If you’ve been anywhere near a computer recently you know that YouTube has undergone a complete facelift. While the site has had layout changes in the past, this is the first time in the company’s successful run that the cosmetic change has also included a new logo.
As far as new looks go, this is hardly drastic. However, as nearly every site can testify, change comes with backlash and the majority of the online community has been less than satisfied with the transition. Many of the complaints launched specifically by creators surround that they feel YouTube has ignored their numerous issues concerning faults in the notification, subscriber, and monetization systems. There’s also a theory circulating that YouTube’s new logo is signifying the site’s intention of making user generated content a lower priority.
It does seem that recently the company’s focus and funds have been zeroing in on YouTube Red. And the shift to make their mobile site akin to their app on phones or smart TVs might point to them trying to pull a page out of Netflix’s 2007 playbook. But where does that leave creators that have not yet risen through the YouTube ranks?
Several creators were left with demonetized videos following last year’s advertiser-friendly content guidelines and some, although they are not in breach of any particular guideline say that they are still not being paid fairly.
“YouTube is not paying me (past the earning threshold) and support just keeps re-wording how ad bidding is complicated,” complained YouTuber Gifting Phoenix via Reddit, “…I see mildly similar posts on AdSense Forums, but there is a big difference between getting paid less and getting nothing. It’s not a matter of the payment date being the 20th or not being set up as I have been paid before. While YouTube analytics shows I should have paid months ago, I’ve caught my AdSense balance randomly dropping but never going up in the past few months.”
Kotaku.com also reported suspicious ad activity in which certain videos were being demonetized and yet other videos featuring similar content were seeing as much as a 75% revenue increase due to advertisements. Is this YouTube trying to shaft creators that they don’t see making the cut or is this simply a case of a few things slipping through the cracks at the world’s biggest streaming corporation?
Jonathan Skogmo, Founder and CEO of Jukin Media, seems to believe that as a company built on user generated content, YouTube is in no way abandoning the talent that made it what it is today.
“YouTube is constantly making changes, and UGC always maintains a thriving and prominent presence on the platform through those changes,” said Skogmo, “When changes are made, it’s important that creators optimize and adapt, but it’s not evident to us that this latest change signals any clear departure from UGC.”
In an official statement, YouTube explained that the site’s recent changes were made with creators specifically in mind. The minimalist layout design and the new cinematic “dark mode” is meant to leave focus to the videos and their creators.
As time continues the online backlash will predictably fade. Some creators are already giving their support to the new look including JacobAllTrades.
“Let me start by saying this: Do I think it’s better than the other layout? Not quite, there are a few things that do hold it back from what I think it could be. But on its own merits, I do think it is a good layout that does what it’s set out to do,” said the user, “…As someone who’s been going to this site since near the very beginning, I’ve seen this happen every-time the site updates it’s layout. This is guaranteed to happen, not just on this site; but for every site. Remember when Deviantart got a new logo back in 2014? Or how about when Microsoft did it to there’s in 2012? Whenever a website changes something, even if it’s minor; the internet’s going to freak about it. That’s something I’ve come to accept as I’ve grown older.”
Despite the online uproar, YouTube stands by its mission that they support the YOU in YouTube.
“We know this is a lot of change, but we want to make clear that there’s one thing that stays the same: YouTube’s mission. We’re here to give people a voice and show them the world – no matter what device they use,” said the company.