In an effort to promote viewership and more news related content on its website, YouTube has started to feature breaking news on users’ homepages. The content will be tailored to the individual’s preferences, but the goal is to end the idea that YouTube is only a place of content rabbit holes.
The new feature is currently available on both iOS and Android products, as well as desktops. Although there is a “trending” page on YouTube, it won’t be the same as the breaking news section. The breaking news section is specifically set up to show up when major news events have just taken place, so individuals who are interested in current events will be caught up immediately.
YouTube is typically used when someone needs to kill time or just see a quick snippet of something interesting from the news or social media. The video content sharing site wants to break that boundary and promote YouTube as a site that distributes quality relatable content to the public. Facebook has seen an increase in total video views in the past few years due to “quick-and-dirty” themed videos that don’t necessarily focus on long, professional content. YouTube hasn’t had a problem for creating the same kind of quick videos, but they want to head in a new direction to change the stigma that’s been associated with the site since its creation. YouTube has populated an incredible number of online users, regardless of their intention or content preference. In June of 2017, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced the site had “1.5 billion watching an hour of video each on mobile alone.”
Breaking news is not something YouTube has dominated in the past, but the site is seriously looking to move on to a new direction with the introduction of this new feature to users’ homepages. Google works on courting publishers through integrated programs with AMP; with breaking news, it will be fascinating to see how YouTube treats partnerships with 24-hour broadcast news channels who post content on the site. This may be another breakthrough for the successful online content streaming site.