Dear YouTube!

An open letter to YouTube; 2018. YouTube’s tweet: YouTube forum post: …


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About the Author: Marques Brownlee


  1. I think I am one of those 0.3% users. I am now seeing the same advertisement before every video I watch, something that never happened before.

  2. I think for thumbnails they are trying to get rid of clickbait by making an auto generated thumbnail from real scenes in the video, instead of letting youtubers abuse the way they make thumbnails just to make people click on their videos.

    I'm just trying to explain why they are doing that because it can look pretty weird. I'm not saying this is the best way to do things.

  3. Interesting points. I'm just a journeyman on Youtube, it is a hobby for me. I have only three videos on this channel (I have two other channels), for example, and these three videos on this channel have in total about 300 views. That means it generates zero revenue for me, and next to nothing for Google. Having said that, I carefully select and edit my thumbnails for these videos. It would be extremely annoying for me to know Youtube would randomly pick one of my videos and change my carefully selected and edited thumbnail. I spent time doing it! Imagine the case for people who make a living out of their videos! They are doing their own experiments, on each video they upload, on how their video titles and thumbnails work. Now, Youtube wants to second guess their decision??? You, Youtube, should trust the creators, especially the ones who make a living out of Youtube. And Youtube if you want to improve views, then you should use what you learn from the data already available (you probably have plenty of information) and provide tutorials to creators on Thumbnail editing. Actually, Youtube, instead of this experiment, you should actually ASK the successful creators about their strategies on Thumbnail editing, analyze that information and use it on tutorials to creators. Much better approach, if you ask me. Because 1) You would be trusting the knowledge of creators who have successfully been using this platform; and 2) a deductive approach is always better than an inductive approach, especially when you want TRUST to be an important item on a relationship with your customers and who are your PARTNERS because they are your money makers. I'll step out of the soap box now. 🙂

  4. I think one thing that is not being considered here is the validity of the experiment. If Youtube were to implement all of the changes MKBHD suggested it would absolutely mess up their randomization. People who "opt in" are different than people that "opt out" , so running an experiment on only a randomly selected portion of opt in users could affect the external validity of the experiment (meaning it would not apply to the entire population of youtube creators). Not saying these issues can't be mitigated, but honestly I see where the team working on this was coming from and there are definite benefits to letting the information fly under the radar instead of perfectly communicating.

  5. Dear YouTube, the 'back key' in our phones is for the 'back' functionality and NOT for minimizing. Please incorporate the same to the Android YouTube app.

  6. couldn't agree more most creators that we're mad about this whole thumbnail situation were mostly mad that they didn't have any information before hand and that they had no choice

  7. Marques:
    First of all, please let me say I agree with you whole heartedly !!!!!…….. BUT ……. what do you expect from google ?
    This is a company that forces you to agree to things or you CAN'T CONTINUE ……. a company that steals personal data WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION ……. a company that has no idea of morals and privacy ….. just like Zuckerberg and Facebook!!!!!!!!!
    With the utmost respect to you !!!!!!! ?????✌✌✌✌✌

  8. They are probably doing this because a lot of people use clickbait thumbnails in their videos only to find out the thumbnail used for video was nowhere to be seen in the video. This really bugs me off and looks like they are probably testing whether the auto generated thumbnail which would most likely be based on the contents of the video effects the average views for that video. That's a good thing as a viewer

  9. Dear marques, I love you videos but I have the idea that the big thinks on the wall are not perfectly straight (the ends of the points are not the same height in the middle, can you fix it please =)

  10. I like this video, but having the ability to opt in/opt out, kind of defeats the point of A/B testing 🙂

  11. In my mind YouTube should place the Content Creator channel on every single person's subscribe list. They post things that everyone should know and that everyone will be affected by. Sort of like how Tom was everyones friend on MySpace

  12. Good statement, Marques. Very well-worded and solidly formed. I very much if not completely agree that YouTube should have done it that way. But all that said, as Tara Hunt of Truly Social (among quite many others) would say (and have repeatedly said), "What the platform giveth, the platform taketh away."

    It's an almost inevitability over most of recent Silicon Valley / Tech Startup history for the past few decades ago that more often than not, tech platform management when they get too big will be biased to short-term Wall Street concerns and will err on the side of screwing over most all stakeholders in favor of the Almighty Quarterly Shareholder Report.

    It's why it is in the Creators' interest to always be nimble, always be on the lookout for opportunities, and as much as possible to at least always have plan at hand on how to move shop when the current ship sinks. Such smart initiatives as you Marques placing your own foothold at IGTV for example. Or Phil's DeFranco Elite program. Also how most all the big Viners at least attempted the move to YouTube, and how gaming live-streamers and let's-players diversify between YouTube and Twitch.

    Anyways that's it that's been my two nuggets of information, best of luck, keep hustlin', and we'll see you on the next one. Peace. ✌

  13. This is how A-B testing works. It's not optional, they don't have to tell you and they only need the statistics. This is how all major tech companies perform A-B tests. You don't A-B test with everyone… that is not how it works. You have to compare audiences. This is all pretty basic.

  14. Me as a user, I know that pressing ctrl+f5 (or cleaning the cache) usually gets rid of Google's annoying experiments, it works unless they become a new feature

  15. Well said Marques. I have no doubt that you'll be getting some feedback from YouTube in the form of testing your ideas. You're a force to be reckoned with in the YouTube world and I have a feeling that when you speak…….YouTube listens.

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