TIME apps

YouTube Is About to Look Very Different

Google Holds Event For Creators At YouTube Tokyo Space
Kiyoshi Ota—Bloomberg/Getty Images An employee holding recording equipment walks past Google Inc.'s YouTube logo displayed at the company's YouTube Space studio in Tokyo, Japan, on March 30, 2013.

On your cellphone, at least

The horror of watching a vertical YouTube video on your cellphone marred by enormous black borders will soon be behind us.

The video site announced Thursday that its redesigned mobile app features a vertical video mode that will better display such content, CNN Money reports. Vertical videos have long been the scourge of the Internet, but they better fit the aspect ratio of smartphones and have become popular among young users thanks to Snapchat, which encourages them.

In addition to improving video playback, the new app features a subscriptions tab that allows users to see a stream of new videos from channels they follow, as well as improved editing tools for shooting video directly within the app. The updated app is available now on Android and coming soon to iOS.

More than half of YouTube’s views now come from mobile devices. The Google-owned brand, which is facing ever-increasing pressure from competitors like Facebook, also revealed that its total watch time is up 60% year-over-year.

[CNN Money]

TIME animals

Huge Meter-Long Lizards Are Crawling Through the Bangkok Sewers and This Guy Caught One on Video

Dragon or not, we're keeping our distance!

One tourist got a nightmarish surprise during a recent trip to Bangkok when he filmed what he says was a “huge” Komodo dragon slithering through a storm drain.

“I was outside of a temple in downtown Bangkok and people were screaming and pointing into the sewer. There it was. I got the video to prove it!” said John Hernandez, who posted the video to YouTube.

According to UPI, Hernandez said the locals told him the big lizards “rove in packs” looking for rats to eat.

Although fellow Reddit users were quick to point out that that the beast was unlikely to be a Komodo dragon, as these dangerous creatures only live on certain islands of Indonesia, can reach 3 m in length, and have been known to eat deer, pigs, water buffalo and even the occasional human.

It’s much more likely to be a water monitor lizard, they said, which are commonly found throughout Asia.

Still, that is one big nope!

TIME Earnings

Google Stresses Mobile and YouTube in Stellar Earnings Report

Google Offices in Berlin
Adam Berry—Getty Images The Google logo is seen inside the company's offices on March 23, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.

Google’s overall profitability exceeded experts' expectations for the quarter

Even though Google owns Android, the world’s most-used mobile operating system, mobile remains a critical risk for the search giant. Google’s web search engine is a money-printing machine, but mobile advertising hasn’t been the same home run for Google or any ad-based company.

Mobile phone usage is dominated by apps (85% of time spent) and users tend to go to the appropriate app to find the information they need, rather than conduct a Google search in a mobile Web browser like they do on a desktop computer. For example, if a person wanted to buy movie tickets, instead of searching for movie times on Google (as they would on a laptop), they’d open the Fandango mobile app. If they needed to make a purchase, they might go straight to their Amazon app. If they wanted some information, they’d open the Wikipedia app.

Shoppers still prefer to make purchases on desktop computers, which hurts any mobile ad platform that only gets paid when shoppers convert. It’s not all Google’s fault: The ad industry hasn’t shifted its budgets to be commensurate with the amount of time people spend on their phones. “We know mobile activities are influencing offline behavior,” chief business officer Omid Kordestani said in the company’s second quarter earnings call. He noted that Google is working on ways to “close the gap” between online ads and brick-and-mortar sales.

Indeed, Google has been amping up its mobile advertising efforts to address these challenges, touting new products such as a “buy button,” which allows people to shop directly within Google products on mobile, as well as mobile-friendly YouTube ads and elaborate, conversion-friendly search results for things like hotels and cars.

Google CFO Ruth Porat said the company is continuing to narrow the gap between mobile and desktop search. The quarter was Porat’s first-ever earnings report on the job, having recently joined Google from Morgan Stanley.

The company also touted strong performance on YouTube, which has been under increasing pressure as competitors,most notably Facebook, gain traction. “Watch time,” YouTube’s metric for measuring usage, grew 60% over the second quarter of last year, and on mobile, watch time has more than doubled. The company has never announced how much revenue YouTube contributes to its top line, even though, as noted at Fortune‘s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen last week, CEO Susan Wojcicki said she wishes she could.

