The digital age has seen the rise of many internet celebrities, but few have experienced the meteoric rise and subsequent controversy like the Fine Bros.
Benny and Rafi Fine, collectively known as the Fine Bros, are creators behind the popular “React” series on YouTube. This deep dive will explore their journey, the controversies they faced, and the impact they had on the YouTube community.
The Rise of The Fine Bros
The Beginning (2007-2010)
The Fine Bros launched their YouTube channel.
Introduced the “Kids React” series, which quickly gained popularity.
Reached 100,000 subscribers.
The Fine Bros found a niche in capturing genuine reactions of people, starting with kids, to various viral videos, trends, and cultural phenomena.
Peak Popularity (2011-2015)
Launched “Teens React” and “Elders React”.
Won a Daytime Emmy for their “Kids React” series.
Introduced “YouTubers React”, bringing in other popular creators.
Expanded their brand with spin-offs and international versions.
The program was designed to allow creators from around the globe to license the Fine Bros’ format, enabling them to produce their own localized versions of “React” videos.
On the surface, this seemed like a promising expansion strategy. However, the announcement was met with significant backlash from the YouTube community for several reasons.
Perceived Greed: Monopolizing a Generic Video Format
The essence of the “React” format is simple: film individuals or groups as they watch and respond to various content.
This format, in the eyes of many, was seen as too generic to be owned or licensed. By attempting to license this format, the Fine Bros were perceived as trying to lay claim to a broad style of video that many creators had been using long before the Fine Bros popularized it.
The backlash was rooted in a fundamental belief: that the Fine Bros were not just licensing their specific style or branding, but were trying to control and profit from a widespread video format.
This move was seen by many as a greedy attempt to capitalize on something that should remain in the public domain.
Trademark Issues: The “React” Trademark Controversy
Further fuelling the controversy was the discovery that the Fine Bros had filed to trademark the word “React” in the context of online video series. This raised alarms in the creator community.
The fear was that, if granted, this trademark would give the Fine Bros the legal power to take down or claim revenue from any video that used a similar format but didn’t license it from them.
The potential implications were vast. Would creators be sued or have their videos taken down for simply using the word “React” in their titles or for having a similar format?
The uncertainty around these questions caused widespread concern.
Community Backlash: Betraying the Open Nature of YouTube
YouTube, since its inception, has been a platform that champions creativity, openness, and community. Many creators and fans felt that the Fine Bros’ move with React World was a betrayal of these principles. The idea of putting a price tag on a generic format seemed to go against the very ethos of what YouTube stood for.
Dropped significantly, with many videos receiving less than 1 million views
Aftermath and Recovery
Following the backlash, the Fine Bros rescinded their trademark applications and cancelled the React World program. They issued a public apology, acknowledging their mistakes.
Rebuilding Trust (2017-2019)
Focused on producing quality content and engaging with their community.
Collaborated with other creators to rebuild bridges.
Introduced new series and formats to diversify their content.
Legacy and Impact
Despite the controversy, the Fine Bros have left an indelible mark on YouTube:
Pioneering Format: Their “React” format has been emulated by many, showcasing the power of genuine human reactions.
Community Engagement: They have collaborated with countless YouTubers, bridging communities and fostering collaboration.
Business Model: Their attempt with React World, though flawed, showcased the potential of franchising in the digital age.
The Fine Bros’ journey is a testament to the dynamic nature of the internet. Their rise, fall, and recovery offer valuable lessons in understanding the power of community, the pitfalls of ambition, and the importance of adaptability in the digital age.
PewDiePie, born Felix Kjellberg, is a Swedish YouTuber who once held the title of the most-subscribed YouTube channel.
His rise and fall captivated audiences around the world, and the story of PewDiePie is a fascinating tale of fame, controversy, and resilience.
Short Answer – What Happened To PewDiePie? – PewDiePie rose to fame with gaming videos on YouTube, faced controversies like racism & anti-Semitism, lost business partnerships, married Marzia Bisognin, moved to Japan, and announced pregnancy.
This deep dive explores PewDiePie’s meteoric ascent, his battles with controversies and demonetization, and his life beyond the screen.
