YouTube is experimenting with several interface designs that no longer include dislike counters. For the platform, it is in response to the malaise of videographers.
An interface that would not display the number of dislikes of a video? This is what YouTube will test in the coming weeks on its platform, the company announced on Twitter on March 30. It would still be possible for the Internet user to express his disapproval of the quality or content of the video he is watching, but he would no longer know whether his opinion is widely shared or not.
This experimentation will be of limited scope, added YouTube: not everyone will have access to this exploratory design – or rather these designs, because several interfaces will be offered to Internet users, presumably in an A / B test logic for detect which look stands out. YouTube has not indicated on what criteria it will be based, nor if in the end it will really deploy one of these designs.
👍👎 In response to creator feedback around well-being and targeted dislike campaigns, we’re testing a few new designs that don’t show the public dislike count. If you’re part of this small experiment, you might spot one of these designs in the coming weeks (example below !). pic.twitter.com/aemrIcnrbx
— YouTube (@YouTube) March 30, 2021
If the duration of these tests has not been specified, their motivations, if: it is in response to a request from videographers, according to YouTube. Some of those who feed the site with their content expressed unhappiness with regard to the raids of Internet users who take down videos, in a coordinated way or not, because what is told does not espouse their point of view. Raids that can turn into cyberstalking.
« Customer reviews are an important part of YouTube, but creators have told us that the current experience can negatively impact their well-being. We also know that the number of audience disapproval sometimes motivates targeted disapproval campaigns on certain videos. », has indicated YouTube again, this time via another of his YouTube accounts.
Yououtubers will still be able to know the number of dislikes, but more difficult
Videographers are not the only targets of these “thumbs down” waves, however. These also fail against videos designed for marketing purposes, like the trailer for the reboot of Ghostbusters, the presentation of CoD : Infinite Warfare, or the summaries that YouTube tries to offer each year, while thinking of making them pleasant, but which, on the contrary, are cut to pieces.
One big precision: in the test imagined by YouTube, videographers will still be able to see the exact number of likes and dislikes, but by going to the YouTube Studio space. In public, that is to say on the video, only the likes will be displayed. As for dislikes, they are hidden by default for everyone, including videographers. And people might still like or hate a video.
This way of doing things seems a compromise: YouTube considers a priori that it is necessary to always allow videographers to tell the statistics of their videos, but without these negative feedbacks being immediately exposed to everyone’s eyes. Including the videographers themselves: in short, this is a sort of protective filter: videographers are free to go to the YouTube Studio to see the information.
Internet users “disliked” this test
In the reactions published following YouTube’s announcement on Twitter, the opinions are cautious: some people point out, for example, that the platform already provides videographers with the possibility of deactivating comments and the like and dislike buttons. If the chat room and these tools are out of control, the videographer has the option of neutralizing them.
Another criticism concerns YouTube’s real intentions: beyond the situation of creators, who can legitimately experience an unfavorable like / dislike ratio, there is also another potential unknown in the equation: the influence of companies. who sometimes suffer from bad buzz because they do not meet the expectations of the moment. In fact, they also have objective reasons for no longer seeing the dislikes.
Others feel that this puts the audience at a disadvantage, since they can no longer get a glimpse of the impact the video has had on the audience. Some argue that the dislike button makes it possible to tackle scam videos, to sanction false or excessive titles in relation to the video, by allowing to have a visible marker – the dislike counter – for everyone.
If the YouTube test is in the news, the case of dislikes is in fact a subject that the platform has still not managed to resolve. For years, the company has been looking for a way to prevent this button from being used as a “digital weapon” to attack videographers. In 2019, the company devised another approach: that of justifying its dislike by giving an opinion. She also mentioned the idea of doing without it completely.
The dislike button is a feature that is rarely found on the biggest social networks. Facebook and Instagram, for example, don’t provide one: at best there is the option to display an angry emoticon on Facebook. It is also possible to hide or delete comments on this social network, when they are posted on a publication that we control.
It now remains to be seen what YouTube will do in the weeks and months to come. Nothing seems decided: ” We will be monitoring the feedback from these experiences closely to determine the decisions we can make in the future. », let know the company to another unhappy with the existence of this test And in a short FAQ, YouTube repeated that there was no question of removing the dislike button.
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