FAQ: YouTube Gadget Changes

FAQ: YouTube Gadget Changes

Feb 10, 2015

What Changed?

What changes were made to the YouTube Offering?

In the first week of February 2015, Google announced that they will no longer be supporting custom gadgets.

What is the Google/YouTube reasoning behind this change? 

In an email that was sent to customers, they stated “YouTube’s goal is to provide viewers with an excellent video viewing experience across all platforms; to that end, it is important that video be delivered through core YouTube features rather than custom experiences that are only available on desktop devices. To ensure that YouTube’s content is available across all devices, and as part of a global effort to simplify and strengthen our product offering, we will not be supporting new YouTube Channel gadgets as of April 1, 2015.”

Where can I find more information from YouTube/Google?

They supplied two resources in the email sent to customers

  1. YouTube help center – http://goo.gl/th09JZ
  2. The YouTube Creator Playbook for Brands- http://goo.gl/fxGSZY

Or, send us a note and we’d be happy to discuss the upcoming change, and options moving forward

General FAQ’s

What’s the difference between a custom gadget / Brand Channel and a standard Brand Channel?

A custom “gadget” refers to design or functionality that goes beyond that offered by YouTube’s native tools.

  • Gadgets occupy the sixth or seventh tab within a standard Brand Channel, appearing immediately to the right of the “About” tab.
  • While these tabs and the custom “gadget” will be removed by the end of the year, standard Brand Channel will remain utilizing YouTube native functionality (important note: confusing matters is the fact that some Thismoment customers refer to their custom “gadgets” as their “Brand Channels”)

What does this mean for me and my Brand?

If you have a custom gadget activated on your YouTube Brand Channel, it will be disabled after Dec. 31, 2015. A few exceptions to this rule have been granted for unusual circumstances, though all those gadgets will be disabled after March 31st, 2016.

What If I have not yet launched my gadget/Brand Channel?

Your request to launch a new custom gadget or refresh an existing one must be made by March 31, 2015. The launch or refresh must be completed by July 1, 2015.

Can I still launch a customer Brand Channel/gadget and operate it through Dec. 31, 2015?

Yes, but the request for a custom gadget must be made to YouTube by March 31, 2015.

Will gadgets/gadget refreshes already made, or made before March 31, 2015, still be honored by YouTube?

Yes, but they will need to launch by July, 1, 2015.

When will Google/YouTube stop supporting the gadget on my custom Brand Channel?

Dec. 31, 2015

What will happen to my current custom Brand Channel?

Nothing will happen to your Brand Channel. On Dec. 31, 2015, the custom gadget will be disabled by YouTube/Google

Options for 2016

What options will I have after Dec. 31, 2015? 

While you will no longer be able to maintain a custom gadget on the YouTube platform, through Thismoment Content Cloud, you are presented with two options:

  1. Launch a “Video Hub” that will distribute your video and other multimedia content to a variety of endpoints
  2. Continue to point traffic to YouTube as your video destination, but with central management of playlists and various page elements

What is a video hub?

A Video Hub is a web page, hosted anywhere you desire, that is similar to a current YouTube gadget in functionality and design. The main difference is that it lives on a channel you own, as opposed to a 3rd party website, like YouTube. You can still publish the hub to different endpoints (i.e., Tumblr, Facebook), but you are 100% in control.

What are the benefits of a Content Cloud Video Hub?

  • You “own the Channel” which gives you complete control of the page, both in styling and content and a presence beyond just YouTube.
  • You receive SEO benefit offered by your content hosted on your own website.
  • You can publish more than just video, if you choose. Through Content Cloud, you can build a video hub that also incorporates photos, news articles, UGC, etc. The choice is yours.
  • Your video hub experience is responsive to any screen size or device.
  • A video hub comes with a full set of analytics on how your content is being consumed across all your marketing Channels.
  • You reduce your dependency on a 3rd party platform, over which you have no control – your video content no longer lives solely on YouTube; it now also lives on your own website.
  • It’s a central hub for managing all video content that enables publishing to YouTube and other hosting services, such as Brightcove.
  • Housing the video hub on as many destinations as possible casts the broadest net for customer engagement and data collection.
  • Unlimited content sources and types can be featured (Vine videos, Instavids, etc). You are not just limited to the YouTube API.
  • Launch UGC programs, CRM, and other data collection modules on the video hub.

If I launch a Video Hub will my videos still live on YouTube?

Yes, through Content Cloud, you will be able to upload your video content directly to your video hub which will automatically sync with your YouTube Channel.

Where can I publish a Video Hub?

Video hubs can be published on your Brand’s web page, microsites, Tumblr, Facebook and other destinations based on your needs

Will I lose any data or videos on YouTube when my gadget is removed on Dec. 31, 2015?

No. Your videos and subscribers will stay intact.

What types of content can I publish on a Content Cloud Video hub?

There are no limits, you can publish video, photos, vines, gifs, tweets, facebook content, and beyond…

Can I track ROI on a Video Hub?

Yes, through Content Cloud, you’ll have access to content consumption analytics. And, if you choose, you can link into existing Adobe or Oracle analytics accounts for more advanced measurement.

Is there an SEO benefit to a Video Hub?

Yes, if built and launched as a CNAME, it would allow your content to be indexed by search engines.

Thismoment’s Position

What is Thismoment’s position on this change?

On one hand, we are sorry to see how Google’s decision to eliminate the gadget is impacting our customers. It’s a big change and one we take seriously. On the other hand, we understand the decision and the factors that have led to the decision. Vince Broady, our CEO, published a blog article recently that explains our position in more detail.

Marc Cowlin @mcowlin
Contributor Bio: Marc Cowlin is a content marketer with a proven track record of driving buzz, traffic and conversion through top-of-funnel marketing (Public Relations, Social Media, Blogging). With nearly 15 years of in-house brand experience with companies such as Birkenstock and CafePress.com, Marc offers a unique perspective on the convergence of content with PR, social media and digital marketing. These days Marc leads content marketing for Thismoment.