A Brief YouTube History
So you wanna be a YouTuber? In today’s video, I am sharing MY #YouTubeTips and suggestions. These are my personal experiences and your experiences may be different.
When YouTube began in February 2005, it was used primarily by bands to promote their music and shows. YouTube was also the place where trailblazers used the platform to show funny cat videos. Some people used the YouTube to share stunt and prank videos that racked up lots of views.
Fast forward, a few brave souls began posting on YouTube. Video was a new medium as most people in my circle came to YouTube from forums and photo sharing websites where PHOTOS ruled. Video offered a different type of engagement me. I compare it to reading a recipe in a magazine versus watching someone cook the meal on TV. My first YouTube “videos” were just slideshows documenting my natural hair journey.
The Early YouTube Partner Program
During the early days of YouTube, most people did not understand the YouTube Partnership Program. It seemed to be top secret how most bands and a few select creators had a neat channel banner and other cool features. It was also a mystery about the advertisements that were running alongside their videos.
As time passed, more and more select creators were getting the exclusive features on their YouTube channels. More people discovered this secret club as The YouTube Partner Program. Being a YouTube Partner was in Invite-Only exclusive to creators whose content was deemed “popular”. There were two types of YouTube Partnerships: Full YouTube Partner Program (YPP) and Individual Partner Program (IPP).
The Full YouTube Partner’s channel received all of the exclusive channel features: channel banners, side banners and advertisements. Being an Individual Partner meant that one or more of a creators’ videos were generating good numbers. Because of the engagement, YouTube shared a portion of the ad revenue with the content creator. This was again an Invite-Only exclusive reserved only for the “popular” video(s) on the creator’s channel. One of my videos was selected for Individual Partnership in November 2010.
I was surprised when I got the invite. It was during this time when I realized that YouTube’s magic formula was unpredictable. I had uploaded several videos by this time but this video about using Grease and Water on my Natural Hair was something different. The natural hair movement was gaining popularity. In record numbers, Black women were giving up hair relaxers and rocking their natural hair. More and more Black women were giving up perms and petroleum for their tresses. When I posted a video about using Vaseline on my natural hair, it created quite some chatter and got me an invite. I cannot even remember how much money I earned from the video. All I know is, I was excited to have ads running on a video!
Fast forward, by this time, YouTube had changed their rules and creators could APPLY to the YouTube Partner Program. After getting accepted into the IPP in November, I applied. My first application was turned down. There was a waiting period before a creator could apply again. I waited and applied again on December 21, 2010. This time their response was different!
YouTube has undergone lots and lots of changes on their platform. Their changes usually angers creators who do not like or agree with the changes. Over the years, frustrations and all, I have come to accept YouTube’s changes because it is their platform and they can do with it whatever they desire.
In February 2018, YouTube announced a change that would affect creators. Channels without 1000 subscribers AND 4000 hours of watch time (240,000 minutes) within the last 365 days, would lose their ability to enable ads on their videos. Though I had over 1000 subscribers, my channel was affected because it did not have 4000 hours of watch time. I was on the threshold but it wasn’t enough. While I wanted to give up and throw in the YouTube towel, I pushed forward. I kept making videos and engaging with viewers and other content creators. My demonetization lasted only for a few months.
I never get comfortable because at any given time, YouTube can implement another change that will affect my channel. Rather than putting all of my ability to earn passive income solely on YouTube, it is always important to have multiple streams of income.
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MY FTC Disclosure:
This video does NOT contain a paid promotion, paid product placement, sponsorships or endorsement. This content DOES contain affiliate links. Shopping with my links may earn me a commission. Thanks in advance for your support.