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Social Sci LibreTexts

13.6: YouTube

  • Page ID
    59250
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    Learning Outcomes

    Describe the primary use of YouTube

    Google purchased YouTube in 2005, and since then, it has grown to be the second largest social media platform (in terms of regular users). Interestingly, the line between Facebook and YouTube is often blurred, despite the fact that they are owned and operated by separate entities. Many people use both platforms and link content between the two. Much of Facebook’s content consists of posted videos embedded or linked from YouTube.

    While we may broadly consider YouTube to be the second largest social media platform, it operates in a fundamentally different way from most social media platforms. It does not necessarily directly compete with Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram since these platforms have many features focused on messaging, whereas YouTube focuses on uploaded videos, usually limited in length, and comments on said videos. Because of this, it’s usually best to cross-post your videos from YouTube on a different platform and start discussions and conversations on other platforms (e.g., Facebook or Twitter).

    Most videos on YouTube are around 5–10 minutes long, with a default limit at 15 minutes; however, you can increase this limit by verifying your account. YouTube users may comment on videos and exchange links to other content elsewhere on the web. Additionally, users may create channels and “areas” of content ascribed to certain brands or authorship. In this sense, YouTube is an excellent way to grow a brand essentially for free.

    REI

    REI, an outdoor recreation retailer, uses YouTube to great effect. On the home tab of REI’s YouTube channel (Figure 1), they provide a link to shop at their store, as well as links to their other social media presences. Additionally, they have featured videos, highlighting their promoted videos.

    Screenshot-2018-07-24-11.31.24-1024x486.png
    Figure 1. REI’s Home on YouTube

    As you look through their video library, you can see that they have several categories of videos, including REI Presents, REI Camping Recipes, REI: Trailheads, and REI. They use these different channels to appeal to people with different interests within their outdoor niche.

    They specifically use their REI Presents videos to tell stories of people who have accomplished outdoor feats and to inspire others.

    Thumbnail for the embedded element "REI Presents: I Am Here"

    A YouTube element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here: http://pb.libretexts.org/bcsom/?p=464

    Using YouTube

    The following video (on YouTube!), discusses how to place videos on YouTube. Note the author’s emphasis on how describing and placing the video will help grow its audience and overall viewership.

    A link to an interactive elements can be found at the bottom of this page.

    YouTube is an excellent platform to place content, but it arguably is not a good choice for creating discussions around the content. In this way, Facebook—or another sharing platform—should be combined with YouTube. You can embed YouTube videos directly into your website as well, which optimizes YouTube’s versatility. However, another thing to keep in mind is that, like Facebook, Google harvests data from its users and sells it to advertisers and other marketing firms.

    When assessing the usefulness of YouTube, you should keep the pros and cons listed in Table 1 in mind:

    Table 1. Pros and Cons of YouTube as a Social Media Platform
    Pros Cons
    Ease of use Data capturing and privacy concerns
    Integration with other social media and websites Sheer size and volume of content requires careful placement
    Massive audience Creating videos requires unique skill and tools when compared to business writing

    Contributors and Attributions

    CC licensed content, Original
    • YouTube. Authored by: Freedom Learning Group. Provided by: Lumen Learning. License: CC BY: Attribution
    All rights reserved content
    • REI Presents: I Am Here. Provided by: RIE. Located at: https://youtu.be/T1A87rMDn0c. License: All Rights Reserved. License Terms: Standard YouTube License

    13.6: YouTube is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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