YouTube has set out its plans to try and help its creators more, such as being able to shop within a YouTube Shorts video, better monetization options for channels, and better insights into how their videos are performing.
The content-creation company has had its fair share of controversy over the years, most recently in its decision to change how dislikes on videos are displayed. But with TikTok fast becoming a social media network focused on video, Google-owned YouTube is trying to bring out some features that can better help its creators, not only to earn a living, but also to prevent them from leaving for TikTok, Vimeo or another rival video platform.
Back in 2003, you would find it a challenge to discover a site that would only show free content, and the thought of being able to make money from your videos would be a dream.
But YouTube has grown into a place where you can freely upload a video and, if the views are there, build up a following and make some money. But its past mistakes have made its users wonder if these features are simply covering up the cracks of a larger issue.
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In its blog, the company reveals that it is aware that it needs to offer features to rival TikTok via its YouTube Shorts feature. Going live with another content creator for joint videos is on the horizon, alongside gifted memberships, and guidelines for the live chat are on the way.
However, the point comes back to how creators have been treated across the years. A recent example was a YouTuber called TotallyNotMark, who delves into the history of Japanese Anime, manly Dragon Ball. He had most of his videos removed in December 2021 with no explanation, which wiped out his income overnight.
This was due to TOEI Animation, the owners of Dragon Ball, claiming copyright infringements on most of Mark's videos, with no opportunity for the YouTuber to challenge these before they were taken down.
However, Mark was able to resolve this after five weeks, and his videos are back up.
While he was able to get the copyright claims resolved, he spoke in detail about how the appeals process by YouTube was unhelpful, slow, and non-transparent, especially in regards to why the videos were removed in the first place. And this has been a problem for years, where some content creators have left the platform.
We reached out to YouTube about this and TotallyNotMark's issues, and Jack Malon, a YouTube spokesperson, told us that “YouTube doesn't mediate copyright disputes—it is between the parties involved. We give copyright holders tools to make Content ID claims covering their copyrighted content and uploaders tools to dispute claims they believe are made in error,” Malon explained. “We also take the abuse of our tools seriously, and when we find instances of misuse, we take appropriate action in accordance with our policies.”
While it's encouraging to see the company announce more features to better support its creators, there was no mention of any improvements to the appeals process in the blog post. Perhaps eventually, YouTube will be able to look at how the content creators can appeal against copyright strikes, and save them the anxiety that it could cause them, as it did to Mark.
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