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December 14th, 2005

Welcome to Our World...

For quite awhile we've been discussing how and when we should start integrating ourselves more within the YouTube community. There's obviously a multitude of reasons we want to do this. First and foremost, we need you. We need an open and honest discourse with our users to understand what works, what doesn't, what features you would really like to see, what little annoying things on the site really piss you off. We want to hear it all, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Secondly, we want you to know us, how we work, what we're doing and the challenges we deal with. We get such an intimate view (sometimes a little too 'intimate' admittedly) into the lives of so many of users, it's about time you start seeing us as well.

So, what have we been up to lately? Thanks to all of you, our growth has been absolutely phenomenal these past months. And as you can probably imagine, with such rapid growth comes a whole host of scalability problems. Believe me, these are the best kind of problems to have, but they are still problems none the less, and we've spent much of our time and energy focused on just dealing with the amount of traffic we're getting. This has been a bit frustrating for all of us, since it distracts us from improving the site and working on new features as much as we would like to. However, we're continuing to do things to improve the scalability and stability of our site which will give us more time to focus on what matters most - bringing you all the features you want to see.

We did push out some new features this week that we're all pretty excited about. We'd love to get your feedback. Seriously, developing features in a black box sucks, so let us know what you think.

For your viewing pleasure I put together some clips of all us here at YouTube (I have to admit to being an iMovie novice, so please excuse the amateur editing). The video opens in Chad's garage oh so many months sketching out the very first layout drawings of the site. That's Steve (our other fearless leader) taking the video and talking in the background. This is followed by our last day working in our VC's office, first days in our new office and out to dinner celebrating our funding close. No more hiding, you now get to see what true dorks we all really are.

That's all for now. We're committed to keeping you as closely involved and informed as possible with what's going on in our world, so please check back here often for more updates, features, ideas and feedback.

Here are all the new features we just released. Again, we encourage your thoughts, ideas and feedback.

  • Logged In Home Page
    We finally cleaned this page up. It's been one of my personal #1 pet peeves with the site that I'd rather see the logged out home page, than the logged in home page. Every single time I login, all I see is my subscribed videos, and all of the cool new content is pushed way down the page. So, we finally cleaned this up, and added a cool new scrolling format for viewing videos. We've also added this 'video inbox' idea. Basically anytime someone sends you a video, or you get a subscription, it will appear in your video 'inbox'.

  • Subscriptions Center
    Again, we just cleaned up the UI for this feature but we also added the ability to subscribe to tags. Conceptually, I really dig the idea of subscribing to tags, and I'm eager to see if the community uses this feature.

  • New Video Player
    New look and feel for the video player. Hopefully you all will find this cleaner and easier to use.

  • Blocking/Reporting a User
    Sure, we would all like to believe that people are basically good, but unfortuently the truth of the matter is on any site like ours, there are going to be problem users. Blocking a user is now the easiest way to stop a harassing or malicious user. From both your message center, and from the user's profile page, you can choose to block that user. This prevents the user from commenting on your videos, or sending you messages. Additionally, you can report a user to us from their profile page if you feel the user has been continuously abusing YouTube or posting offensive content.

  • Message Center
    We cleaned up some of the old annoying things about the message center, like not being able to delete new messages. Hopefully this will make the message center easier to use, and will help encourage inter member communications.

  • Profiles
    We added 'my recent videos' to all user profiles. This is really just a baby step towards us continuing to build out user profiles and allow for more customized content.

November 15th, 2005

Greetings, everyone! We've spent the last few weeks enhancing some of our existing features and adding new things that you, our users, have requested. So, please keep your comments and suggestions coming! We depend on you all to help keep YouTube the best video website on the web.
  • Feature This!
    We want you to have a voice in what videos get featured on our home page. Whenever you see an entertaining, creative or funny video that you think other users would like to see as well, flag it 'Feature This!' and we'll review it for consideration in 'Today's Featured Videos'.

  • More Playlists Features
    It's now easier then ever to organize and share your playlists! All of your videos and your favorites are now automatically imported into your Playlist Manager, so that you can easily copy these videos into the new playlists that you create. Did you put together an awesome collection of videos that you want to share with your family and friends? No problem! Just send them the URL that's now conveniently displayed for each one of your playlists.

  • Threaded Comments (suggested by dearcrissy)
    Have you ever tried to respond to someone's comment on a video? Gets a little confusing trying to figure out who is replying to whom, doesn't it? With threaded comments, you can now respond directly to another user's comment -- and not only that, but you'll also get notified anytime someone replies to your comment.

  • Required Tags
    You've just uploaded a video of your dog. You put "chihuahua" and "dog" in the tags field, but you're at a loss for that third tag to describe your video. We've heard your cries, and decreased the number of required tags from three to one.

  • Most Viewed Videos
    We've updated Most Viewed to insure that you're always getting the most up to date videos. Whether you're watching most viewed today, this week, or this month you'll be watching the most viewed videos that were uploaded within that time period. For example, most viewed today will be the videos with the most views that were uploaded within the past 24 hours.

