YouTube, We Need to Talk

There comes a point in every relationship where people just need to hash things out.

Today, I am asking you, YouTube, please don’t impose the March 1 “upgrade!” on all subscribers!  We don’t want it!

For those who want it, great.

But you PROMISED we could switch back to the old design.  Even in your new documentation guide, there is wording about how we can switch back to the old design if we prefer.  But now, all of a sudden, there is this notice that the Channels will ALL be switched to the new design on March 1.  Not voluntarily.  You’re just going to do it.

There are so many drawbacks to the new Channel design! You’re taking away our publicly viewable friends and subscriptions, and so many other aspects that made us social on YouTube. I used to find new Channels to subscribe to by looking at what other people subscribed to on their Channels.  Hey, we all did.  It was an important way of building audiences.  And now, poof.  That will be eliminated. Why, why, why?

The new format, in my view, is not user-friendly, and nearly impossible to brand.  All the Channels now look the same.  We can’t organize our channels by playlists anymore.  We can’t make them the color of our brands.  We can’t choose a font.  The text amount we used to have to describe our Channels, companies, and purpose has been drastically cut.  And the hyperlinks we had in our profile descriptions don’t work anymore, either.   Just check out Michelle Phan’s site if you don’t believe me.

And where are my Channel comments?  I had some nice ones.  In the new format, they’re just gone.

The truncated video descriptions that appeared on our Channels that encouraged people to watch the videos are gone.  Now they have to click through to the watch page to see what the video is about.  We can’t organize the modules in the way we would like.  The customization options we know and love have been taken away from us.

I liked being able to feature other Channels on my Channel.  My whole portfolio was organized around it.  But I’m not the only one who uses that feature. So does the Federal Government.  Why are you giving us fewer options to keep people from exploring content on YouTube?  How does that work for you?

Hey, if I could pay to keep my Channel like it is, or buy the branded Channel option, I sure would.  I don’t know how many times I’ve contacted your advertising rep to do just that.  But I’ve never received an answer.  I guess you don’t want my money anymore than you want my input!

And the “Feed” setting just makes no sense at all.  Seriously, is there a user demand for “Feed” activity? People want to see videos.  If I wanted to see what a user “favorited” I could have looked at their “favorite” playlist, like before.

BEFORE

New Design. I don't like it. It's "blah."

AFTER

I don’t like the new version.

And most of all, you’ve never provided a reason why this is a good move for you, or for us. You can’t expect us to support or like this with no rationale at all. That’s not fair.  Okay, you said it was more “flexible.”  How is taking away options from Channel creators MORE flexible?  You said it makes it easier for Channel creators to organize and showcase exactly what they want.   Is it opposite day at YouTube?  Because it does exactly NOT that. I know.  I tried it out.  And you said it makes it look and feel easier for viewers to find and watch content.  According to whom?  Where is the usability study on that?  Because I think the organization tools you took away make it a lot more difficult.

I have four YouTube Channels of my own and I administer others for clients. I have tested the new format and I do not consider it an improvement. In fact, I hate it, and so do many who have been there for you since the beginning.  Even your Channel doesn’t look good anymore.  We worked hard on our Channels and you’re just taking them away from us. We help support you and you support us. There wouldn’t be a YouTube without us, though, and we deserve a choice.

You gave us a choice at first, then you decided to take it away.  Please listen to us!

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About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince (www.FletcherPrince.com). Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on January 23, 2012, in YouTube Video Tips and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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