Google’s overall profitability exceeded Wall Street’s expectations in the quarter, earning $4.8 billion in GAAP operating profit on $17.7 billion in revenue. The operating profit represents a 27% increase over the same last year and quarterly revenue grew 11%. Investors responded positively to the report, trading Google stock up more than 10% in after-hours trading.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME facebook

Facebook Is Testing a Way to Make You Watch More Video

Facebook's Influence In Consumer Consumption Of News Growing
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

It's another stab at what YouTube does best

Facebook wants you to watch even more videos when you log on to the social media site, which is why it’s testing a “Watch Later” button on its videos for the desktop version of the site.

The function will let users save a video to view at a later time with the hope that you’ll watch even more content (and boost ad revenue). The social media service is taking another stab at YouTube with the added function, too. The video-viewing website has a “Watch Later” button of its own.

As TechCrunch notes, the move comes about a year after Facebook launched Save, which allows users to review article links and other media at a later time.

The new “Watch Later” button also comes as Facebook has been bolstering its video ad capabilities in recent weeks and as the number of video views per day has risen to 4 billion in the last quarter.

For an in-depth look at the social media giant’s video capabilities, check out this Fortune feature from June.

TIME Web

Here’s How People Make Money From Viral Videos

Today - Season 63
NBC NewsWire—NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images Grumpy Cat appears on NBC News' "Today" show.

Sure, your kitten is cute. But can he help pay the rent?

Andy Warhol famously introduced the idea that someday everyone would be world famous for 15 minutes. But if the pop artist had lived long enough to watch some web videos, you have to think he’d change his timeframe to 15 seconds. That’s because everyone from pet owners to parents are looking to cash in viral videos these days.

But when it comes to web video, does fame equal fortune? That depends on how much money you expect to make. While most successful viral videos tend to earn hundreds or even thousands of dollars, the biggest hits — which are rare — can generate more than a million, according to Daniel Fisher, senior vice president of audience solutions at London-based video monetization firm Rightster.

“We have seen, in the last four or five years, an enormous collection of high-definition content being uploaded primarily to YouTube, and now other platforms including Facebook,” says Fisher. Typically, those videos get seen by next to no one. But in rare cases, wildly funny, extremely scary, or just downright amazing videos will start getting shared, and that’s when the viral phenomenon begins. Successful videos get picked up by a thought leader, says Fisher, which is either an Internet personality, celebrity, or other prominent figure. Once someone with lots of social influence shares a video, its reach is accelerated rapidly, and thousands of people start watching and sharing it instantly.

If you’ve monetized your video, this is when the cash starts rolling in. On YouTube, you can monetize your video with the AdSense program, which places ads before, inside, or near your footage. How much your video earns depends on a number of factors, including the types and pricing of ads that run with your clip. Once it’s live, as the view count ticks higher, YouTube tallies the totals and deposits your share of the proceeds into your bank account.

Video ads alone can generate a healthy amount of money. In 2012, The Guardian reported that “Charlie Bit My Finger,” now with more than 800 million views, made more than £100,000 at that point. One blogger says YouTube paid him $5,675 for a video with about 4 million views over six years. And these Quora users have many more first-hand stories about how much money they made with their videos.

But Fisher says you’re more likely to see a payout only in the hundreds for a successful viral video, unless it’s a mega-hit. And keep in mind that the content of a video uploaded to YouTube must not violate anyone else’s copyrights. So if you’re thinking of playing “Chariots of Fire” on that funny movie of your kid’s first steps, be prepared to hear about it from Vangelis.

Another way to make money on viral videos, says Fisher, is to license them — and this is where companies like Rightster help make deals happen. “If your video looks commercially attractive, it will generate attention from production companies and advertising agencies,” he says. These firms may offer you pennies on the dollar to use your video, and can lock you into restrictive contracts. Rightster acts like an agent representing viral video owners’ best interests. It also has extensive contacts and can market your movie to partners that may be interested in featuring your clip. Once a video has reached this stage of popularity, it can make anywhere from $10,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But if a viral video is popular enough, there’s another way to make big bucks. “Merchandising, merchandising — where the real money from the movie is made,” said Mel Brooks in Spaceballs. Honey Badger the T-shirt. Honey Badger the stuffed animal. Honey Badger the Christmas ornament! ”You essentially turn into a brand with this one piece of content,” says Fisher.