Felix Kjellberg was born on October 24, 1989, in Gothenburg, Sweden. The son of Lotta Kristine Johanna and Ulf Christian Kjellberg, Felix grew up with his sister, Fanny.
He graduated from high school in 2008, and in 2010, while studying Industrial Economics and Technology Management at Chalmers University of Technology, Felix decided to start a YouTube channel.
Lotta Kristine Johanna
Ulf Christian Kjellberg
The Rise of PewDiePie
In 2010, PewDiePie began uploading videos to YouTube, primarily focused on “Let’s Play” videos, where he played and commented on various video games.
His quirky personality, unique commentary style, and signature “Bro Fist” quickly attracted a following, and by 2012, his channel surpassed one million subscribers.
PewDiePie’s YouTube Milestones
1 Million Subscribers
Most Subscribed Channel
25 Million Subscribers
50 Million Subscribers
100 Million Subscribers
Controversies and Demonetization
As PewDiePie’s popularity grew, he faced an increasing amount of scrutiny, particularly with regard to his content. His sense of humour and edgy jokes were not without controversy, leading to several high-profile incidents that tarnished his reputation and strained his relationships with business partners.
The Fiverr Incident (January 2017)
In one of PewDiePie’s most notorious controversies, he posted a video featuring two men holding a sign that read “Death to All Jews,” which he had commissioned on the freelancing platform Fiverr.
He intended the video to be a commentary on the absurdity of what people would do for money, but it was widely perceived as anti-Semitic.
As a result, the Wall Street Journal published an article highlighting this and other instances of controversial content on PewDiePie’s channel.
Response to the Controversy (February 2017)
Following the Wall Street Journal article, PewDiePie uploaded a video addressing the controversy. In it, he apologized for the offensive content but also criticized the media for taking his jokes out of context and sensationalizing them.
Nevertheless, the damage was done, and the fallout from the Fiverr incident would have lasting repercussions.
Disney and YouTube Sever Ties (February 2017)
In response to the anti-Semitic content, Disney’s Maker Studios, which had been working with PewDiePie, decided to cut ties with him.
These decisions were significant blows to PewDiePie’s career, as they severed major revenue streams and partnerships.
The N-Word Controversy (September 2017)
In another incident, PewDiePie was live-streaming a video game on his channel when he used a racial slur, the N-word, in frustration. The incident sparked widespread condemnation from the YouTube community and reignited the debate about the appropriateness of his content.
PewDiePie apologized for his use of the slur, admitting that it was “extremely immature” and “irresponsible.”
These controversies, among others, cast a shadow over PewDiePie’s career and significantly impacted his standing within the YouTube community.
While he has since made efforts to clean up his content and repair his reputation, these events serve as a reminder of the challenges that come with fame and the importance of responsible content creation in the digital age.
PewDiePie’s Controversies and Demonetization Timeline
Accusations of anti-Semitic content
Disney and YouTube sever ties
Cancellation of “Scare PewDiePie” YouTube Red series
Removal from Google Preferred advertising platform
Japan and Personal Life
Felix Kjellberg, known as PewDiePie, met Marzia Bisognin, an Italian YouTuber and entrepreneur, in 2011 after Marzia’s friend recommended she watch PewDiePie’s videos.
The two began a long-distance relationship, with Marzia eventually moving to Sweden to be with Felix. Over the years, their relationship has been documented in numerous YouTube videos, with Marzia often appearing in Felix’s content.
In April 2018, PewDiePie proposed to Marzia, and they announced their engagement on social media. The couple was married in a private ceremony at London’s Kew Gardens on August 19, 2019, surrounded by close friends and family. Photos from the event were shared on the couple’s social media profiles, and fans worldwide congratulated the pair on their union.
In 2020, PewDiePie and Marzia relocated from the United Kingdom to Japan, a country they had both expressed a deep love for in their videos. They have shared their experiences of living in Japan on social media and through their YouTube channels, showcasing their new home and the cultural experiences they’ve enjoyed. The couple has expressed their appreciation for the Japanese lifestyle and their excitement at starting a new chapter of their lives in the country.
