It has been a busy and exciting year here at YouTube. With 13 hours of video uploaded every minute, hundreds of millions of views a day and 23 country-specific versions of the site, apart from anything else we were faced by a mountain content to sift through and myriad factors to bear in mind when compiling our end-of-year list of memorable moments. Which is why we turned to our estimable team of statisticians to help formulate the selection – if only to avoid unseemly bust-ups around the office.

With the help of our all-powerful analytics tool, the aim was to balance the raw power of heavy video views with a subtle blend of community engagement metrics including ratings, favorites and the ability to stir up a comments storm. The net result was a cluster of memorable video moments which this year we have whittled down to 24 and will reveal at the rate of one an hour until 2009 dawns and the whole process can begin in earnest again. Until then, revel in the videos that made the cut last year:

At the stroke of midnight (Pacific Time) you can expect a more detailed run-down of the clips on the list complete with some background information to place them in context. Until then, it would spoil the surprise to breathe a word of the videos to come. So sit back, enjoy your New Year’s Eve and prepare yourself for a jog through the most memorable YouTube moments of 2008.

Have fun,

The YouTube Team

As 2008 comes to a close, we pause to pay our respects to those notables we lost this year. Today's homepage salute honors a wide range of the dearly departed -- amongst them, a 20th Century movie legend admired for his work in philanthropy, the South African singer and human rights activist known as "Mama Africa", a comedian who shared the humor behind "Seven Dirty Words," to a computer science professor who taught his life's wisdom via "The Last Lecture".

Here one of the world's best-known mountaineers and explorers receives a musical tribute by a group of fellow New Zealanders who sing the praises of this "Humble Mountain Man."

As you watch this series of video tributes, we encourage you to share your own memories in celebration of the things these remarkable people shared with the world.

In Memoriam,

The YouTube Team

Drum roll please…the prestigious programming team at the Sundance Film Festival has reviewed the many outstanding films submitted to this year's Project Direct short film competition and the results are in!

We were thrilled to see so many of you who competed in last year's contest return for more, and we were equally thrilled to see so much new talent alongside them.

In fact, some of last year's finalists made it into the top 10 once again, proving that filmmakers on YouTube are not one-hit wonders, but consistent, talented storytellers.

Now it's up to all of you to decide which of these 10 filmmakers will make it to the 2009 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT.

The filmmakers' challenge was to create a short film including 3 specific props: a red phone and 2 other props made famous by films from the Sundance Film Festival's 25 year history.

Your challenge is to watch them all and vote for your favorites at

For a sneak peek of the top 10, check out Darren Aronofsky's video announcing the finalists:

Now start voting! You have until 11:59PM EST on January 3rd to cast your ballot.


Sara P.

YouTube Film

SAN BRUNO, Calif. – December 22, 2008 – YouTube, the leading online video community that allows people to discover, watch and share originally created videos, today announced the 2008 YouTube Year-End Video Roundup. Every minute 13 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube and every day hundreds of millions of videos are viewed. This list highlights just some of the YouTube videos people were thinking and talking about most through a formula that includes view counts, most shared, most discussed, top rated and general popularity or influence on popular culture.

"This year's list offers a glimpse at the tremendous growth YouTube has experienced as a company and as an online community," said Hunter Walk, Director of Product Management for YouTube. "We are pleased to see the diversity of content that YouTube users are watching and talking about. The most popular videos on YouTube come from regular users, emerging online studios and the largest of media companies. YouTube has truly leveled the playing field for all content creators."

Each of the following YouTube videos became a cultural phenomenon this year:

Pork and Beans:

Weezer's "Pork And Beans" video debuted on YouTube in May. Drawing on 24 of the biggest viral hits the site has seen to date -- from "Dramatic Chipmunk" to "Miss Teen USA 2007 South Carolina" to Tay Zonday's "Chocolate Rain" -- the video salutes some of the more memorable moments and people in YouTube's history, generating more than 15,500,000 clicks in the process.

Christian the Lion:

This video about an unbreakable bond between man and beast was one of the most talked about in '08. It briefly chronicles the true story of a lion being reunited with the two men who raised him, years after he'd been released back into the wild and become the leader of his own pride. The actual reunion took place in 1972, but this archive footage was rediscovered and posted to YouTube earlier this year.