But can those tchotchkes make you rich? “There have been reports of a single piece of content making upwards of a million dollars,” says Fisher, declining to reveal the hauls of any of Rightster’s clients. Are those reports true? The best way to find out is to upload a 15-second clip of your own and find out.

TIME facebook

Watch Out, YouTube! Facebook Wants Your Video Dollars

Social Media Illustrations
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Social media site is taking another shot at YouTube

Facebook has its sights set on YouTube once again as it seeks to grab a slice of the music video business, The New York Times reports, citing people familiar with the talks.

The social media giant has reportedly been in discussion with major record companies to get the licensing deals required to post music videos on users’ news feeds, the publication reported.

If the deal moves forward, Facebook users can expect to see music videos handpicked by the music companies as they browse through posts from friends and family. Facebook would then monitor how the music videos perform, while sharing ad revenue with the music companies. Plus, Facebook is apparently offering more money than YouTube does in its revenue-sharing model.

The move by Facebook comes as the social media site has ramped up its video offerings in recent weeks. For instance, the company added new options for marketers using video in July in another bid to take on YouTube, which is owned by Google.

For more on Facebook’s video plans, check out this Fortune feature from April.

TIME celebrities

YouTube’s Most Popular Star PewDiePie Hits Back At Criticism Over His $7.4 Million Earnings

“It seems like the whole world cares more about how much money I make than I do myself"

YouTube’s biggest star Felix Kjellberg, also known as PewDiePie, has responded to online haters after it was revealed he earned $7.4 million from his videos in 2014.

Kjellberg, 25, has racked up over 4 billion hits and 37 million YouTube subscribers for recording himself playing video games and uploading his reactions to the popular video-sharing site, reports the Guardian.

But the YouTube heavyweight faced anger online after his earnings were released in Swedish paper Expressen, and the news began trending on Facebook.

In response to the critics, the Swedish gamer posted a video called “Let’s Talk About Money” to his channel Tuesday.

“A lot of people which I saw were very very angry. They thought it was unfair. They thought I just sit on my ass all day, and I just yell at the screen over here. Which is true! But there’s so much more to it than that,” he said in the video, adding that he used to work at a hot dog stand to make money to put towards creating the videos.

“I knew people were big at other types of videos, but there was no one big in gaming, and I didn’t know you could make money out of it,” he said.

Kjellberg expressed frustration that the money he had raised for charity had received less coverage than how much he earned.

“We did raise a million dollars for charity, and very few articles picked up on that, but here it is everywhere how much money I make,” he said.

“It seems like the whole world cares more about how much money I make than I do myself.”

[Guardian]

TIME celebrities

YouTube Star Shane Dawson Has Come Out to His Fans as Bisexual in an Emotional Video

Dawson made the video because he thought it could help others who were confused about their sexuality

YouTube star Shane Dawson has come out as bisexual, in a touching 15-minute video posted to his channel Tuesday.

Twenty-six-year-old Dawson, whose real name is Shane Lee Yaw, is known by his 6.7 million subscribers for his comedies, parodies and sketches that he has been uploading to YouTube since 2008.

In the emotional video, which has so far gained more than 1 million hits, Dawson says he had been confused about his sexuality all his life, but especially in the past year.

“This is something I’ve come to the conclusion through therapy and from being honest with myself,” he says. “I am bisexual.”

Dawson says he never thought he would make the video but did so because he thought it could help people who were also unsure about their sexuality.

“There are a lot of coming out videos of people who are gay or lesbian and they’re so confident,” he says. “But it made me cry because I’m not that, I don’t know who I am 100%. And I know that a lot of you guys might feel the same way.”

After the video was uploaded, Dawson tweeted thanks to his fans for their support.

TIME animals

Watch This Puppy Experience Air Conditioning for the First Time

Eyes and mouth wide open

When it comes to the modern luxury of air conditioning, this puppy has zero chill.

In an adorable YouTube video posted over the holiday weekend, a black lab puppy is sitting in the front seat of a car, minding its own business, when the most exciting thing ever happens: someone turns on the A.C.

