If you aren’t an avid YouTuber, then you probably haven’t noticed much in the way of changes that have happened on the video-streaming site. On the other hand, if you’re someone who is trying to gain internet fame (and the advertising dollars that go along with it), then odds are you’ve probably encountered a headache lately.
According to the new rules, YouTube will no longer allow its users to link to their own websites within the video’s “end card” or the last part of the video unless that video gets 10,000 views. That means most startups, small businesses, Patreons, and other fundraisers trying to promote their brands are at a huge disadvantage getting viewers to their website.
Arguably one of the best things about YouTube was how anyone could use it to put themselves or their brands out there and attract attention. Now, not only does your video need to hit the magic 10,000 views number, the account owner must also sign up for the YouTube Partner Program which regulates the content of the associated videos.
YouTube was criticized earlier this year when they started removing content that it considered “hate speech” and that “violates the terms of service.” These videos were overwhelmingly linked to the conservative right, and it was those users who believe they are being discriminated against.
The move to remove monetization from these videos came in August after Amazon, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft pulled their ads from YouTube over complaints that hate speech and other inflammatory videos were running alongside ads for their products.
This was a rude awakening for those who relied on the cash-in from video monetization for their income, especially for those who used to enjoy the flexibility of a free-speech medium to make money voicing their views – ones shared with its right-wing fanbase.
“There’s a difference between the free expression that lives on YouTube and the content that brands have told us they want to advertise against,” a YouTube spokesperson stated. “Giving advertisers a choice means giving them a choice not to run ads on sensitive content.”
YouTube isn’t a free-speech advocate website, it’s a money-making website, and the advertisers’ needs come before the users. That’s true of most media platforms that want to make money. And since YouTube’s paid service YouTube RED came out, maybe they don’t need to rely on the advertising dollars coming from these videos like they used to.
We wonder what changes YouTube will make next.