Frozen Grand Central:

The New York-based collective Improv Everywhere have become firm favorites on the site, thanks to their unique public hijinks. Videos like "No Pants Subway Ride" and "Food Court Musical" offer good examples of their large-scale pranks, but the elaborate public performance "Frozen Grand Central Station" was especially popular with viewers. The video features more than 200 people simultaneously freezing in place at Grand Central Station in New York City; the reactions of onlookers are as striking as the stunt itself.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008):

Matt Harding is best known as the goofy guy who danced his way around the world. First in 2006 when he danced solo, but in 2008 Harding recreated his hit video, this time dancing with residents of the places he visited. Harding's silly jigs have brought inspiration and joy to millions of people – more than 14 million have viewed it on YouTube alone. As one observant user said, "It shows that no matter how different we are on the outside, inside we all just want to dance, laugh, and have fun."

Rick Astley "Never Going To Give You Up":

Chances are that at some point in 2008, you or someone you know experienced a "Rick Roll": a bait-and-switch prank that dupes you into watching the video for Rick Astley's 1980s hit "Never Going To Give You Up." The joke even transcended the Internet, where it was born, with organizers of football games, parades and rallies "Rick Rolling" unsuspecting attendees. But perhaps the ultimate "Rick Roll" occurred on April Fool's Day, when YouTube rigged up every feature video on the homepage to play Astley's famous clip. "Yes We Can":

When Barack Obama delivered his concession speech after the New Hampshire primary, little did he know he was providing the script -- and the inspiration -- for the most-watched political video of 2008.'s "Yes We Can" music video, a celebrity-studded mash-up of Obama's speech, became an instant viral sensation upon its release in early February, and had a massive influence on Election '08 and popular culture. Seen over 6 million times just on's official YouTube channel, the video has inspired voters, young people, and satirists alike.

Fred Loses His Meds:

Who says you can't become an overnight success on YouTube? Fifteen-year-old Lucas Cruikshank, or Fred Figglehorn as he is known to fans, created a Web series in which he plays a hyperactive six-year-old with anger management issues. Fred's hyper-kinetic videos quickly caught people's attention and helped make him the fastest-rising star in YouTube history. This video (his second) was Fred's first to break a million views, jump-starting his meteoric rise to his current position as the #1 Most Subscribed user on YouTube.

Star Wars According to a Three-Year Old:

This sweet-faced little lady became a YouTube sensation with her retelling of the original Star Wars movie. Fans of the film can go on for hours discussing the plot, but this three-year-old sums it up in less than two minutes. If not the most detailed description of Star Wars ever, it's arguably the most adorable. Warning: Spoiler Alert.

The MILEY Story

* Miley Cyrus "7 Things"

* Miley Cyrus - 7 Things - Spoof

* M&M CRU FINAL DANCE BATTLE - Cyrus Blaine Seacrest Tatum

Not only did Miley release a hit song (and video) this year with "7 Things," which inspired several user-generated parodies (some of them nearly as popular as the original), but the Hannah Montana star also launched her own YouTube channel, mileymandy, with her best friend Mandy Jiroux. The girls have used their channel to vlog and generally horse around for their audience of over 292,000 subscribers, and it's also where they post their "M&M Cru" dance battle videos, which together have notched nearly 15 million views and took the world's "biggest online dance battle" to a whole new level.

Super Mario Rescues The Princess: Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade:

As the creator of Family Guy and American Dad, Seth MacFarlane has had a tremendous impact on envelope-pushing animated entertainment. This year, MacFarlane decided to bring his talents to the lnternet, launching "Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy" exclusively on Google and YouTube. Not only was this a groundbreaking event for online video, it also opened up new opportunities for advertisers, as content creators started to generate revenue from their videos both on and off YouTube.

A week ago, the vlogbrothers took a break from their usual routine of filming puppies doing cute things and punishing each other, to launch the "Project for Awesome," a call to all YouTube users to "take over YouTube" by creating videos that promote their favorite charity, nonprofit or cause.

Today, we're adding the YouTube stamp of approval to this worthy project by having the vlogbrothers "take over" the YouTube homepage with their favorite submissions to the Project for Awesome...and with over 1190 entries, this guest editorship was no easy task:

The vlogbrothers' selections range from the hilarious to the serious, the absurd to the informative -- the tie that binds them together is that each video features a YouTube community member who is trying to make the world a better place (or as the vlogbrothers might say, "trying to reduce world suck").

It's not too late for you to help make the world a little more awesome in 2009 -- you can add your comments or ratings to these videos (karmic points if you rate high) or make your own video about the cause that inspires you most.

Have fun,

Ramya R.