In February 2023, PewDiePie and Marzia announced that they were expecting their first child together. The couple shared the news through an emotional video posted on PewDiePie’s YouTube channel, as well as on their respective social media accounts. Fans worldwide celebrated the announcement, expressing their joy and support for the couple as they embarked on this new journey as parents.
The personal life of PewDiePie and Marzia has been an integral part of their online presence, with fans following their relationship from its inception to their recent pregnancy announcement. As they continue to share their experiences and adventures in Japan, their story serves as a reminder of the human side of online content creators, who live their lives beyond the screen.
PewDiePie’s Personal Life
Engagement to Marzia Bisognin
Marriage to Marzia Bisognin
Relocation to Japan
The Fall and Rebirth of PewDiePie
Despite the controversies and setbacks, PewDiePie continued to create content and maintain a loyal fanbase. However, in early 2019, an Indian music label and film production company, T-Series, overtook PewDiePie as the most-subscribed YouTube channel.
The rivalry between PewDiePie and T-Series led to a massive online campaign known as “Subscribe to PewDiePie,” which garnered international attention. Though he eventually conceded the title to T-Series, this event further solidified PewDiePie’s impact on the YouTube community.
PewDiePie vs. T-Series
T-Series overtakes PewDiePie as most-subscribed channel
“Subscribe to PewDiePie” campaign begins
PewDiePie concedes the title to T-Series
In the wake of these events, PewDiePie shifted his content focus, moving away from “Let’s Play” videos and expanding into other areas, such as commentary, vlogs, and even book reviews. He also took a brief hiatus from YouTube in early 2020, citing the need for a break from the platform.
PewDiePie Philanthropy and the Future
Despite the controversies that have plagued his career, PewDiePie has remained dedicated to using his platform for good. He has raised millions of dollars for various charities, including Save the Children, World Wildlife Fund, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, among others.
Save the Children
World Wildlife Fund
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Today, PewDiePie continues to create content for his millions of subscribers, evolving and adapting to the ever-changing landscape of YouTube.
Though his time as the most-subscribed channel has come to an end, PewDiePie’s legacy remains an important part of YouTube’s history, and his future endeavours will likely continue to captivate audiences around the world.
The rise and fall of PewDiePie is a story of triumph, controversy, and resilience. From his humble beginnings in Sweden to the pinnacle of YouTube stardom, PewDiePie has navigated the ups and downs of fame while maintaining a loyal fanbase and making a lasting impact on the world of online content creation.
As he continues to evolve and adapt, it’s clear that PewDiePie’s story is far from over, and the world eagerly awaits what the future holds for this iconic YouTuber.
Welcome to the wacky, wonderful world of YouTube, where the quest for clicks, likes, and subscribes is a never-ending battle. Today, we’re taking a deep dive into a question that has plagued creators and audiences alike:
Do boobs really get you more views on YouTube?
We’ll explore the psychology, stats, and examples in this fun and friendly article, so buckle up and let’s get going!
The Psychology of Attraction
Let’s start with the basic human instincts. From an evolutionary perspective, our brains are hardwired to be attracted to certain physical traits that signal fertility and good health. For instance, the sight of a voluptuous bosom could evoke feelings of attraction as it suggests a potential mate who can nurture offspring. This is true for both men and women, albeit to varying degrees.
In the context of YouTube, this primal attraction can translate to more clicks on thumbnails featuring boobs, as it plays on our brain’s reward centre that’s geared toward seeking pleasure.
However, it’s important to note that other factors like humour, facial expressions, and intriguing visuals can also trigger the same reward centre, leading to more clicks and views.
The Stats: Boob-Thumbnails vs. Non-Boob-Thumbnails
Quantifying the “boob effect” on YouTube views is tricky, but some anecdotal evidence and informal studies have shown a correlation. For example, YouTuber Philip DeFranco conducted an experiment in 2012 where he alternated between boob and non-boob thumbnails for his daily vlogs. The result? Videos with boob thumbnails received significantly more views.
However, this isn’t a universal truth. A thumbnail featuring boobs may initially attract attention, but if the content is low-quality or irrelevant, viewers will leave quickly, causing watch time to suffer. In the long run, YouTube’s algorithm prioritizes watch time and engagement, so the short-term gains of a clickbait thumbnail might not translate to sustained growth for a channel.