Giddily rolling its head in front of the air flow, biting at the cool air as though it were catching snowflakes, the lab experiences the best minute of its young life. Eyes wide and mouth fixed open, the pup is the perfect image of #blessed.

To be fair, we react pretty much identically whenever someone turns on the A.C.

This article originally appeared on People.com

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MONEY Workplace

What YouTube Star Michelle Phan Learned From Her First Job at a China Buffet

How To Keep Your Social Media Game Sincere - 2015 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival
Steve Rogers Photography Internet personality Michelle Phan attends How To Keep Your Social Media Game Sincere' during the 2015 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 16, 2015 in Austin, Texas.

The makeup advice guru and 3 other YouTube celebs dish on their first paid jobs.

Not long ago, Americans megastars only came from places like network television shows or Hollywood films.

These days, they also come from somewhere else entirely: YouTube.

While old-media outlets like newspapers have been losing subscribers, YouTube celebrities have been gaining them by the busload.

For the latest installment in Reuters’ monthly “First Jobs” series, we asked a few of the top YouTube stars to discuss how they came from nowhere to cultivate millions of adoring fans.

Michelle Phan

YouTube subscribers: 7.8 million

Specialty: Makeup advice

First Job: China Buffet host

“I was 16 years old, and wanted to help my mom with the rent. There was a restaurant called China Buffet in Tampa that hung a ‘Help Wanted’ sign outside, so I went in and ended up hosting every Friday and Sunday for $6 or $7 an hour.

“My favorite dish was lo mein, which was so greasy. But I was a teenager then and could basically eat whatever I wanted.

“What I learned from that job was how to greet people and make eye contact. I used to be a very shy introvert and never even spoke to people, so it was that job that first gave me the confidence to talk to strangers.

“That was my first legal job, but even before that my brother and I used to sell candy at our school, charging for lollipops and chocolate bars in the gym and the auditorium. We made a good amount of money, too: In two months, we made $600 that we used to buy computer parts and build our own computer. I have always been a hustler like that.”

Cassey Ho

YouTube subscribers: 2.35 million

Specialty: Fitness tutorials

First job: Candy seller

“Back in middle school, every time I used to trick-or-treat, I would take all the chocolates and microwave them and then make my own little chocolate creations. My friends all liked them, so I started charging them for it.

“Later on in high school I added cookie sandwiches with buttercream inside, and everyone went nuts. It became a whole enterprise, with five employees working for me. I was known as “Cassey the Cookie Girl” all over campus. That business even helped me get a full scholarship.

“It’s ironic that I now run a fitness blog. My friends accuse me of having planned it this whole time, of making them fat and then getting them back into shape.

“I learned that if you create a product that has value, you can definitely start charging for it. I also learned that people not only buy because they like the product. They buy because they like you.”

Matthew Santoro

YouTube subscribers: 4.3 million

Specialty: Amazing facts and top 10 lists

First job: Deli counter

“I worked at a Canadian supermarket called Loblaws, essentially frying chicken for a living. I worked my butt off all the way through high school and university, saving up enough to pay my tuition and graduate with no debt.

“I had never had a job before, and handed in a resume with hardly anything on it. But my mom suggested that I send a thank-you card after the interview, and that must have been what got me the job. It was the only one they got.

“I came in not knowing anything, and just learned on the job. Most of all, I got to know how to deal with angry customers. People would come in just fuming mad, and you had to know how to defuse that situation. That skill translates very well to everyday life.

“The number-one question I got at the deli counter was whether or not I ever got sick of fried chicken. And the answer was always no. It’s tasty and delicious. What’s not to like?”

Bunny Meyer

YouTube subscribers: 5.2 million

Specialty: Beauty tips

First job: File clerk

“My first job was as a clerk at an oil-and-gas company, and I actually got fired at it.

“They hired me to do a special project, putting me in a huge office stacked floor-to-ceiling with boxes, and I had to put sticker labels on them all. They thought it was going to take me all summer.

“But when I get a task to do, I like to see how fast I can do it. So I challenged myself and finished within a week. They were completely surprised and said they had no more work for me. They had to let me go.

“What I learned was how important it is to find a job where you can work at your own pace. I like to work very quickly, uploading videos almost every day.

“These days, that kind of diligence and effort pays off. But before, that just wasn’t where I belonged. I could never see myself having a desk job again.”

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