New features for teachers

It’s World Teachers’ Day, and to honor the hard-working and talented people in front of classrooms everywhere, we’ve put together some new resources to make YouTube even more useful for learning. (Oh, and we’re celebrating teachers in the YouTube logo today too! Check it out!).

First, we’ve created a special YouTube EDU Creator Playbook Guide (download it here), full of video best practices for online educators to learn from each other. The Guide suggests ideas for organizing curriculum videos on YouTube, attracting a bigger audience to your educational content, and explains how to use YouTube features like annotations and playlists to make educational channels more interactive.

Second, we asked James Sanders, KIPP Bay Area Innovation manager (and former YouTube teacher-in-residence), to create a presentation on 10 ways teachers can use YouTube to build a 21st century classroom. It’s full of great, proven ideas for using YouTube to bring educational topics to life. For more advice, and playlists of educational videos visit

Today we also hit a great milestone at YouTube EDU - more than 1000 educational channels to learn from. So whether you’re a teacher looking to make physics more fun, an art student looking for inspiration, or a parent needing help with algebra homework, there’s a channel on YouTube EDU for you.

If you create great educational content and are interested in having your channel added to YouTube EDU, you can nominate your channel here.

And to teachers everywhere - thank you for all you do!

Arthur Woods, YouTube EDU team, recently watched “Dan Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation”.

Game on: YouTube Creator Playbook Version 2 now available

When we first released the YouTube Creator Playbook with tips for succeeding on YouTube, things were a little different. You didn’t have all the new channel features, the homepage didn’t yet have a guide to help you find and follow to channels you like, and you were uploading 48 hours a minute.

As we work on the site, we want to make sure you’re the first to know every tip and trick to succeed on YouTube, so today we’re launching version two of the YouTube Creator Playbook. In addition to these updates, almost every page includes your feedback (thank you!). Here’s a few of the key things to look for in the new version:

New channel & homepage section
With the launch of our new channel pages and updated homepage, we’ve created a new section on how to organize your videos for different audiences, and how to program your channel to help you make the most of the feed on the YouTube homepage.

Go global
Your channel reaches a global audience, so we’ve added a new section to help creators create, program, and optimize for audiences around the world.

Updates to annotations, playlists, publishing and more
Your feedback and new features helped us update much of the playbook on topics like annotations, playlists & video responses and call to actions.

If you’re new to YouTube or the Creator Playbook, we’ve included a glossary to help you quickly learn all the site’s features, and the strategies, terms, and topics used in the playbook.

We hope this update to the YouTube Creator Playbook is a helpful tool if you’re just coming to YouTube for the first time, as well as help YouTube pros quickly learn new features to keep expanding your audience. We’ll be talking more about the new playbook during our Partner Meet-Up Livestream on at 5pm PT today.

Ryan Nugent, audience development strategist, recently watched “Rodrigo y Gabriela and C.U.B.A. - Area 52 Album Trailer.”

YouTube Creator Playbook: Use analytics to build an audience

This is part of an ongoing series sharing tips from the YouTube Creator Playbook, a resource of best practices and tips you can start using on your Channel and videos right away.

There’s tons of data and information available about your Channel, videos and audience in YouTube Analytics, but the power of this information rests in how you use it. Here are tips for how to monitor the overall performance of your Channel and how to assess your videos based on the what the data is telling you.

Find the Story Behind the Data
  • Learn what each metric means and how the different metrics correlate to one another to find the 'why' and 'how' of trends you're seeing. Don't just kick your feet up when you see a nice spike in views - dig deeper to learn more. Find what video is causing the increase or look at traffic sources to see where the new views are coming from.
  • Hear FreddieW discuss how he uses tracking and measuring to assess the impact of all the strategies he tries on his Channel:

Peaks, Most, Biggest
  • Use Analytics to investigate ‘peaks’ and ‘most’ of each metric. What videos are driving the most subscribers and why? What week did your Channel get the most views and what traffic source makes up the biggest portion of your views? Answers to these can help you plan your future videos based on where you’re seeing the most success.
  • Gunnarolla uses Analytics to find out where his views come from for his Channel:

Videos Driving Subscribers
  • Now you can not only track your daily subscriber gains and losses, but you can see what specific videos are driving your subscriptions. Find out which call-to-action are helping you get the most people to subscribe to your Channel.
Use Your Archive
  • YouTube Analytics is a great way to keep an eye on how your archive is performing, beyond just new uploads. The 'Top 10' and video level metrics allow you to see which videos from your archive are still performing well or maybe even spiking in viewership. Use this information to prioritize what videos to optimize with annotations, new thumbnails or playlists.
To learn more about using YouTube Analytics to help your Channel succeed and many other tips, check out the YouTube Creator Playbook.

Ryan Nugent, audience development strategist, recently watched “Echoes...

Thumbnails: Your video’s billboard on YouTube

This is part of an ongoing series sharing tips from the YouTube Creator Playbook, a resource of best practices and tips you can start using on your channel and videos right away. As we move along in this series, some posts will be focused for more advanced YouTubers or YouTube Partners, like this week’s tip.

