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YouTube Announces Comment Changes, Tools for Creators: VidCon

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While she didn't give a release date, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki got applause during her VidCon 2016 keynote address when she announced comment changes that will soon come to the site. Creators will be able to pin a comment to the top of a video's comment section, and include GIFs in their responses. Also, channel creators will be able to delegate comment moderation to trusted fans.

To support the creators that make its growth possible, YouTube announced a reorganization of its creator tools. Previously, creator support tools were scattered across seven sites. As of today, YouTube has grouped all its resources together at YouTube.com/creators, its new creator hub. The hub is available in 23 languages.

User support is in short supply in any online platform, but YouTube is changing that: Sebastian Missoffe, YouTube's vice president of operations, announced human-based support is now available to tens of millions of creators.

"Every single creator who has enabled monetization on their channel will now be able to reach out to YouTube with a question and hear back from a human being within one business day," Missoffe said.

Live streaming on YouTube has tripled in the last six months. Expect that to expand far more in the future. That's because live streaming is coming to the site's mobile app, said Kurt Wilms, YouTube's product lead for immersive experiences.

At the moment, the feature is only available to select creators, but soon it will expand to all users. After hitting the record button, users will be able to create a title (with emojis), shoot a selfie for the thumbnail, and start a live stream from a phone or tablet. Subscribers will be notified about the live stream, and comments will scroll across the screen. When finished, live streams will be available for on-demand viewing.

While Wojcicki didn't directly address the 180 singers and bands currently lobbying for copyright reform due to unauthorized versions of their work on YouTube, she noted that YouTube has taken measures recently to support creators.

“In April, we announced steps to ensure that no one loses money while rights disputes are being resolved. We worked with our legal, our finance, and our operations teams to set up a new solution that allow videos to continuing earning revenue while a Content ID claim is being disputed. We pay out money to tens of millions of creators every month, around the world, so this isn’t a simple undertaking," Wojcicki said. "We’re currently testing out the new monetization support and expect to reach 100 percent of all monetized users in next few months.”

Earlier in the day, YouTube released the results of a study it commissioned with ComScore. According to the results, adults prefer online video to TV by 30 percent. For millennials, it's 105 percent. Asked to pick a favorite online video destination, 48 percent of adults said YouTube, the highest answer.

The study also suggested that online video ads are a good buy, as viewers reported they're more likely to take action after seeing an ad on a short-form online video than seeing a traditional TV commercial.

Also today, Pixability released data on 2016's top 100 brands on YouTube, Compared to the 2015 top 100, the brands on this year's list attracted 56 percent more views (63.4 billion) and had 42 percent more subscribers (104 million). Collectively, they got 145 million likes (up 60 percent) and 15.6 million dislikes (up 75 percent). 

Susan Wojcicki at VidCon 2016

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