YouTube Nonprofits & Activism

Every day we work with the music community to license your favorite music for you to use on YouTube. But music licensing is very complicated. The right to use a single song often requires permission from multiple owners, particularly when it comes to original fan-made videos that incorporate commercial music.

We work with the music industry worldwide -- with major and independent labels and publishers, rights collecting societies, and with artists and songwriters directly -- to build user-friendly licensing arrangements. With these partners and our cutting-edge Content ID technology, we've created a win-win situation the likes of which never existed before YouTube: a system that gives artists a brand new revenue source and a great way to connect with their fans.

That said, despite our constant efforts, it isn't always possible to maintain these innovative agreements. Sometimes, if we can't reach acceptable business terms, we must part ways with successful partners. For example, you may notice videos that contain music owned by Warner Music Group being blocked from the site. Don't worry - if you receive a takedown notification, you will have a couple of options to choose from in order to keep your original video creations up. Check out Audioswap, a one-of-a-kind library of pre-cleared music ready for you to drop into your videos any time.

We understand this might be frustrating for some of you, and we're sorry about that. Our ultimate goal is to treat everyone fairly: to respect the rights of musicians, songwriters, and their biggest fans, so that everyone can continue enjoying original content on YouTube.

The YouTube Team

The final videos are in for the third and last round of Project: Report, the journalism contest YouTube is holding in partnership with the Pulitzer Center. Now is your chance to view the five finalists' submissions and vote to determine which of these aspiring journalists you think should win the grand prize -- a $10,000 fellowship with the Pulitzer Center to report on a story abroad.

At the outset of Round 3, the five finalists were each given two Sony video cameras. With these video cameras, their assignment was to produce a piece of collaborative storytelling that empowered an underrepresented community to share its own story with the world. First, each reporter chose a group of people rarely covered by the traditional media. Then, the reporter helped the members of this group use the camera to document their own lives.

Visit the Project: Report channel to watch the finalists' Round 3 submissions and then vote for the videos you find the most compelling. You can only vote for one video per day, and voting continues through Friday, January 9, 2009. The winner will be announced on Monday, January 12, 2009 -- so stay tuned!


Olivia M.

YouTube News & Politics


Avis aux musiciens : il vous reste désormais 40 jours pour vous préparer et passer à la postérité en participant au tout premier orchestre symphonique en ligne, le YouTube Symphony Orchestra (YTSO pour les intimes).

Vous trouverez les réponses à toutes vos questions sur la chaîne symphonyfr et dans notre FAQ.

Vous pourrez non seulement contribuer au projet mais aussi tenter votre chance de jouer au mythique Carnegie Hall de New-York !

Une vidéo pour participer

L’expérience vous tente mais vous ne souhaitez pas concourir pour le concert au Carnegie Hall ? Aucun problème, il vous suffit d’envoyer une seule vidéo dans laquelle vous jouez la partition correspondant à l’instrument de votre choix.

Les meilleures vidéos reçues seront compilées en une vidéo collaborative unique qui sera diffusée sur YouTube.

Deux vidéos pour auditionner

Envie de devenir célèbre ? Enregistrez une seconde vidéo et montrez-nous vos talents de musicien en interprétant une partition d’un compositeur de votre choix parmi notre sélection (Bach, Brahms, Debussy, Mozart… il y en a pour tous les goûts).

Peut-être ferez-vous partie des heureux élus qui partiront à New-York pour participer au concert historique du YouTube Symphony Orchestra !

NB : La date limite d’envoi des vidéos est fixée au 28 Janvier 2009, quelle que soit la catégorie (participation et/ou audition).

L'équipe YouTube

We have two developments that we would like to share with you: the expansion of our HD player and a test of three new landing pages designed to help you find the news, music and movies on YouTube that matter most to you.

HD on YouTube

Starting today, if you click the "watch in HD" option below any HD-enabled video, the video will automatically play in widescreen – so you can find out where the hell Matt is in glorious HD, if you so wish. As part of this launch, we have created an HD Videos area where you can browse videos uploaded in the HD format. In anticipation of your questions – including how to encode your videos to take advantage of this new feature and how to avoid the dreaded "windowboxing" – we have prepared an FAQ in the Help Center. Hopefully you'll find any technical information you need there, but feel free to post follow-up questions to the YouTube Community Help Forums.

New Video Landing Pages

News, music and movies are huge categories on YouTube and as a result it can sometimes be tough to find exactly what you're hoping to watch. In a bid to smooth your path to the perfect video, we are testing three new video landing pages:,, and The news page will be populated with breaking stories from around the world as well as news drawn from the Google News service; music will feature rising videos alongside playlists dedicated to different genres; movies will showcase some of the most popular short and full-length movies on YouTube today. We'll keep a close eye on how these pages perform with a view to rolling them out in other categories.