With YouTube seeing 48 hours of video uploaded every minute, it’s important to think how you can get your content seen by your regular and new viewers. In many cases, thumbnails are the first point of contact for your channel and a relevant thumbnail can make the difference for someone about to watch your (awesome) content.

Thumbnail Basics
During the upload process you have the opportunity to pick one of three frames from your video, or to upload a custom image file. For either option some basic best-practices can be applied:

1. Your thumbnail should look good, either scaled small or large
  • Faces work better and engage the audience
  • Visuals of the finished product work better than the process (e.g. show the cake, rather a picture of the batter)
  • Good thumbnails follow the same rule as good photographs - composition, contrast, and color count

2. Choose images that accurately portray your video’s content
  • Accurate thumbnails allow viewers to more easily browser and enjoy your content.
  • Misleading thumbnails lead to poor audience engagement and will hurt your channel’s performance in the long run
  • Safeguards are in place to find and penalize channels that upload racy thumbnails—take a look at our Community Guidelines for more information
TMZ (entertainment)

3. For channels with the ability to upload custom thumbnails, upload a high quality image
  • There is no limit on pixel size (though 1280x720 is recommended)
  • The image file has to be less than 2MB
  • Accepted file formats: PNG, BMP, GIF, or JPEG
vsauce (multiple genres)
Thumbnail Placement
Thumbnails for your videos, playlists and even your channel are used throughout YouTube to promote your content. Some common placements for thumbnails are in search results, along the far right column of your video’s Watch Page, on your Channel page, and in the video player after a video stops playing (the video’s end card). Through these placements viewers can discover your videos, playlists, and channels.

You also should try YouTube Analytics to understand and measure the impact of these tips, and to learn more about thumbnail optimizations and other tips, check out the YouTube Creator Playbook.

Andres Palmiter, Audience Development Strategist, recently watched “Todd Kuiken: A prosthetic arm that ‘feels’.”

YouTube Creator Playbook: Build a consistent audience with frequent new videos

This is part of an ongoing series sharing tips from the YouTube Creator Playbook, a resource of best practices and tips you can start using on your channel and videos right away.

There is no substitute for great content, and when you make great videos, your audience will want more. This post will teach you about frequency of new content on your channel and how you communicate when it will be coming out, to help build a loyal and consistent audience on YouTube.

Upload Frequency
Uploading frequently will help YouTube surface your videos to more potential viewers, and hopefully lead to more viewership. For subscribers, having something new for them every week will get them coming back to your channel more and more, and new viewers are more likely to become part of your recurring audience if they see that your channel is actively creating great videos.

A typical frequency we’ve seen among successful YouTubers is a video a week. But making a great video takes time, so it’s important to find ways to get more videos from the same amount of production efforts. For example, many successful YouTube channels create behind-the-scenes videos, comment response videos interact with fans, or other formats like these.

Releasing videos on a recurring schedule helps build a structure to your show that an audience can rely on. Based on your audience and your content, decide what the right release schedule is for your channel: What’s your ‘prime-time’ of the week?

Then, make it clear to the audience when and how often episodes are released. This way your fans will know when to expect your content, and can look forward to your next piece of creative genius. Ways you can do this include saying your programming schedule in your videos, in the episode description in text and branding on your channel. Here’s a video example, and check out this banner screenshot of HISHEdotcom’s channel.

FreddieW put it best when he wrote that “A consistent audience requires consistent content.” If you want your audience to come back week after week, you’ll need to do your part and make sure they have new great videos to watch when they do.

Try out the suggestions above and maximize the potential of your content with the right upload and release schedule strategy! To learn more on this and many other tips, check out the YouTube Creator Playbook.

Bengu Atamer, Audience Development Manager, recently watched “Physics Nobel Prize 2011 - Sixty Symbols.”

YouTube Creator Playbook: Get the audience to subscribe

This is part of an ongoing series sharing tips from the YouTube Creator Playbook, a resource of best practices and tips you can start using on your channel and videos right away.

If you’ve got great videos to share, help your channel grow by letting people know how they can subscribe and see them all. Subscribers can become your core audience for views, likes and comments, and especially your first wave of feedback on your videos. Here’s a few things to consider as your looking at your subscribers:

Provide great content on a regular schedule that viewers won’t want to miss. It gives your something to look forward to, and new fans can know what to expect.

Ask them! If your videos include a personality or someone who talks directly to the audience, just ask your viewers to subscribe to your channel. Don’t over do it, and have a good reason for why they should. Here’s a few ideas how to do it:

Use Annotations: Add annotations to your videos that link to subscribe buttons for your channel. This is a good way to encourage your viewers to subscribe if you aren’t on camera to ask them directly.

Make it easy to subscribe on your channel page. You already have one subscribe button on your channel page, but if you build it into your banner image and other parts of the channel design you give viewers more opportunities to subscribe. You can also share the subscription love with your fellow YouTubers and cross-promote other channels by enabling the ‘other channels’ module. Here’s an example from College Humor that shows related channels for their audience:

Try out some of the suggestions above and learn even more in the YouTube Creator Playbook.

Ryan Nugent, Audience Development Strategist, recently watched “Scared Scared Scared by Gavin Castleton.”