YouTube addresses trending page bias against creators

31 May 2019, 17:43

YouTube. Picture: Anadolu Agency / Getty

By Rachel Finn

YouTube's Robert Kyncl explained in an interview with Casper Lee that the trending page is "not as important as you might think".

YouTube’s trending section is supposed to be the ‘what’s what’ of popular videos on the platform, but as pointed out by creator Caspar Lee in a new interview on his channel, creators don’t tend to appear as much on the trending page as companies that show content like film trailers, interviews and music videos.

This has caused some concern among creators who are worried that not getting the fair chance to have a video on the ‘Trending’ page will affect their views and ultimately how much money they make.

But when YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl was asked by Caspar how important the trending tab was for getting views in a new interview, he explained that is was not as important as you might think.

“It’s not as important because you are getting the majority of your views through recommendations,” Robert said. “The way we think about it, we have a trending tab and the reason we have it is that we’re always trying to bring more audiences to YouTube for our creators to be able to show their videos to.”

The point of the trending tab, he explains, is to make sure new users aren’t overwhelmed by what they see and are more likely to stick around and explore other content on the site, including that made by independent creators.

“So what we’re trying to do [with the Trending page] is not reflect only what’s popular on YouTube but also what is popular in the world, which means we’re taking lots of inputs from everywhere outside as well as inside YouTube. The reason we do that is because if you’re completely new to YouTube it could be overwhelming because there’s such a wealth of content and it’s all somewhat foreign to you.”

YouTube - which according to Robert now has an incredible 1.9 billion monthly logged in users - is also apparently taking steps to tackle creators who are accused of “immoral” behaviour in their personal life.

“We take all this very seriously,” Robert adds in the interview. “YouTubers carry our brand in their description. We’re very incentivised to take this very seriously and I think this is very unique because I think when you see movie stars or TV stars they’re not really with their identity tied to the platforms that distribute [their work].

“We have very robust processes in place to discuss, think through it and then take action. One example of that was when we suspended monetisation for Logan Paul [for posting content that goes against guidelines].”

Logan Paul has caused plenty of controversy in his time on the platform and hit headlines last year after he shared footage of a suicide victim's body to his millions of YouTube subscribers.