YouTube has over 2 billion monthly active users, making it the second-largest search engine after Google. (Source: YouTube)
Over 500 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute. (Source: Brandwatch)
The average YouTube session duration on mobile is 40 minutes. (Source: Google)
While these statistics do not directly relate to the use of boob thumbnails on YouTube, they do demonstrate the enormous reach and influence of the platform.
Examples of Boob-Thumbnails in Action
There are numerous examples of creators using boobs in their thumbnails, whether they be gamers, vloggers, or pranksters. Some examples include:
Prank Invasion: This channel gained notoriety for its kissing pranks, often featuring thumbnails of scantily-clad women.
Zoie Burgher: A former Twitch streamer turned YouTuber, Zoie capitalized on her revealing outfits and thumbnails to amass a significant following.
VitalyzdTv: Known for his wild pranks and social experiments, Vitaly often includes provocative images of women in his thumbnails.
While these examples highlight the potential for boobs to draw attention, it’s essential to note that these creators also rely on engaging content to maintain their audience.
In other words, the boobs may reel viewers in, but it’s the content that keeps them coming back for more.
Average YouTube Click-Through Rates
TrueView Ads with CTA
Factors Affecting YouTube Click-Through Rates
Impact on Click-Through Rate
The title is the most important factor in determining whether someone will click on a video, and can affect click-through rates by up to 40%.
The thumbnail is the second most important factor and can affect click-through rates by up to 30%.
Shorter videos tend to have higher click-through rates.
High-quality videos with engaging content tend to have higher click-through rates.
Call to Action (CTA)
Including a CTA in the video can increase click-through rates by up to 15%.
(Source: YouTube Creator Academy)
YouTube Click-Through Rates by Industry
Average Click-Through Rate
Apparel & Accessories
Beauty & Personal Care
Food & Beverage
Health & Fitness
Home & Garden
Travel & Tourism
These statistics demonstrate the importance of factors such as video title, thumbnail, and quality content in determining click-through rates on YouTube. Additionally, the data highlights the variation in click-through rates across different industries on the platform.
So, do boobs get you more views on YouTube?
The answer is both yes and no. While using boobs in thumbnails can certainly grab attention, it’s only a piece of the puzzle. Engaging, high-quality content is crucial for maintaining an audience and appeasing the YouTube algorithm.
So, if you’re a content creator looking to boost your views, remember that there’s more to it than just flaunting some cleavage!
Some people only visit YouTube to figure out how to unblock a sink.
But, many visit it to keep up with the latest from their favourite creators. YouTube, by definition, is a social media platform.
Social media is usually thought of as ‘fast’, yet short-lived. Content that gets posted and quickly forgotten like posting a picture of something you’re eating or instantly reacting to breaking news, for example.
YouTube, on the other hand, seems like a ‘slow’ platform. It takes time to plan, shoot, and edit a video, and most content creators only upload new material two or three times a week.
There is another place, however, to enhance the social aspect of your YouTube channel, and I don’t mean adding hearts to the comments under a video. Look a little deeper on any established channel homepage, and you’ll find a tab entitled ‘community’.
What Is the YouTube Community Tab?
YouTube has a disadvantage over other social video platforms like TikTok and IGTV. Video uploaded to these platforms is quick to produce, often unscripted, and raw.
Getting social on Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram is like stuffing a quick sandwich in your mouth, whereas YouTube, in comparison, requires you to bake the bread first.
YouTube decided to fix this problem with the launch of the YouTube Community Tab in 2016. It’s a space for channels to interact with viewers by posting text and image updates or seeking their opinions via polls.
YouTube chose familiar functions found on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and made them available to established accounts. Here’s the community tab from MrBeast’s channel.
YouTube says it’s a light way to interact with your audience in-between video uploads. It only takes a moment to update and helps you boost viewer engagement, something you should be interested in as a channel owner.
Engagement plays a large part in how YouTube ranks videos, and if YouTube selects a video to suggest a viewer watch next.
The YouTube community tab then is a place to hook people into your content, start a conversation, and build a community.
