June was a big month for YouTubers and YouTube fans alike. VidCon, the biggest worldwide YouTube convention, just took place in sunny California. A melting pot for online celebrities, talks, workshops and a massive fan extravaganzas, the event always has some great news on developments in the online video world. And not only is it time for VidCon, it’s also time for Pride. June is a month for the LGBTQ community to celebrate their wonderfulness and show the world how strong and important their voices truly are.
Here is our June roundup:
In case you haven’t watched the livestream of the event, we thought we’d give you the highlights of this year’s VidCon. Besides YouTube making some exciting and interesting announcements, many a YouTuber has been present and there sure was some drama involved. Facebook has made an underwhelming announcement, Instagram and Snapchat are growing and have impressive numbers and an increasing amount of video content but they just aren’t able to steal the crown from YouTube as the king of digital videos.
Encouraging diversity and activism, this year’s convention has been particularly encouraging to shut down any kind of harassment or hate speech. The diversity of both fans and creators, in sexes, religions and orientations represented are a truly positive sign of the often inclusive and supportive nature of YouTube communities.
The last time YouTube published user numbers, well we can’t actually quite remember it, it’s been a few years. But this year at VidCon Susan Wojcicki published the impressive digits of the biggest video platform in the world. YouTube has now more than 1.5 billion registered users who use the platform monthly. That is ⅕ of the world population or in other words, every fifth person has their own YouTube account.
Unfortunately, the total number of all users, those with and without accounts was not disclosed. But fear not, we know YouTube is not going to become lazy and have great expansion plans to improve viewer experiences. As the platform has seen an increase in mobile views, they have focused on making the app’s player more compatible for different displays. Back in 2011, only 6% of YouTube views came from mobile devices. Today, 70% of YouTube views are now coming from mobile devices. We are waiting for the update that will automatically adjust to your screen, be it vertical or horizontal, to see our favourite YouTubers on the go even more often.
Besides the impressive growth numbers, YouTube is planning on embarking on Virtual Reality tech. Together with partners like LG, Yi and Lenovo, YouTube is developing VR180 cameras, that will make it possible for users to film Virtual reality videos in an affordable and easy fashion. Rumour has it that the camera will only cost a few hundred pounds. Exciting things are sure to come.
June, the month of Pride
A big step has been made towards allowing the content of all LGBTQ- YouTubers to be seen. YouTube has finally widened its “restricted mode” guidelines so that users are able to talk about discrimination or violence they’ve faced, after much criticism from the community.
Content is still now allowed to show graphic footage or language, but videos discussing LGBTQ topics like relationships or dating, which ended up being hidden on YouTube through the setting are now available. Around 12 million additional videos, many of which include relevant content can now be watched.
Initially, the restricted mode was created to ensure that children would not watch mature content. Yet, especially content around the LGBTQ community is very important for teens to be seen and for all the different voice to be heard.
And in the spirit of more diversity and freedom of speech, as it is the month of June, YouTube has released it’s fifth annual pride campaign, highlighting fantastic creators from across the world. When users go to YouTube’s Spotlight page, they’ll see the featured video titled “#ProudToBe: Celebrate Brave Voices this Pride.”
The video celebrates people within the LGBTQ community, sharing their stories and proudly being themselves in a world that often still tries to silence them. All part of YouTube’s Creators for Change Initiative, it’s a great way to celebrate the world’s and YouTube diverse and wonderful humans.
The online TV service that, so far, is only available in the US will expand to another 10 cities. Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Houston, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Phoenix, and Washington, DC are to enjoy the service that launched two months ago in LA, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Why the slow expansion? YouTube TV relies on the big broadcast networks to compensate for the lack of channels, as it needs to strike deals with each affiliate in the city they launch in. But with DirectTV Now, Sling TV and PlayStation Vue availability nationwide, YouTube has its work cut out to expand quicker and speed up its expansion if it wants to be relevant.
What did you think about this month on YouTube? Tell us what your important moments were.