October 25th, 2005

It's been awhile since our last update, but we've once again been busy working on bringing you lots of new features and functionality. Going forward, we're committed to bringing you something new each and every week, so check back here often, we're going to have lots to say.

We hope you'll be as excited as we are about these recent changes to the site:
  • November nano-a-day Giveaway
    We're giving away one brand new 4GB iPod nano every day in November! Entering is easy, simply Sign up for a YouTube account. Already have an account? Invite a friend. The more friends you invite, the more chances you have to win. See Contest Rules and Details for more information.

  • Playlists
    You can now organize all your favorite videos into Playlists! To add to your Playlists, watch a video and click the 'Add to Playlists' button. Once you've added videos, go to My Playlists to view, edit, delete or create new Playlists.

  • My Subscriptions
    With our new Subscriptions Center you can now subscribe to any user's videos (or invite them to subscribe to yours) so that all of their videos show in one convenient location. Just go to My Subscriptions and enter the username of the person whose videos you'd like to subscribe to and click the 'Subscribe' button. Or, click the 'Subscribe to Videos' button on their profile page and viola! their videos will immediately appear under My Subscriptions.

    If you're a developer with a desire to integrate YouTube with your application or website, you'll be pleased to know we have a new suite of APIs available. These APIs are available through two interfaces: REST and XML-RPC. Moving forward, we plan on working closely with fellow developers to ensure that the APIs we provide meet the needs of third-party sites looking for a plug-n-play video solution for their sites. Browse the new APIs here.

  • Channels
    You're probably already familiar with Channels, but we've vastly improved this area recently. Visit Channels and click on your favorite topic (Music, Pets & Animals, Sports etc), you'll now get to see specific information for that Channel including: recently added videos, who the most active users are and the top watched videos. Channels are a great way to easily find the videos you're most interested in seeing.

  • More FAQs
    We've updated our help section with more of your frequently asked questions. Want to know how to embed videos on MySpace/Friendster? Do you want to make your embedded videos autoplay? Do you spend many sleepless nights wondering "YouTube is such a great website, can it really be free??" For answers to these questions and more, visit our help section. And remember, our FAQs come straight from our users, so please don't hesitate to contact us with your questions, issues and comments.

  • Full Screen View
    It's easy to see the full screen version of any video, just click the fullscreen icon in the bottom right of the video while watching a video, and the full screen version will open in a new window. Make sure you have pop-up blocking disabled for, otherwise this feature will not work.

September 12th, 2005
We are ecstatic to announce the changes we made to the site last night. As a result of many sleepless nights, we have completed a very feature-rich release. Once again, many of these changes are in direct response to your feedback, so please keep them coming. And the changes include...
  • First up, video flagging. At the bottom of the video watch page, you will notice a new section for flagging a video. If you encounter a video that's inappropriate or copyrighted, please use this feature to notify us. We will aggressively monitor these submissions and respond as quickly as we can.

  • Second, Friends & Sharing. We poured a tremendous amount of time and effort into enhancing our sharing functionality. With the new sharing feature, an easy-to-use pop-up appears over the video. From here, you can choose with whom you'd like to share the video with. This feature is really something that you have to see to appreciate. Trust me! Log in and watch a video. Then, click on 'Share this Video'... I told you so!

  • Lastly, Channels. While the video uploads have been pouring in, we realized it grew ever more difficult for viewers to find relevant and interesting videos. Though tags are very efficient at identifying specific details about content, we wanted to further simplify the browsing experience. With the release of Channels, similar content will be categorized and grouped into common channels. By "flipping" to a channel such as Short Movies or Travel & Places, you can browse through all videos within the channel.

Once again, thanks for using the site! Please contact us with any suggestions or feedback.

August 20th, 2005
How goes it, folks? We have added a ton of new features to our site.
  • You can now embed the YouTube video player into your own webpage! That way people can view the video on your website without even coming to YouTube! See examples and instructions here.

  • See how many videos other people have watched :) Just click on their profile and look for the "I have watched 100 videos!" sentence under their username. Try this user for example.

  • Rate videos between 1 and 5 stars. Just click on the appropriate rating underneath the video while it's playing.

  • Find the top rated videos on the site.

  • Allow/Disallow comments on your own videos. You can set this preference for each video.

  • Allow/Disallow ratings on your own videos. You can set this preference for each video.

  • Email preferences: tell us for which events you like to receive emails.

  • Honors: When you watch a video, we'll tell you what Honors it has received (Top Viewed, Top Discussed, Top Favorite, ...). This list is shown to the right side of the video, above the related videos list. View this video as an example.

August 10th, 2005
Hi there! If you are a frequent visitor to the site, you may have noticed the small improvements we've been making throughout the last week. For example, registered YouTube users will now be able to see the total views all their videos have received. In addition, you can also get a count of all the people that have added your videos to their favorites.