With these developments we are hoping to improve your viewing experience and make it easier to find the content you want to watch. Leave a comment and let us know what you think…

Happy holidays and, as always, have fun watching!

The YouTube Team

">From October's announcement of full-length TV
to early December's HD player launch, we've invested a lot to make your YouTube experience an entertaining and enjoyable one. With your help we have transformed YouTube into a place where anyone can dialogue with Queen Rania, learn how to cook from bite-size "Food Network" videos, and enjoy full-length classic TV shows -- all on a single platform. With thousands of partners and a seemingly infinite diversity of content on YouTube, we realize searching for and finding videos that matter most to you is a priority. That's why today we're testing three new entertainment landing pages --, ">, & "> Browse the "> page to see rising music videos as well as major label and indie-specific playlists. If you're feeling newsy, check out the tab to view breaking stories around the world and the latest Google News video hits. Or visit to find full-length films from MGM, Lionsgate, Cinetic Media, Documentary Channel, IndieFlix, Image Entertainment and more!

Today also marks the expansion of our HD player and HD search. Now if you select the "watch in HD" option below any HD-enabled video, that video will automatically play in widescreen. (To see new widescreen HD player in action, watch the video below.) You can also conduct a search for HD videos only by selecting the new "HD" option under the Videos tab.

Rounding out today's yuletide offerings is our expanded e-Commerce platform. Through e-Commerce, YouTubers in the United States can click-to-buy DVDs on related to the movies, TV shows, and other videos they're watching on YouTube. We're also taking our first steps to roll this out internationally, so starting today anyone in the UK will be able to download songs from Apple's iTunes UK store ( directly from related YouTube music videos. Over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to add retail links to our library of music videos and movies, including any videos claimed by partners through our content identification and management system.

Happy holidays and, as always, have fun watching!

The YouTube Team

As you're making that list of presents and checking it twice, there are several YouTube channels that are hoping you'll add a charitable donation to your gift-giving plans.

Nonprofit organization Changing the Present is asking users to donate livestock -- the real gift that keeps on giving -- to impoverished farmers, while Marine Toys for Tots invites you to supply a toy for a child in need. Socially responsible organizations are also getting in on the act. This holiday season, for every pair of shoes purchased, Tom's Shoes will donate another pair to a child in Ethiopia:

And if you just want to go the old-fashioned route and donate money straight to charity, many YouTube nonprofit partners have a Google Checkout button embedded right on their channel pages, making it easier than ever to donate to a good cause.

Already done your part for those less fortunate? You can help spread the joy of giving through the Vlogbrothers' Project for Awesome. All you have to do to participate is create a video about your favorite charity or cause and encourage the YouTube community to support it. The Vlogbrothers have even have promised to donate $1000 to the charity that inspires the best video – so get to work!

Happy Holidays,

Ramya R.

YouTube Nonprofits & Activism

We wanted to give everyone a heads up that we'll shortly be expanding all standard channels over to the new 960 pixel width. This is the same change we made with the video watch page a few weeks ago, and will make channels wider and consistent with the rest of the site.

Have channel backgrounds you want to get ready for the change? You can get a sneak peek of what your channel will look like by visiting the following URL today:

(e.g. if your username is "jane12345," then replace "YourUsername" in the URL with "jane12345" to see how your own channel will appear).

Holler at us with your feedback,

The YouTube Team

It's been a year of crisis in the global economy. The collapse of credit has left countless people in crushing debt, prompted governments to bail out their nation's strongest companies and brought instability to markets that had seen decades of fast growth in a newly globalized economy.

That's the bad news. The good news is that it often takes a crisis to bring about change.

This year at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, the world's top thinkers and leaders will gather to discuss how to bring about that change. They believe that fresh solutions have to come from fresh sources, so they're asking for your help: YouTube is partnering with WEF to give you the chance to join the debate on four key issues facing the planet today. One lucky YouTuber will even get to fly to Davos, all expenses paid, to attend the Forum, which takes place January 28-February 1, 2009.

It's called the Davos Debates - and there are four main topics being discussed: the economy, politics, ethics, and the environment. Go to the Davos Debates YouTube channel to vote on the 4 questions - or add your own video outlining your ideas for shaping the post-crisis world. WEF will choose the top video submitted by January 20, and that person will get to fly to Switzerland to join the discussion in person.