There are several types of content you can post in the community tab. Quick text updates, like a twitter post, though with the extended character limits you can use it to mini-blog too.
You can include static images or moving GIFs, giving you options to tease new content, show behind-the-scenes, or embed a video thumbnail.
One function also baked into the community tab is the ability to post polls, so you can ask your subscribers a question and get them to interact on a deeper level with your channel.
You may be thinking, why bother; I can do all of that on Twitter or Instagram? Well, one of the best bits about the community updates is they appear in your subscribers feeds, the same as your videos.
It’s a no-brainer; you can quickly raise your profile through greater exposure to your YouTube subscribers.
If you have a YouTube channel but can’t see the community tab and thinks it’s missing, next, we’ll look at how you unlock the YouTube community tab.
How To Get YouTube Community Tab
The YouTube Community tab has an eligibility requirement; to qualify your channel must have 1000 subscribers. When you hit this threshold a week, or so later the YouTube Community tab should appear for your channel.
If you have over 1000 subscribers, but can’t see it, then this could mean you haven’t activated the custom channel layout.
To do this, navigate to your channel homepage and click ‘Customise Channel’.
When the next screen loads, click on the icon for the settings (small cog).
Then make sure that the toggle switch for ‘Customise the layout of your channel’ is switched on.
Return to your channel page hit refresh, and the Community tab should now appear.
What to Post in The YouTube Community Tab
With plenty of content types to choose from in the Community tab mix it up to make your feed more engaging. You need to give viewers a reason to return to your feed, bland, repetitive content, or shameless self-promotion will work against you eventually.
Let’s take a look at each content type in turn and how you post to your feed. First, you need to open Your Channel page and select the Community tab.
To do this, click on the menu in the top right-hand corner of YouTube then select ‘Your Channel’ menu option.
Next click on the Community Tab.
The Community Tab Editor
At the top of the community tab, you’ll see the editor, use this box to start creating your community updates.
Start typing to enter text, or use the three icons at the foot of the box to link to videos, run a poll, or post an image.
When entering text, the editor formats the first line for you in a larger character size. It works like an automatic headline as there are no tools in the editor you can use to change text appearance.
The only other text feature available is the @ symbol. This lets you tag in other channels or shoutout to friends.
There aren’t short character limits for an update, like Twitter, which in theory means you could use also use text updates to mini-blog. Remember, though; users come to YouTube to watch videos. It’s unlikely that regular lengthy updates would benefit you in the long run.
Look at other channels to see how they use text updates. If you find a style you like, emulate it, don’t copy directly. You don’t want to risk your channel through accusations of plagiarism.
PewDiePie uses the simple text-based updates frequently to thank his viewers or shoutout to other channels.
But, if I’m honest, the solely-text update is a bit dull, there are better ways to drive engagement with your channel. How about asking your subscribers a question instead?
Running a poll on your Community Tab is an excellent way to build a sense of community on your channel. A survey requires participation and can help the participants feel part of something bigger – everyone likes to belong.
Select the poll button on the editor, which displays the screen below.
Choose between two and five options for your poll. You can use both text and emojis, and the character limit for each option is 65.
It’s also a good idea to add an extra ‘neutral’ option to the poll if you have space. This option is for those who want to see the results and comment in the poll thread, but don’t want to answer the main polling question.
Rather than adding something boring like ‘I don’t know’, mix it up with something more humorous to help engagement.
While you can post engagement polls like the one above, you can also use polls to ask your subscribers about future content too.
An image always helps with engagement, and you can use this option to illustrate text updates.
It’s an ideal way to show a glimpse behind the scenes of your YouTube channel. People like to ‘go behind the lens’, so try sharing some casual pictures of your studio setup or your regular home life.
To add an image, click on the image icon in the community editor and select or drag an image to the screen. It’s best using a picture with a 1:1 aspect ratio or your photo could be automatically clipped.
YouTube allows JPG, PNG, and the new WEBP image formats, but also permits GIFs too. GIFs are by there nature more compelling. Not many people skip past and image once it starts to move, so let’s take a quick look at how you might use GIFs for engagement.
