Youtube just added a new feature that allows the user to swipe left directly into the next video on the suggested playlist and I’ve got one thing to say: I’ll see you in a week. Because Youtube binging just got that much simpler. But really, not only can you swipe into the next video, but you can also swipe right into the previous. The significance in this update? It follows suit in the continuously ever-growing effort of the “swipeable” story trend that reflects the behavior of social media users today.
So what does that mean, exactly? Think about your favorite apps. How easy are they to use? We scroll through an entire Facebook or Instagram feed with one finger. We tap through Snapchat stories and swipe through to the next friends. I don’t think I have to get into the perplexity of Tinder, you get it. We swipe & scroll through our most-used apps and there’s a reason it’s so popular. We’re attuned to swiping because it allows us to consume the maximum amount of content in the most minimal amount of time.
Now, given this is a new update, and only currently available with IOS6, it’s still something you’ll want to note in your social media strategic planning. This is actually quite beneficial for brands advertising with Youtube. What’s the first thing you see when you open a new video? An ad. What’s usually the first thing a popular Youtuber, let’s say, Shane Dawson, mentions in the beginning of their video? “This video’s sponsor,”. This swipe feature allows advertisers to still grab the maximum time of the user’s attention, even if the actual content of the video isn’t worth it. The availability of that ad also increases, as the user isn’t picking and choosing their videos at random, but on a controlled playlist. If the user does choose to swipe, the chances of them viewing your ad are much greater, possibly even spotted twice in a row.
Netflix made it so simple to binge watch your favorite shows. The idea that the user doesn’t have to face the cliffhanger suspense of a weekly televised program is sort of never talked about. Youtubers have embraced and replaced that. They release their series on a schedule, so their most loyal and active subscribers will have to wait to see what comes next, but in the same boat, that content lives on Youtube forever after it’s uploaded. A casual Youtube user, like me, can go on and binge that same series all at once. This new ability to swipe along to the next video in the series makes my binging experience that much more effortless, not to mention, guilt-free.
All-in-all, it’s not shocking that Youtube has found a way to hop onto the scroll/swipe train. And with its benefits, it’s a good move. I’m excited to see what difference this will make in ad consumption, the metrics will have the answers on whether this trend is just a lifestyle or one of the most incredible ad-hoc tools that businesses should really pay attention to.