Creators on YouTube have lately been unnerved by sudden penalties and demonetization of certain channels, and the company is now looking at new and improved ways of preventing that from happening. As part of updating creators about its policies and communication “priorities”, CEO Susan Wojcicki announced that YouTube is now testing a new way to help creators avoid being penalized or losing ad revenue.
In a blog post, Wojcicki informed creators about the new pilot program which has begun with a handful of creators and will allow them to share a small description about the contents of the video. This description will make it easier for the human moderators as well the machine learning-based sifting algorithms to judge which videos comply with the policies set by YouTube and which ones don’t.
YouTube will now ask you to clarify if your videos contain sex, drug use, guns or firearms, violence, or profane language. This will help the company target the video to appropriate age groups and is likely to be in light of the recent incidents including Logan Paul’s controversial suicide video or PewDiePie’s use of racial comments.
While earlier creators needed only a total of 10,000 views to apply for monetisation, in February this criterion was changed to having at least 1,000 subscribers and a minimum of 4,000 hours of total viewership over the last one year. This resulted in a widespread demotion of creators and agitated many – leading to the deadly shootings at the YouTube headquarters earlier this month.
Wojcicki talked about the six-fold increase in engagement with creators since January 2018. In light of this the company will expand Twitch-like subscription to niches beyond gaming videos. In this format, patrons of the YouTubers can pay recurring monthly payments of $4.99 to support their favorite creators. YouTube has not clarified the criteria for selecting which creators get access to the feature but given its track-record, the company is likely to hand-pick some of the top performing channels before rolling it out to a bigger community of creators.