GIFs are posted to your community feed the same way as images. Naturally, the format has to be GIF, and the maximum file size you can upload is 16MB.
When posting a GIF, people instinctively think about posting funny memes. But the GIF format is a great way to tease your content too. Use an online service like placeit.net to make promo GIFs and drive engagement with your channel videos.
Vanessa Lau is excellent at this and frequently teases new content.
Link To Video
Remember everything you post in your community feed has the potential to show up in subscriber’s feeds. So use the link to video icon to regularly promote videos both new and old and increase your watch time.
Clicking on the add a video icon launches the following screen.
Select from your existing videos to promote your latest upload, and mix in some of your older content as well. Plus, you can add videos from other YouTubers using the search feature or by direct URL.
Once you have selected a video, you can add text, which when published to your feed looks like the following:
Picking the right text to go with your video link can further intrigue and prompt your followers to watch.
Schedule Your Community Posts
If you are the kind of creator who likes to get ahead of your content schedule, then you can schedule as many future community posts as you wish.
This feature is helpful for those who like to batch similar jobs together, or you could use it to keep your channel active while you are on vacation.
You can also use the scheduling feature to time content for followers in different timezones. If you’re European and your channel has lots of fans on the West coast of the US. You can schedule a post linking to a new video, and time it for the morning just as people are waking up and checking social feeds. Thus maximising the chance of a subscriber seeing the fresh content.
To schedule a post, compose your community update as usual, then to the right of the ‘post’ button, you will see a drop-down arrow. Click on the arrow then select ‘Schedule post’.
You’ll now see three options to the foot of the community editor; date, time, and timezone.
Then it’s just a case of selecting the exact moment you wish your post to go live.
Once you have scheduled a post, you still have the option to edit or delete it before publishing.
Community Plus – Paid Memberships
If you manage to grow your channel to over 30,000 subscribers, you have the option to run an exclusive paid channel membership club. You need to be a member of the YouTube Partner Program to take advantage of this additional option and further increase your YouTube earnings.
You can offer several levels of membership, like in the example below from travel vloggers Simon and Martina.
The first level provides members with exclusive channel chat emojis, and the subsequent levels provide additional exclusive content unavailable to regular subscribers to the channel.
It’s not a step to take lightly, though. Members will want something of value in return, which means providing additional content regularly. So you will need to plan carefully and make sure you can deliver on your promises before you take this step.
YouTube’s Community tab allows you to speedily interact with subscribers and viewers far quicker than the average time it takes to shoot and upload a video.
Whether you are driving additional watch time for old videos or building rapport with your followers, the community tab helps you to engage on a deeper level with them.
Mix up your community posts to take full advantage of content options to keep your feed refreshing and engaging. Post images, polls, and GIFs, and sometimes show different aspects of yourself than the one in your videos.
While it is no substitute for competing platforms, it can help your channel growth, video engagement. It should be an essential part of your content creation – once you meet the eligibility criteria.
You’ve seen a million YouTubers doing it—”please like and subscribe and ring that bell!”.
Whether it’s a verbal reminder at the end of the video, a graphical popup part-way through, or something else, it seems every YouTuber on the platform wants you to like their video.
But why do YouTubers ask for likes? Likes play a significant role in the success of a YouTube channel. Likes, comments, shares and even dislikes are a form of engagement and is a positive sign that plays into the youtube ranking algorithm.
Reason 2 – Simple validation would be a sensible enough explanation. After all, social media is largely predicated on the fact that people are constantly seeking external validation.
Now, we’re not saying that those YouTubers who ask you to like their video aren’t still seeking that juicy external validation—they very well maybe—but that’s almost certainly not all there is to it.
Well, actually, yes. But, as always, we’re not going to just skim the surface of this topic, so let’s dive a little deeper.
Do Likes Make YouTuber’s Money?
It’s reasonable to assume that, if asking for likes is not purely a vanity thing, it must be a monetary thing. The truth about this aspect of YouTube is a little fuzzier than you might think. We can say, quite clearly, that likes do not make YouTubers money.
When you click like, the YouTuber you are watching doesn’t get a few cents dropped into their Adsense account.
