My Five #234

In this week’s My Five instalment, we’ve got YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Virtual Reality stories. Plus some troubling sarcasm.

You are reading: My Five #234

Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Ali.

1. YouTube SEO

Much has been written about Google, SEO, and rankings, and whilst individuals and organisations are producing video content at a rate of knots, less is generally known about YouTube’s algorithm.

The very first YouTube video was uploaded in April 2005, which means the site has recently celebrated its 12th birthday (does anybody even remember life BYT?) and today nearly 300 hours of content gets uploaded every single minute. The site receives 30 million visitors per day and they view 3.25 billion hours of content per month.

Me at the zoo

First Ever YouTube video

To avoid the fate of the VHS bin in your local charity shop, some serious ordering of content is required and no doubt the algorithm has developed over time to reflect that.

Those clever folk at Backlinko have done some research into the matter and come up with some interesting factors that affect rankings. They found that the more comments there are on a video, the higher it is likely to rank – no mention is made about whether the search engine has any semantic understanding though. Presumably the comments could all be negative.

Views and shares both have a correlation to higher rankings too and surprisingly the channel promotes longer videos over shorter ones – the average length of a first page YouTube video is 14 minutes, 50 seconds.

There are some slightly more dubious correlations as you continue down but overall it’s a handy read.

2. Sarcasm and AI

Sarcasm – the lowest form of wit or the highest form of intelligence – usually requiring the person giving the disapproval to make a comparison i.e. a boss may criticise an employee caught slacking by saying ‘Don’t work too hard.’ Intelligence and creativity is required to both create the sarcasm and to understand it. Therefore it’s no great shakes that computers and artificial intelligence have struggled in understanding this type of communication.

However a conversational analytics startup, Gong, is hoping to overcome this battle. The company undertook research during the US election (when the founder of the company said the internet was rife with sarcasm) and used this to decipher what people say and what they really mean e.g. ‘That was a great speech,’ doesn’t necessarily mean the voter actually rated it – in fact, possibly quite the reverse.

The idea is that companies can better track what is being said about them and crucially understand the nuances of language and then act accordingly – hopefully making a positive impact on the bottom line.

3. Facebook and the General Election 2017

According to a report from the Telegraph, Donald Trump spent a staggering £54m on targeted Facebook advertising during his campaign and the social media platform could become a battleground for the political parties in the General Election this side of the pond too. It already played a major part in helping the Leave campaign win the Brexit referendum.

According to the report, Gerry Gunster, political campaigner at Leave.EU, hailed Facebook as a “game changer” and said:

“You can say to Facebook, I would like to make sure that I can micro-target that fisherman in certain parts of the UK so that they are specifically hearing that if you vote to leave that you will be able to change the way that the regulations are set for the fishing industry.

Now I can do the exact same thing for people who live in the Midlands who are struggling because the factory has shut down. So I may send a specific message through Facebook to them that nobody else sees.”

Taking politics to a new audience and engaging voters is all to be commended but when Facebook remains largely unregulated and vast swathes of the users have no understanding of the way the site works (i.e. the ability to accurately target groups of people), is a somewhat worrying phenomenon.

4. Virtual reality at the pub – a reality

A UK company is enabling punters to play VR games whilst being at their local public house, if a report from the BBC is to be believed.

virtual reality beer - my five - browser media

It’s just won’t be a pub though will it? The whole raison d’etre of a pub is to sit with friends, have a chat, and enjoy a pint or two around a slightly wonky table… The video seems to explain that participants’ activity is recreated on the walls of the pub to enable your friends to watch you – watching someone else play computer games is up there with pulling teeth and changing nappies for me.

Due to the fact that players could be injured because they remain largely unaware of the pub environment itself when wearing the VR headset, the virtual environment is a ringfenced, padded soft play area. (Adult soft play – now that could be a thing!)

The first pub to roll out VR is in South London and I can see it working here as a novelty thing, alongside ping-pong bars like Bounce, used for corporate entertainment.

However call me an old man, but it’s just not very pubby.

5. Chicken nuggets break Twitter record

A US teenager amassed a staggering 3,430,249 tweets, beating the previous record set by Ellen DeGeneres for her Oscar tweet, by simply asking for some chicken nuggets from US fast food chain, Wendy’s.

It started with a simple tweet asking the chain how many retweets he’d need to get for them to provide a year’s supply of free chicken nuggets. Within a minute they replied, and the teenager shared the exchange and then Twitter did what Twitter does best.

Other brands tried to get in on the act, with many sharing the tweet and offering other goodies and even DeGeneres jokingly told him to stop as “she’d worked so hard to set her 2.1m tweet record.”

Wendy’s in fact donated $100,000 to charity following the events and presumably the teenager involved, a 16 year old from Nevada, has probably grown wings and developed a reasonable cluck by now. Just goes to show the power of one tweet if it is handled the right way and if it receives a quick response. With even the biggest budget, marketers can’t recreate this level of grass roots ambassardorship.

Latest from the blog