that you’re going to enjoy.” He said, “Of course, YouTube’s goal is to get people thrilled to come back and enjoy watching YouTube videos.” Read More
But not all creators have the following MrBeast does, which numbers close to 100 million.
The videos Donaldson produced when he had a smaller channel “sucked,” he acknowledged. “My recommendation is just to make 100 videos and improve one thing per video,” I tell lesser creators. In essence, the YouTube king makes the case that quality content will triumph.
Understanding the algorithm(MrBeast)
Among all of YouTube’s stats, Donaldson said he focuses on the retention rate, observing where viewers dwindle and how that information might guide his upcoming films. He believes that when it comes to audience engagement, the algorithm will favour something that is more challenging to complete; for instance, it is more challenging to get 70% retention on a 30-minute video than it is to receive millions of views.
Beaupré advised, “Make the video as long as it needs to be.” In order to increase their chances of being recommended by the algorithm, creators frequently strive to make their movies longer, but this can backfire if not enough people are watching it.
“I’ve never read or heard anything that suggests videos should be longer. Simply create videos that viewers will enjoy, advised Donaldson.
In addition, he added, he refreshes the thumbnails on certain older videos every few years to make it more obvious what the video is about.
We do notice a slight spike, he added, adding that this normally helps quite a bit. He claimed that before creating his videos, he typically doodles out thumbnails. “I’d prefer to experience that existential crisis prior to creating the video.”
When asked which metrics he believes creators concentrate on too much, Donaldson advised them to put stronger storytelling above simply trying to manipulate the algorithm.
When people ask Beaupré how to manipulate algorithms, he advises them to “change ‘algorithm’ with ‘audience'” in their questions, according to Beaupré. For instance, when to publish a video to get the maximum traction from the algorithm. How can videos function best with an audience rather than being positioned to perform well for an algorithm? It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to upload at 3 a.m. when most fans are asleep if the majority of your audience is in the U.S., for instance.
The YouTube CEO also mentioned that producers frequently query him over whether or not viewer response to a video decides its fate. However, he said that non-subscribers watch the majority of videos, and MrBeast claimed the same was true for his channels.
“You’d be confused if you watched 100 episodes of SpongeBob and then the 101st was Adventure Time.” said Donaldson. “Your audience is the same,” you said. Beaupré reassured creators that while it can take a little longer for your videos to get traction if you make a hard shift, it doesn’t mean they won’t at all.
Beaupré responded that he was astonished that more individuals started creating content and broadcasting live once the pandemic struck when questioned about unusual YouTube patterns.
I’m glad that the creator economy is becoming more widely recognised, said Beaupré. We’ve been doing this for a while, so welcome to the party!