However; you are improving the standing of that channel in the eyes of the almighty YouTube algorithm, and that makes their channel more likely to succeed financially going forward. To understand how this works, it helps to understand what YouTube looks for in its content creators.
Engagement Is King
YouTube is in the business of watch time and engagement.
Even a rudimentary understanding of online marketing will tell you that having a smaller number of engaged fans/viewers/customers is far better than a more significant amount of disinterested ones.
This is why business owners are willing to pay extra for targeted advertising—because they know a hundred ad impressions with the right people are more valuable than a thousand ad impressions with random viewers. Those hundred ad impressions are far more likely to yield leads because the people watching the ad are already predisposed to want the thing you are advertising.
YouTube think along the same lines when it comes to viewers. Now, at the end of the day, an ad impression is an ad impression. YouTube get paid if someone watches an ad regardless of whether that viewer was engaged.
But they place far less value on viewers who are not engaged than they do on ones who are. In short, it is the engaged viewers that YouTube are looking for, and it is the channels that create those engaged viewers that YouTube likes to promote the most.
How Do Likes Help With Engagement?
Simply put, a like is an engagement because it is an extra action that the viewer takes that they didn’t have to.
Sure, it’s not a particularly intensive action—it doesn’t take much effort to click a button—but it does take some effort, and that effort shows that the viewer is more engaged than the millions of viewers who don’t click like.
Also, a significant amount of viewers just don’t think about the like button when they are browsing. It is not a statement on the content they are watching; it just doesn’t occur to them to like the video.
When, like YouTube, you are dealing with two billion users a month, even small changes in the percentage of users that like videos can represent a ridiculous number of people.
Do Dislikes Hurt a Video?
The next question that usually follows this discussion is, if likes are so good for a video, are dislikes bad for the video? And, actually, no. At least; not inherently.
Sure, if someone dislikes your video, closes the tab, and never comes back to YouTube, that will reflect poorly on your content, and YouTube’s algorithm will factor that in. However, the action of disliking a video when considered in a vacuum is still engagement.
That means that if your viewers give your video the thumbs down, but then go on to watch more videos, it’s all good as far as YouTube is concerned. They still see that as engagement, and, as the viewer stuck around, there’s no downside.
Where it could be considered detrimental to a channel to dislike a video, however, is in your personal recommendations. Those videos YouTube put down the side when you’re watching something; they’re based on a lot of data, including your likes.
If you repeatedly like a particular kind of video, you will see more of that kind of video. If you like a lot of videos by a certain YouTuber, you will see more videos by that YouTuber.
Naturally, if you dislike videos, you are less likely to see that kind of video in future, or the YouTuber behind it. How much an individual dislike affects a video’s overall recommendation is unclear, but it certainly affects whether or not it will be recommended to you.
Watch Time Matters
Of course, there’s more to it than merely liking and disliking videos. YouTube wants to see that engagement, whether it is liking, disliking, or leaving comments, but watch time is the ultimate gatekeeper to a YouTuber’s success.
You see, it is watch time that is YouTube’s endgame metric when it comes to measuring success.
The more time people spend on YouTube, the more opportunities there are to serve those people advertisements and the more money YouTube makes.
Watch time is the single, most important metric in the YouTube algorithm’s decision-making process.
This is why we specified that dislikes are not harmful in a vacuum. There is nothing inherently damaging about getting a thumbs down, but there may be damaging implications.
If a viewer dislikes your video and then leaves the site altogether, the fact that they left YouTube from your content will count against you in the eyes of the algorithm, even if the thumbs down itself doesn’t.
Why is Engagement Important?
So, if watch time is so important, why does engagement matter at all? Well, it’s true that watch time is the significant metric that YouTube covets above all, but engagement is still an important part of their decision making processes.
Engagement shows that a YouTuber is not just drawing in casual, disinterested viewers, but active viewers who are involved in the platform. These viewers are far more likely to pay attention to advertisements and, as a result, click on them when they see one they like.
It is also the case that engagement is only possible from a signed-in YouTube account. YouTube does count views and watch time from anonymous viewers, but it is considerably more challenging to provide relevant advertisements to these viewers.