In addition, many of your videos will be played at panel sessions at Davos, where world leaders will listen to your thoughts and opinions as they debate these issues. Tell them your personal stories: how are the world's new challenges affecting your life, and what do you want to see happen next?

We live in a world that continually presents new challenges but also offers seemingly limitless possibilities. This is your chance to impact history with your own creative ideas. So submit your video by January 20, and help shape our collective future in 2009.

Steve Grove

YouTube News and Politics

Last year we introduced our "holiday video card," and over a million of you sent fun and festive video cards to your friends and loved ones. This year we're bringing it back with even more themes and featured videos for you to choose from, like this one:

To create your card, visit the YouTube Greeting Cards site where you can choose from dozens of holiday videos uploaded by the YouTube community. Or if you prefer, send a greeting video of your own – either select a video that you've previously uploaded or record a brand new one. For your convenience, we've also added a link on every YouTube watch page under the "share options" section so you can send any embeddable video on YouTube as a greeting card.

After you've selected your video, pick a theme, type in your personal message, enter the recipients' email addresses, and voila – instant holiday cheer.

And if you're in need of music for a video you've uploaded, we've recently added many holiday songs to our AudioSwap catalog.

Save trees, save money, and spread joy - all from the comfort of your home.

Happy Holidays!

The YuleTube Team

We've always been committed to providing you with the tools to have the best possible YouTube experience. Educating parents, teens, and families on how to stay safe on our site is a critical part of that commitment, so we can't think of a more appropriate place to introduce our new Abuse and Safety Center than at the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) conference in Washington, D.C., today.

The center features straightforward safety tips and multimedia resources from experts and prominent safety organizations. We are empowering people with the information and tools they need to help them deal with issues like cyberbullying, online harassment, and hateful content.

The new center also makes it easier for you to find our Help and Safety Tool, which lets you report concerns to us and gives you granular control over your channel, like the option of blocking comments from specific users or disabling the video comments feature on specific videos.

The Abuse and Safety Center is easy to find. Just look at the bottom of any YouTube page and click on the link titled "Abuse and Safety Center". From phishing scams to just learning what it means to be a good YouTube citizen, you'll find the information you need.

Finally, check out FOSI's meeting page for more information about our presence at the conference, where Shantal Rands from Google's legal team will receive a FOSI Award for Outstanding Achievement in advancing the goal of a safer Internet. Plus, Andrew McLaughlin, Google's Director of Global Policy & Government Affairs, is speaking about "Protecting Kids and Free Speech Online," and YouTube's Policy Analyst Micah Schaffer will address online safety in social media.

We'll continue to add new information and features to the Center, so check back often.

The YouTube Team

Today marks the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). In commemoration, human rights organizations are using YouTube to inform citizens about the significance of the UDHR and the human rights violations that still plague our society. Today's homepage features a sample of these videos, such as the animated piece below which includes information about the UDHR (as well as a catchy soundtrack):

Meanwhile, WITNESS, a nonprofit devoted to exposing humans rights violations through video, is using raw footage from places like href="">Brazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to educate citizens about the human rights atrocities occurring all over the world. WITNESS also wants average citizens to get involved -- you can join their campaign to raise awareness by posting a video response to the question: "What image opened your eyes to human rights?"

Finally, another organization taking a stand on humans rights is The Elders, a group of lifelong peace-promoters including Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, and Mary Robinson. These leaders have been using their "EveryHumanHasRights" YouTube channel as a platform to href="">speak out against instances of man's inhumanity to man over the past year.

Video continues to serve as a powerful tool to expose incidents that threaten the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And while it may be impossible to end human rights abuses everywhere, we can be grateful that there are citizens armed with cameras who help bring these abuses to light.


Ramya R.

YouTube Nonprofits & Activism

YouTube gives you the chance to stay on top of news and current events, practice some sweet dance moves, explore new hobbies and interests, and a whole lot more. So, today the Google Desktop team is pleased to release a YouTube gadget for Google Desktop. Once installed, you'll be able to bring up the gadget in an instant and search for videos (hint: pressing the shift key twice brings up all your hidden Desktop gadgets). The videos will play directly inside the gadget, which also shows a feed of the day's most popular clips.

The gadget works on Linux and Windows. We hope you enjoy, and please let us know what you think.


Ronald H. and James Y.

Google Desktop Team

Have you ever wanted to add music to your videos but just didn't have
the right music or the technical know-how to do it? Well, it's YouTube
AudioSwap and, most recently, Rumblefish to the rescue!

