Why do you think YouTube is the #2 search engine in thw world? Did you know that it was? Some of you might not know but are you surprised by that statement? Did you know that as of March 2010, 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute? Here’s some perspective for you. Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance video has been viewed over 328 million times since it’s release. Why do you think that is? Entertainers aside, there is a reason we like to watch videos. Here’s another story for you.
Awhile back, Alex Iskold wrote about a conversation he had with a friend about his son, he mentioned that his son accesses the web through YouTube. At first, he thought he was joking. But then realized he was not. Whenever his son needed any information, he would open up YouTube, type in the search term and then just watch the videos that showed up as matches. He never Googled anything; he never went to any other site; his entire web experience was confined to YouTube videos. YouTube as a search engine. Video as a search result. Video as a trusted search result.
“A whole channel for sharing and connecting to the biggest word-of-mouth platform in the English language.”-Time Ferriss
Why does YouTube work? Because we’re lazy. We would rather someone entertain us with information than have to sift through search results. I know it sounds crazy but sifting through search results requires more reading, more computation of the results, more of an understanding of what you’re looking for. With Video,we don’t need to turn a page, we don’t need to keep reading and clicking for the “real result”, all we have to do is look at a screen grab, a title that’s compelling to us and go. slim to none of brain power.
Kids no longer learn about the world by reading text. Like the television generation, they are absorbing the world through their visual sense. But there is a big difference. Television was programmed and inflexible. YouTube is completely micro-chunked and on demand. Kids can search for what they need anytime. This is different, and powerful-YouTube is the next Google
This isn’t really about laziness but there is a degree of truth to it. You see we are an entertainment obsessed culture, we like our senses piqued. The endorphins it releases. We dig 3D, we like our content packaged. Words are boring, text is bland, black and white sucks and video rocks; and adding a gaming element to it just makes it that much better. I don’t think anyone anticipated YouTube being known primarily as a search engine, let alone the #2 search engine behind Google, but clearly the masses have spoken. Google buying YouTube awhile back might have seemed curious to some but now it looks like a brilliant move. Who knew?
At thend of the day we still do ALOT of searches on everything. How that search result comes back though, determines action. The less work we can do the better. Let’s click on a video instead. Does video still give us the search result we need? It’s debatable but it’s changing. Why do you think WOM as an accelerant works so well in the context of search. Less work. If a user can be spareed the leafing through of 10 “gamed” search result pages in lieu of asking someone who “knows” or watching a video of someone who knows-all the better. Laziness?
Or is it being more effective and efficient with our time?