Drop Down Reactions added to Youtube This Month
Next to the comment section, YouTube has added the drop down menu for "Your Reaction?" with the following choices of simple, one-click reactions:
Yes. You are right, this is hardly a new concept for Youtube. Google's social media pet is attempting a different form of previous simple click reactions.
My reaction: "OMG GooTube! WTF are you thinking? It's really not CUTE, and IMO this is an EPIC FAIL!"
The reaction should be "Why?"
Why would youtube add this feature? Because YouTube is run by Google. Google is adamant about user experience. Google wants to rank things based on relevancy and what the user wants to see. How does Google gauge user experience? Through monitoring the user's interactions with a website. What does Google monitor on YouTube and use for ranking videos in YouTube? Google monitors video comments, they monitor Likes and Dislikes. They monitor rewinds and playbacks. They monitor bounce rates. They monitor at which point in the video bounce rates happen most. They monitor full video views. They monitor the number of views. They recently added the "As featured on www.ExampleWebsite.com", which is likely another quality signal. So why add reactions? Because it allows YouTube/Google to further monitor user experience. One more small piece of user experience data. Even if this feature is rarely used by the masses, it is still measurable user data.
But YouTube already failed at their first "reactions" attempt!?
Did they fail? Only Youtube and Google really know the extent of their failures or successes. Even in failing one can learn and improve. Perhaps since the new attempt at YouTube reactions uses full words it will have more success… perhaps. But the drop down list still seems a bit teenybopper-ish, and hardly useful. I agree, it seems to simply scream, "We want to be trendy here at Youtube!!… Yo Digitty Dog!?.." But do we really understand the YouTube user demographic? My guess is that the words selected for the drop down reactions were chosen based on frequency of use in user comments. Most likely similar to the original set of reactions. Those individuals that are speaking out on YouTube are probably using this vocabulary set.
As any good social media marketer will tell you, "Know your audience" Knowing your audience also means speaking their language. On the flip side, if they want to increase user feedback then perhaps they shouldn't cater to the boisterous audience that is already speaking their minds, but cater to those that are not. Maybe offering more useful tidbits of informational reactions, like "Interesting, Educational, Inspirational, Entertaining, Useful, or News Worthy" would get the silent less trendy audience to speak their mind. But creating categories and organization based on computed equations is never an easy task. In the end, only the users will tell YouTube/Google what they think of the reactions. In the meantime, if you want to rank a youtube video you may have to bite into this new YouTube reactions metrics. Or hold out strong and send them the message that enough is enough. We, your users, don't want to be poked a probed like lab rats anymore. We don't want to give you anymore data about who we are and what we like.