YouTube has seen a 75% jump in news views as a result of users searching for updates about the current coronavirus pandemic.
The site has seen an increase in traffic, meaning it’s had to update its policies in order to ensure users are able to access accurate and confirmed information surrounding the coronavirus, including how it spreads and how best to prevent contracting it.
Great to talk with you, @BrianStelter, about the ways we're working at @YouTube to provide helpful and authoritative information and enable people to connect online even as we #StayHome https://t.co/rfzKNhelMl
— Susan Wojcicki (@SusanWojcicki) April 19, 2020
“We’ve served billions of impressions across our network that come from all the different public health organisations, and made sure people understand what are the resources,” Wojcicki explains. “We’ve served so many different areas to make sure users are getting the right information.”
In order to ensure users are only able to access accredited information from public health organisations, YouTube has been actively removing content that contains unsubstantiated medical advice that goes against recommendations from the World Health Organization.
According to Wojcicki, over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the type of videos users are searching for has changed. While they started with searches regarding basic information about the virus and details about the site’s #StayHome campaign, they now focus around life under quarantine. This includes haircut tutorials, videos explaining exercises that can be done in a home environment and how-tos about fixing household appliances.
When asked about what changes YouTube has experienced as a result of the pandemic, Wojcicki says that it’s worked to establish a relationship with public health organisations, something she believed was years away from occurring.
Those wishing to listen to the full interview can do so via the Reliable Sources Podcast.
YouTube is currently working on a feature that will allow creators to see when their audience is active on the site. Alternatively, you could read about the app it’s reportedly developing to rival TikTok.