YouTube creators have long blamed the growing burn-out problem within the community for the algorithm of the platform, but a new video story from the YouTube product manager says this is not always the case.
Todd Beaupre, product manager at YouTube, immersed himself in data for hundreds of channels that took two-week breaks – a pretty long time for a full-time YouTuber. Beaupre suggested that the data turned out to be a few interesting details, especially when it comes to vlog-type channels. Although some channels pause because their upload schedule is not too intense, others depend on constant output from creators, as their viewers are used to. This makes it difficult for those makers to take a break.
Beaupre and his team try to tackle this inequality in their work on the algorithm. "It really depends on the nature of your audience and the kind of content you are doing," Beaupre says in the video above. "If someone takes a break and his audience is still interested in seeing his content, we try to demonstrate the algorithm."
A good example of Beaupre's research is David Dobrik, one of the most popular vloggers on the platform, who took a one-month break between his 419th vlog and his 420th. Dobrik's 420th blog – a game at 4:20, the length of all of his video's running – spiked into viewership as devoted fans shouted to see his return. The video currently has more than 10 million views, a remarkable number even for someone from Dobrik & # 39; s stature.
Yet it took years for Dobrik almost daily to reach that point. The grinding can often lead to the burn-out of a maker. It is something that Elle Mills, a popular maker who had the face of burnout in the community after a public collapse, spoke during her conversation with Beaupre.
"I try to refrain from taking too many breaks because I feel that people are less forgiving," says Mills.
Mills acknowledged Beaupre's point about consistency from the audience, but argued that in order to reach the point where a maker feels safe enough to take a break and not worry about the algorithm, they take the grind have to play.
"I feel that when it comes to growing an audience, consistency is the most important thing," says Mills. "You need to build trust with your audience and they need to know that they will appear every week and see a new video of you. Once you've won that community and that trust, you can work a little looser with your upload schedule."
Beaupre is aware of the pressure that comes from makers who want to compete in such a busy area. Every minute more than 450 hours of content is uploaded and every month there are nearly 2 billion logged-in users who are searching for videos to watch. According to Beaupre, YouTube is looking for ways to increase success by viewers and less by the algorithm.
"There are a number of types of channels or content where the audience really expect a consistent experience," says Beaupre. "Making contact with a creator, perhaps a vlogger, can make consistency very important, but I do not think it applies to all channels, and we want to make sure that all different types of channels can be successful and the audience really let them drive what is recommended. "
Burnout in the Creator community is something that YouTube is beginning to work on, according to leaders like Ryan Wyatt. Wyatt, who oversees YouTube Gaming, told Polygon it's up to YouTube to do better for creators.
"I just think we should be thought leaders in space given our size and scale," Wyatt told Polygon in September. "I think we owe it to our creators, this is something that my team talks about, because we manage the best creators as a company, we spend a lot of time on these conversations and we take it very, very seriously. . "
Correction (February 11 3:35 PM ET): An earlier version of this story identified YouTube's project manager as Todd Shapiro. It was actually product manager Todd Beaupre. The story has been updated to reflect these changes.