After Ten Years, Will YouTube Still Be the Most Lucrative Social Media Platform?

Me at the Zoo, the first video ever submitted to YouTube, has received over 240 million views as of this writing. A 19-second video from around 2005, when YouTube first became popular online, served as the catalyst for the social media revolution. In 2022, YouTube reported ad income of about $7.34 billion, a 5% rise from the previous year. YouTube is now among the biggest social media sites in the world as a result.
Additionally, one of the most widely used social media networks in the world, YouTube estimated 2.5 billion active users in 2021. Users of the platform can also subscribe to a premium service where they can download videos and access ad-free content. YouTube reported having about 50 million premium users in 2021 as well.

The question today is whether YouTube will continue to rule the social media game as it already does, or if the trend toward short videos will alter the internet environment and render YouTube obsolete over time.

Youtube Currently

A lot of people are currently using YouTube. According to a Pew Research study, 81% of Americans prefer YouTube to Facebook (69%), where they consume content. In the past two years, while the entire world was in lockdown, YouTube was one of just two internet platforms that experienced significant growth. Reddit was the other platform.

According to experts, the popularity of YouTube can be related to its accessibility and consumers’ abundance of free time. Finding a video on any subject you wish to learn more about or keeping up with your favorite vloggers and celebrities can be very satisfying. Users find it simple to keep scrolling and viewing on YouTube, even though it reduces their productivity, according to the site’s design and format.

According to experts, the popularity of YouTube can be related to its accessibility and consumers’ abundance of free time. Finding a video on any subject you wish to learn more about or keeping up with your favorite vloggers and celebrities can be very satisfying. Users find it simple to keep scrolling and viewing on YouTube, even though it reduces their productivity, according to the site’s design and format.

Problems With Youtube

Even if it seems like YouTube is having a lot of success right now, the social media giant is still facing three major obstacles:

1. Challenges in Business

When you contrast Netflix to YouTube, the issue is clear. Both offer video streaming services, but Netflix has the ability to produce new series that appeal to its audience or license original content, whereas YouTube depends on user support to stay in business. Even if independent creators choose to boycott Netflix, there would still be content there, whereas YouTube would be shut down. Given the emergence of numerous other social media networks, having user-generated content as a business model is hard and exposes YouTube to risks.

By sponsoring conferences, meetups, and hiring “partner managers” who encourage musicians, gamers, and celebrities to make more videos, YouTube is attempting to avoid disaster. They also invite them to workshops where they can hone their talents to be more successful on YouTube and give them early access to new features.

2. Free Speech

The second difficulty has to do with free speech and content policing. By actively learning what users are watching and recommending related content, the YouTube algorithm keeps consumers glued to the site. Because of this, people become lost in the platform’s rabbit hole and spend hours simply browsing the information. People have, however, criticized YouTube, claiming that the algorithm fostered hate speech and conspiracy theories.
In an effort to combat this, YouTube bases its video content ratings on third-party evaluations. According to YouTube censors, a video is flagged and checked for questionable content if viewers downvote it. This isn’t a flawless approach, though, as hate speech users wouldn’t report a video for using hate speech.

3. Unfair Treatment of Creators

The handling of YouTube’s content providers is likely the third and most significant issue. The platform has shown to be biased against smaller content producers or vloggers who are based outside of the United States.
Although YouTube has made some progress recently, there is always a danger that smaller content producers will become discouraged and choose to use another social networking site instead.

What Does the Future Look Like for Youtube?

There are conflicting reports everywhere. Although many pessimistic people think YouTube is losing popularity, the statistics don’t back this up. Indeed, over the past five years, as was already said, YouTube has increased both its subscriber base and its income. So why do people think YouTube is vanishing even if the statistics shows constant growth?

Different content forms are one of the reasons there may be a shift away from YouTube. Reels on Instagram are one such instance. Both content producers and viewers now want easily consumable, brief information. Alternately, larger chunks of some movies, such as games and episodes, are recommended. Longer videos may be the issue, since viewers watch more content overall but fewer videos as a result of their length. Because of this, fewer videos are watched overall.

There is a lot of content available to view and stream, which is another factor. Users may binge on exclusive content on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and others in a single sitting. This might be more appealing than user-generated stuff. The fact that YouTube is still accessible for free and offers a wealth of information is one of its advantages, though. In contrast to those who haven’t, successful creators are more likely to have kept up with changing times.

Because it caters to all users and no other social media platform can take its place, YouTube is likely to be successful in ten years. Everything from gaming videos to culinary videos is available in one location. Additionally, the site provides sociability, something that streaming providers do not. Due to the fact that it allows people to communicate with their preferred content producers, YouTube will always be successful.

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