Thursday, August 16, 2018

Given enough time, all videos on YouTube can get large-looking number of views, thus signaling quality to a user without actually having quality

Since YouTube shows aggregate number of views for every video, the total number of views can go in only one direction - upwards. After "enough" time [without defining the term], even mediocre videos can collect thousands or tens of thousands of aggregate views [the headline number that is shown in search results], thus falsely implying to a user [in many cases] that the video is of good "quality" [where quality refers to the video's pixel resolution in only a small part]. The screenshot below is from such a video - an overall useless video that makes you click it because it has several thousand views and you feel that it should be at least decent.

A possible solution to this problem is to be able to specify to YouTube that "Show me number of views for each video from the last two years only.", or something along these lines. Or you could ask YouTube to also show the "per day views" ratio for each video, so that normalization is possible [one video might be 10 years old, while the other could be only 10 months old].

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