The Google Video Quality Report: What it Means for Video
Those words flashed across the bottom of the YouTube player on my desktop a few days back, after a video I tried to watch stalled partway through playback. A button to the far right of the player offered to satisfy my curiosity: “Find Out Why”
When I clicked on the button, it brought up a page I’d never seen before, with the kind of visual details that prompted me to dig a bit further. I interviewed a YouTube spokesperson on the reasons behind this Google Video Quality Report.
“We launched this feature in the United States on May 29, 2014,” said Matt McLernon, a YouTube spokesperson. The report was first rolled out in Canada.
“We do these launches one country at a time because we work with all the ISPs involved before launching, and that takes time," McLernon said. The report is also available in Australia and New Zealand.
One wonders if ISPs that claim to local community regulatory boards that they have the fastest Internet connection available might soon be faced with having to answer why the Google Video Quality Report ranks them only as standard definition capable instead of high definition capable.
The end goal of exposing this kind of metric to the general consumer was one of education, empowerment, and potential action, McLernon explained. “We want to give people a simple-to-use tool so they could understand in what quality their ISP is showing YouTube, as part of our effort to let you watch YouTube in the best quality on any screen. Our goal is to educate people about how the internet they're paying for translates into YouTube video quality.”
Chalk up one mark for transparency in service quality measurement. But that’s not all.
If you’d like to tell your friends about the quality of your experience, there’s a button or three for that as well.
In addition, there’s another, bigger button available: How Video Gets to You is prominently displayed as part of the Google Video Quality Report.
Disseminating “how it works” knowledge is one of the key reasons for generating the report.
“That's why the report also includes tips and tricks on making your home internet better, as well as a simple explainer for what it takes for a video to get from us to you," McLernon said
When asked how many users had clicked on the “Tell your friends about the report” buttons for Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, McLernon said that data is not yet publicly available. But he pointed readers to a blog post that provides more detail on the service.
There are seven glaring quality issues that still plague online video. The industry needs to get serious if it hopes to rival television in popularity.
Here are step-by-step instructions for creating quick hands-on videos with Google Glass and sharing them internally on various platforms.