This week we've announced a partnership with Rumblefish, the sonic
branding and music licensing agency, to provide you with access to
thousands of fully licensed songs from Rumblefish's vast catalog of
independent artists. Using our AudioSwap tool, you can now easily add
pre-approved Rumblefish music, or selections from our already
extensive catalog of music, to your new or existing videos.

By giving your video a music soundtrack, you can provide a dramatic
touch that turns an average upload into a tearjerker or hipshaker.
Check out this video before the audio swap...

value="">name="allowFullScreen" value="true">name="allowscriptaccess" value="always">src=""
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always"
allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344">

...and after we give it an audio make-over, courtesy of Rumblefish (and composer Franz Liszt):

Soon we plan on uploading hundreds of more songs to our AudioSwap
music library, in a wide variety of genres: from ambient, metal, and
experimental electronica, to R&B and classical scores. So check
AudioSwap frequently for updates.

For more information on AudioSwap and how to use it, visit this href="">helpful instructional

Start Swappin'!

The YouTube Team

We're happy to announce a couple of new changes to your YouTube channels, based on the feedback and suggestions you've given to us.

The first is the creation of a "Recent Activity" box on your YouTube channel. This box will provide your viewers with a snapshot of recent changes you've made to your public channel, making your channel more dynamic, fresh and timely. For example, if you recently added a new favorite to your channel, visitors can find this favorite in the new Recent Activity box (as well as in the usual "Favorites" box). The Recent Activity box will also consolidate the separate "My Recent Ratings" and "My Recent Comments" boxes into this single activity window.

As always, we give you maximum control over how your channel is configured on the channel design page. And now, the Recent Activity privacy settings page (also available in the upper-right corner of the Recent Activity box) lets you choose what activity you want to appear in the Recent Activity box. It's important to note that we've set your initial Recent Activity settings according to what you already publicly show on your channel today - so, for example, if you're not already showing the Favorites box on your channel, then the Recent Activity box won't suddenly start showing new favorites you make.

Regarding bulletins, we've listened to you, and most of you didn't see the value in bulletins as they are today. So, we're taking a first step to make bulletins more useful. Although the bulletin box will be going away, now you can broadcast a bulletin directly to your channel visitors in your Recent Activity box. This not only provides a fun place to shout out personal updates and news, but also provides an additional way to communicate and engage with your channel's fans.

We hope you like these changes, and are always eager to hear your feedback - so please feel free to share your thoughts with us!

Update: As some people have noted, the "new" bulletin system no longer sent your bulletins out to your friends. We've just finished rolling out the next update to our bulletin system - your bulletins will now show up on your friends' homepages in their "Friend Activity" box.

The YouTube Team

As a community, we have come to count on each other to be entertained, challenged, and moved by what we watch and share on YouTube. We've been thinking a lot lately about how to make the collective YouTube experience even better, particularly on our most visited pages. Our goal is to help ensure that you're viewing content that's relevant to you, and not inadvertently coming across content that isn't. Here are a few things we came up with:

  • Stricter standard for mature content - While videos featuring pornographic images or sex acts are always removed from the site when they're flagged, we're tightening the standard for what is considered "sexually suggestive." Videos with sexually suggestive (but not prohibited) content will be age-restricted, which means they'll be available only to viewers who are 18 or older. To learn more about what constitutes "sexually suggestive" content, click here.

  • Demotion of sexually suggestive content and profanity - Videos that are considered sexually suggestive, or that contain profanity, will be algorithmically demoted on our 'Most Viewed,' 'Top Favorited,' and other browse pages. The classification of these types of videos is based on a number of factors, including video content and descriptions. In testing, we've found that out of the thousands of videos on these pages, only several each day are automatically demoted for being too graphic or explicit. However, those videos are often the ones which end up being repeatedly flagged by the community as being inappropriate.

  • Improved thumbnails - To make sure your thumbnail represents your video, your choices will now be selected algorithmically. You'll still have three thumbnails to choose from, but they will no longer be auto-generated from the 25/50/75 points in the video index.

  • More accurate video information - Our Community Guidelines have always prohibited folks from attempting to game view counts by entering misleading information in video descriptions, tags, titles, and other metadata. We remain serious about enforcing these rules. Remember, violations of these guidelines could result in removal of your video and repeated violations will lead to termination of your account.

The preservation and improvement of the YouTube experience is a responsibility we share. Let's work together to ensure that the YouTube community continues to thrive as a positive place for all of us.

The YouTube Team