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Swipe Right For YouTube’s Storyfication

YouTube’s New Video Experience To Woo Mobile Viewers

YouTube has today announced a new way for users to experience video on the platform, taking a leaf out of Tinder’s book.

The update announced today for iOS (sad face for Google’s Android users), sees YouTube rolling out a new horizontal swiping gesture that lets users move forward and backwards through the videos they’re watching. Swiping forward transports to the next recommended video while swiping back will take to the last video watched.

Making a partial swipe (dragging the video partially left or right, without fully swiping to the next or previous video) offers a sneak peek of the next or previous video. The current video being watching will continue to play with audio.

Users can still tap on the video player to see all of the player controls or pause a video, and the player controls will show up.

Everyone’s Got A Story To Tell

Observers will no-doubt note the similarities between how video will be now experienced within YouTube and other platform trends related to Story style formats.

Every social channel now has a Story format:

  1. Snapchat invented Stories in 2013
  2. Instagram Stories launched in 2016
  3. Facebook Stories launched in 2017
  4. WhatsApp Status (Stories) launched in 2017
  5. Google AMP Stories launched in 2018
  6. LinkedIn Stories launched in 2018
  7. YouTube Stories launched in 2018

While Story formats are now ubiquitous, many marketers misinterpret the significance.

YouTube's Drives 70% Of Views On Mobile

Stories provide, at the moment, the best way to experience content on mobile.

These shifts, therefore, are not really about Stories, for the sake of Stories being awesome. In itself, highly debatable. I have spoken with many marketers who don’t see the apparent fascination.

Rather, it is simply the latest permutation of the web shifting to a mobile-first user experience (UX). Something extremely important to YouTube, which now drives 70% of its views via mobile. This latest update is, therefore, more about giving users more control over video playback on mobile devices.

Likely bringing benefits to organisations both on the organic side and paid.

On the organic side, YouTube’s improved mobile UX increases should increase overall Watch Time, perhaps YouTube’ main ranking factor. As users engage more easily with video and transition from video to video seamlessly on mobile devices.

On the paid front, greater video consumption from users increases the total number of buyable ad impressions, helping keep costs stable.  

Keep your eyes peeled for the change as it rolls out in the coming days. 




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