YouTube is launching two initiatives to make it easier for users to watch the latest news stories and to help news organizations create Shorts, TechCrunch reported.
The first initiative involves the introduction of what the company calls an “immersive watch page experience for news stories,” that pulls together content from authoritative sources. The second is the launch of the Shorts Innovation Program for News, which will offer financial grants and other support to news orgs creating short-form video on the platform.
YouTube posted in its Official Blog about it’s plans for news. From the blog post:
YouTube has long been a home for news viewers to learn more about the world and the news industry to reach them through innovative digital formats. Over the years, we’ve focused on developing a suite of products to help people easily find content from authoritative news sources, like our Top News and Breaking News shelves. Now, more than ever, we remain committed to connecting people to high-quality information they can trust, particularly in times of elections, unrest, and natural disasters.
In today’s digital news landscape, viewers are increasingly seeking out many different types of content, and we’re seeing newsrooms and journalists evolve to meet that need. Now, we’re sharing two initiatives to further improve the news watching journey on YouTube.
First, we’re introducing an immersive watch page experience for news stories on YouTube. The news watch page will pull together content from authoritative sources across video on demand, live streams, podcasts, and Shorts, allowing viewers to deep dive and explore multiple sources and angles. All on one watch page, people will be able to find relevant long-form video, live coverage, and Shorts to quickly catch up…
…Additionally, we’re launching the Shorts Innovation Program for News – an initiative to strengthen news organizations’ short-form video capabilities through financial grants and specialist support. To start, we’re working with over 20 organizations across 10 countries, providing a total of $1.6 million USD. Participants are selected based on having a strong existing long-form video presence on YouTube, but we are looking to improve and expand their Shorts news content creation.
Over the next year, YouTube specialists will work with news organizations, including Univision in the U.S., AFP in France, and Mediacorp in Singapore on Shorts content strategy and video production best practices…
Gizmodo reported that YouTube’s effort to streamline the news features on its platform comes as Meta’s Threads app has vocally rejected actively promoting news on the platform, addressed the possibility of promoting news on Threads after the apps launch, saying the company will not encourage news-driven content.
“Politics and hard news are inevitably going to show up on Threads – they have on Instagram as well to some extent – but we’re not going to do anything to encourage those verticals,” Instagram head Adam Mosseri wrote when the Twitter clone was launched, Gizmodo reported.
He reiterated Meta’s decision in a Threads post last week, writing: “We won’t do anything to get between people and content from accounts they follow, regardless of whether or not the content is news, but won’t proactively recommend news to people who don’t seek it out.”
It seems to me that YouTube is very interested in boosting news for people who want to watch it on their platform. YouTube’s blog post indicates that they are making an effort to ensure that credible news sources will be selected for this project. That’s probably not going to please everyone, but it’s a good start.