Google’s YouTube has been making lots of change over the past few months. The video platform revealed earlier today that it is currently updating its recommendation feature to show videos that users will find more useful to them. This move is in order to ensure that the allegations that they are trapping user with bubbles of misinformation and like-minded opinions are falsified.
This feature was implemented back in January though it hasn’t been reported. The features make use of a measure of satisfaction that is gotten from a massive and currently ongoing user survey in order to know and promote the videos that users will rank amongst the best they have watched.
The aim of this feature is to eliminate the negative feelings that users get after they sit through hours of videos that neither interests nor inspires them, according to Jim McFadden and Cristos Goodrow, who work on recommendation technology at YouTube. The move comes at a time when social media platforms all over the globe are facing increased criticism from advertisers, regulators and advocacy groups. They are being accused of not regulating the content that is found on their platforms that have in some cases led to civil unrest and terrorist acts.
During last year’s U.S presidential elections, Russian agents used social media platforms like Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc., and YouTube to roll out their agenda and spread fake news. The companies are being questioned by the Congress and they are currently making moves to ensure that they become strict on the content that is displayed on their platforms while also boosting the enjoyment of users.
Jacob Groshek, a Boston University associate professor who researches the influence of social media stated that “The risk is not that we are just siloing ourselves, but were able to also reinforce pre-existing, flawed viewpoints.”
YouTube has been known for automatically recommending videos for their users using information such as characteristics of videos and the behavior of the user that is gotten via their machine learning algorithm.
These recommendations are usually displayed on the front page and besides video clips so that users can watch videos that are similar to the ones they show interest in. according to YouTube, the recommendation is now responsible for over 70% of the videos viewed on the platform compared to just 40% back in 2014.
As users view more videos, it becomes easier for YouTube to sell ad slots and earn more money.