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Why We're Going to See Only Clickbait Titles and Thumbnails in Future

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Derek Muller who is doing the Veritasium YouTube channel has published this video.

I did not know him or his videos before but he is a magnificent example of how to present things in general. He has written a PhD thesis on this topic.

In the video mentioned above, he is explaining how you can influence if your video is going viral. He further explains that some YouTube stars do face some issues in keeping their view counts resulting in burnout effects. He found out that the viewers over time of a YouTuber channel follows a specific function, which is a very interesting discovery if this holds true for a large number of YouTube channels.

He criticises the number of views as a measure of quality, the tiny fraction of YouTube videos that are actually pushed at all and how the designers of YouTube recommendation algorithm are actually defining what you are going to watch.

For YouTube video producers, YouTube isn't a reliable environment where you are in a position to define if your video is going to be successful or not. In this situation, YouTubers are pigeons in a operant conditioning chamber following some assumed patterns that are not related to the end result, causing burnout effects.

He further explains that YouTube is moving from a subscription model to a kind of yellow journalism where clickbait titles and catchy thumbnail previews are a must. This is actually the opposite direction how journalism developed and was able to provide high-quality content.

It all boils down to maximizing watch time and click-through rate.

He further extrapolates the current situation for the media in future. Not to spoil his insights to much: this is not going to be better. On the other hand side, he is also proposing a way out of this situation in order to create a better future.

Watch it yourself.

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