And, as we covered earlier in the post, it is the highly targeted advertisements that companies prefer to pay for since they yield better results.
If you want to know how to book that yield and get better cpm advertising rates, helping you make more money from your videos, check out my deep dive blog into how to increase youtube video cpm.
High levels of engagement are an indication that your videos are attracting logged-in YouTube users who can be served relevant ads based on their preferences and watch history, and that makes YouTube happy since targeted advertisements are both worth more and more likely to be clicked.
All of this is digging a little deeper than most YouTubers are thinking, however.
While there are plenty of YouTubers that are fully informed about the intricacies of YouTube’s algorithm, there are far more that don’t concern themselves with that level of detail, but nevertheless know that likes are a good thing for their channel.
And, of course, a good number of YouTubers that are purely after that external validation we mentioned earlier. So, for those YouTubers, why bother asking their viewers to like the content?
Quite simply; because it works. YouTuber after YouTuber has experimented with asking viewers to like a particular video as a way of testing if it makes a difference, and they invariably find that it does. It may be because a lot of viewers simply don’t think about liking until they are prompted, or that they didn’t think liking was that important to this particular YouTuber.
Whatever the reason, asking viewers to like a video has been proven time and time again to be effective. So regardless of why a specific YouTubers wants those likes, they know that asking for them will usually get them.
Tips on Asking for Likes
As silly as it might sound, there is something of an art to asking for likes in a YouTube video.
Doing it incorrectly most of the time will just be ineffective; however, there is also a chance you could actively put viewers off of liking your video or even watching future videos.
One of the first recommendations we would make is to avoid asking people to like (and subscribe, for that matter) right up top. In the case of subscribing, at least wait until you’ve introduced your channel, so the viewer knows if your content is the kind of thing they would even want to subscribe to.
In the case of likes, however, it is often seen as presumptuous to ask your viewers to like a video they haven’t even seen yet. This can create a sense of resentfulness and may even result in viewers refusing to like the video even if they did find the content useful or entertaining.
It is good practice to wait until approximately halfway through the video before considering using any visual cues, such as a “like and subscribe” graphical popup, and to wait until the sign off to verbally ask your viewers to like the video. By this time, your viewers will know whether they do, in fact, like the content.
Another tip is to ask, rather than tell. If you just say, “like the video” once again it can be seen as a bit presumptive. Instead, say something like, “if you liked the video, consider giving it a thumbs up”. That way, you are merely giving your viewers a polite, gentle reminder that the like button is there, but leaving it entirely up to them to decide if they think you have earned it.
Which brings us to the final suggestion we can make for getting those likes; earn it. All the YouTube science in the world won’t help you with subpar content. Before worrying about reminding viewers to click the like button, make sure you have worked out all of the major kinks in your videos. Your content doesn’t have to be perfect—few YouTube channels are—but any glaring problems should be addressed before you start asking people to give you a thumbs up.
There was a lot to cover there, but the basic theory behind likes can be summed up easily.
Likes are a significant metric that YouTube uses to determine which content to recommend to people, though they are by no means the only metric. They play a vital role in personal recommendations.
That is, if you like a particular type of video a lot, YouTube will endeavour to show you more of that kind of video. Dislikes can also play a positive role in your channel’s exposure, as can comments (regardless of the content).
All of it is as seen as engagement that your content is creating, and YouTube likes to see plenty of engagement.
All of this is secondary watch time, however. The longer people spend on YouTube, the better. And if they happen to be spending vast amounts of time on your videos, that will reflect very well for you in the YouTube algorithm.
Finally, don’t be presumptive about your viewer’s opinions. Ask them to like your videos, don’t tell them to. And only do so at a point in your video where there has been enough content for your viewer to judge if they do actually like it.
None of this guarantees you likes, of course. The only thing that can do that is quality content. But by knowing how the system works, you are better placed to leverage that quality content when you make it.
Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube
Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.
1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search
I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.
Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!
2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos
I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.
When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.
I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.
That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.
Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.
3. Rev.com helps people read my videos
You can’t always listen to a video.
Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.
This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.
5. Shutterstock helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways
I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.
And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.
I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.
I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the Shutterstock website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.