Media

YouTube is experimenting with auto-generated video channels (exclusive)

YouTube photo

Lately, the world’s most popular video site, YouTube, has put its full focus on channels, specifically its new premium partner channels like Nerdist and the new Tech Feed channel by Revision3. However, there are still plenty of uncategorized videos out there that deserve attention, and YouTube is working on a way to deliver.

The Google-owned video site is experimenting with a new automated channel feature that uses algorithms and user behavior to create feeds of video content related to specific subjects. For example, there are auto-generated channels featuring your regular brand of YouTube craziness, like Wingsuit flying, Tutting (dancing with your hands/fingers), as well as educationally-focused channels like this one based on Cymatics (study of visible sound). And not only will you be able to get a auto-generated channel for cats, but you can also specify the kitty type (domestic long-haired cats, bicolor cats).

YouTube told VentureBeat that the feature has actually been in the works for a while, and is a slight variation on its “YouTube Topics” feature that debuted about two years ago. The topics/categories concept never really took off, but the idea behind it — automatically pulling the hottest content of the day into a convenient stream — is still worth exploring.

“These (automated channels) are another attempt at helping our users find and follow the videos that matter to them using our channel approach, and we’ll continue to adapt them as we see what works best for our users,” a YouTube spokesperson told VentureBeat.

I’m guessing that YouTube is aiming for an experience that’s similar to Reddit.TV, a site that collects all the hottest video content from each of the community news sharing site’s “subreddit” categories. Except, this being YouTube, its channels will be much more expansive than Reddit’s. That’s also assuming the auto-generated channels have YouTube’s playlist functionality, which skips to the next video automatically, giving you a TV-like experience. I’d love to have a collection of well-crafted feeds that I could skip through using a remote while leaning back on my couch.

YouTube’s recent efforts to jump-start premium content through channel partners could breathe new life into the automated video feed feature, as the quality and selection of content would likely be higher than when the company first tried to implement it.

Photo via Korosirego /Flickr


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