First off, on engagement insights – as you can see in this example, YouTube’s new ‘Engagement Graph’, which is currently being tested with a small percentage of mobile and desktop users, will show peaks and troughs in engagement activity when you scrub through the clip.
As explained by YouTube:
“We’re experimenting with showing viewers a signal to help them quickly see which parts of a video may be interesting. If you’re in this experiment, you’ll see a graph above the red progress bar while scrubbing – if the graph is high, it means that part of the video has been frequently re-watched.”
It’s not the first platform to experiment with engagement insights to guide viewer behavior, with Facebook testing the same for live videos back in 2016.
The difference, in that case, is that Facebook also used Reactions and comments as a signal, which YouTube, based on the above description, is not. That could make it a more direct measure of content activity, and help to guide engagement based on direct interest, as opposed to, say, controversial aspects or engagement-baiting activity.
Or maybe YouTube is also using comments and Likes as a proxy and it just hasn’t explained it in detail, but based on this description, it seems like a direct representation of pure viewing response, which could help users find the most relevant, interesting parts of each clip.
In addition to this, YouTube’s also launching ‘Member Milestones’ which enables people who’ve been a Channel member for longer than two months to send a special message during a live-stream, which celebrates how long they’ve been a member.
Those messages will then be highlighted to the broadcaster, giving them the opportunity to acknowledge long-term members, and boost community engagement.
“Channel members can send one special highlighted message per month in a live chat each month they remain a member.”
It’s another simple way to help maximize your community-building efforts, and for the biggest fans of each channel, that small act of acknowledgment could go a long way in solidifying that relationship, helping to keep them as a member for longer.
Membership Milestones launched recently, and are available to all channel members – which, it’s worth noting, are different to channel ‘subscribers’, which are non-paying followers of a channel.