We have also added several more ways to explore the site. We've expanded the top viewed category to daily, weekly, and monthly from the existing All Time view. Another way to explore the site is through the Recently Featured view.

But, the real reason for updating the "What's New" page today is to announce the immediate availability of an easy, copy+paste code snippet that you can place on your website to host videos directly from there. There are three links beneath each video shown on the website. The first is a simple, permanent link to the video. The second is a way to embed a thumbnail of the video from your website.

... and the third copy+paste snippet allows you to embed and play the video directly from your website and/or blog!

August 4th, 2005
Developers! Developers! Developers!

July 27th, 2005
It's now possible to put an HTML snippet on your website that automatically pulls up the latest videos with a certain tag word. An example of this, let's say you want to show all videos related to Mexico on your website. However, you want your website to be automatically updated whenever a new video is uploaded with the tag word Mexico. By using the snippet below, you can do this!

HTML Snippet for Mexico

By replacing the word mexico in the above snippet, you can show any tagged videos on your website and have your site automatically updated whenever a new video is uploaded with that tag!

July 24th, 2005
You know, I really can't believe the pace that we're releasing new features. I mean, it really does seem like like just yesterday we launched something and, yet, here we are again... back with more.

And here they are:
  • Video Sharing

    On YouTube you've always been able to upload Public and Private videos. Public videos are for everyone to see, and Private videos are only seen by the people that get the secret link URL to that video.

    Now you can share videos more easily with friends and family by inviting them directly through the My Friends tab, and by adding them to your Friends or to your Family groups.

    For each video that you uploaded to YouTube, you can decide to share the video with Friends, Family or both.

  • Ability to Remove Comments on your own videos

    You can now remove comments left by others on your videos.

July 23rd, 2005
Many people have asked us how to put a list of videos on MySpace. We've made a Flash application that can be embedded into your MySpace page! It looks like this:

For details on how to do this, please see help.

July 20th, 2005
  • Attach a video to messages!
    If you want to send someone else on YouTube a cool video, you no longer have to paste the URL into the message. You will now see a dropdown menu where you can select the video that you want to attach to the message! The message recipient can simply click on the thumbnail to view the video.

  • Show related video in comments
    While browsing through the site, we've seen that many users reference videos they've posted when they leave comments in other people's videos. To help this effort, we've pushed out a new feature that allows you to reference one of your videos directly from the comments section. Watch a video and see this feature in action!

July 18th, 2005
Whew! A couple busy, busy weeks. These are some of the changes we've made:
  • New front page
    We have redesigned the front page to better capture what YouTube is about. The featured videos lend an instant snapshot of the cool videos added recently to the site. Upload your interesting video and watch it get featured!

  • Browse pages
    The browse page contains many, many more items for each of the categories. Each category now contains 100 items separated into 5 pages.

  • UTF-8 support in tags
    Finally! UTF-8 support has been added to tags. You can now attach UTF-8 tags to your video. You can also go back to videos you've previously uploaded and add UTF-8 tags to those. Furthermore, UTF-8 searching is enabled. Try searching for 王力宏.

  • HTML-enabled emails
    Emails being sent from the system have been converted over to using HTML.

As always, while you're perusing the site, if you notice anything you'd like changed, please feel free to shoot us a message.

July 9th, 2005
You can now add a field for "Date Recorded" and "Location" to each of your videos. This information will show up when your video is viewed. Also, the location you enter becomes a clickable link that brings you to Google maps. To associate a date or location to your video, please go to my videos and click on the edit video button.

July 7th, 2005
Greetings everyone!

Thanks for visiting YouTube! We have been most impressed with the reception from our users. In an effort to communicate improvements and changes, this blog was created.

So, first off, we are extremely happy with the feedback we've received thus far. We are continuously working towards our goal of making YouTube the digital video repository for the Internet. That said, please let us know if there's something you'd like us to address -- we really, really, really do value any input our users send. We read every e-mail that is sent to us. Go ahead, try it; we'll prove it!

Anyway, back to the recent changes. This last week, we've added many improvements to the site:
  • New browse videos page
    We have been receiving many video uploads each day. While this is really exciting, we realized that it has gotten increasingly more difficult to find videos you want to watch. We have made an attempt to address this problem by launching a convenient browse page. From here, you can find the most recent videos, the most popular videos, the most discussed videos, the most added to favorites videos, and a random browse page.

  • Searching by username
    Prior to this week, it was difficult to find videos by a certain user. For example, I've enjoyed every video Cobaltgruv has ever put up. Instead of having to search for a video of his, I can now type "cobaltgruv" in the search box and get a result set of all his videos.

  • Linking your videos from your homepage
    Many YouTube users maintain their own websites. A common request from users was to have a convenient way to link to videos users have uploaded to YouTube from these websites. We just released a feature that enables users to easily do this - linking to one's YouTube videos from anywhere on the Internet. By adding a tiny snippet of HTML code on your homepage, you can have your YouTube videos directly show up inside your homepage! For more details on how to do this, please see the help section.
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