YouTube is taking preemptive measures to address the rise in scams and spam appearing on its TikTok rival, YouTube Shorts. Starting August 31, YouTube will gradually make links to Shorts comments, descriptions, and vertical live streams unclickable to prevent users from being potentially exposed to malware, phishing scams, and other harmful content. scam related.
YouTube says it plans to introduce a new, safer way for creators to link Shorts viewers to other YouTube content “by the end of September.”
The streaming video giant will also remove clickable social media icons from channel banners on desktop, claiming they are a “source of deceptive links.” The obvious downside of these changes is that these links are very important to creators: they allow them to diversify their content by directing viewers to their accounts on other platforms, and generate revenue by linking to affiliate ads and content.
YouTube plans to give creators a new space on channel profiles to place prominent, clickable links to websites, social profiles, merchandising sites, and other compliant links. Platform Community Guidelines. This update will start rolling out to both mobile and desktop starting August 23 and can be found near the “subscribe” button. You can see a preview of what this should look like for mobile users in the GIF below.
“We do not have any plans to make any other links unclickable,” YouTube said in a press release. “We know that links are an important way for creators to share information and recommend products/brands to their communities, so we are actively working on safer ways for creators to include important links in their content.”
YouTube claims that some of the policies and systems it has already put in place to combat scammers and spammers are having a positive effect. The number of channels that were removed or canceled due to impersonating other users increased by 35 percent in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year. Comments retained by YouTube’s “increase rigor” feature, which detects any potentially spam or inappropriate comments and gives creators the option to review them, also increased by 200 percent in the first week of June following updates to the feature, compared to the first week of May (before the improvements were released).
Many high-profile creators have criticized YouTube’s spam problem in recent years. The company introduced new policies designed to address the issue in June of last year, just weeks after big names like marquis brownlee, Linus Tech Tipsand jacksepticeye posted videos that highlighted how prolific comment spam was becoming on their channel. Updates at the time included removing the ability for creators to hide their subscriber count and expanding access to a stricter moderation system that YouTube began testing in December 2021.
It’s a good thing the company is still taking the issue seriously. However, your decision to pull the plug on clickable links before coming up with a safe and viable alternative is likely to get a warm response from smaller creators who can’t rely on YouTube’s direct revenue streams.