Today was my last day at YouTube. After 3.5+ years I’ve decided to pursue my passion for Artificial/Machine Intelligence and I’ll be joining the Google Knowledge Developer Relations team. While my Computer Science concentration was AI, and a good part of my graduate work was in Neural Networks, my career took me through a couple of industries (mostly telecom systems and middleware, followed by a fun stint at YouTube) before reaching this exciting point.
I am very proud of my humble contribution to YouTube’s incredible growth over the past 3.5 years. One of my most favorite moments was the realization that we’re now seeing an emergence of innovative new businesses being built on the YouTube (API) Platform I had an opportunity to shape. It was at Google I/O 2013 when it really dawned on me how many exciting companies are betting their businesses on YouTube and adding value to the ecosystem every day. Here are a few of them.
Jarek and Chad Hurley at Google I/O 2013
Comparing to when I started at YouTube in mid-2010, today there are several proven developer opportunities on the Platform. If you are thinking about leveraging YouTube for your venture, let this I/O presentation be your guide: “YouTube for Developers: The Future and the Opportunities”. While not all biz models are yet supported (did somebody say “curation“?), there are several thriving categories such as analytics, audience development, content management, social media management, gaming, and many others.
The wonderful YouTube team, the YouTube Developer and Partner community made my time at YouTube truly memorable and I know I will miss it. At the same time, my Lem-inspired adventure is calling. I better answer.
As a part of my job I frequently meet with amazing startups as well as established, and highly successful businesses. What continues to amaze me is that leveraging the 1B YouTube users as a part of their strategy often comes as an afterthought. In fact, sometimes even folks who target YouTube users with their product fail to establish presence on the very platform they’re trying to address.
While text and photos are cool, video is the most powerful medium out there. If you have been hiding under a rock, now would be a good time to shake off the 90s and take advantage of what 21st century has to offer. In fact, a great way to start is by watching this Google I/O 2013 presentation by AJ Crane and Lane Shackleton from YouTube, and Scott Imbrie from Original Skateboards.
There are a few key things you will learn:
The difference between content and commercials
How to brand your YouTube presence in the new multi-device world we’re living in
How to use AdWords for Video to promote your content
How InVideo programming helps with cross-promotion
How to grow and nurture your YouTube community
You will also witness a makeover of a popular (500k subs, >100M views) YouTube channel performed in front of a live audience and more.
Last but not least, you will discover what the title of this post is all about
If you are coming to Google I/O 2013 you can spend the entire show learning about nothing else but video. YouTube has and entire track this year, and all three days of I/O are full of video goodness. Day 1 (Wed) and Day 2 (Th) are jam-packed with YouTube sessions. Day 3 (Fri) features two YouTube API codelabs.
This year we have two categories of sessions:
YouTube API-specific sessions
General knowledge-sharing sessions for anyone who loves video
While the former is something expected at I/O, I am particularly proud of the latter since it is great to give back. Here’s the list of sessions that belong to the “general knowledge sharing” category:
You can find the complete list of YouTube sessions here.
In the YouTube API Sandbox we will feature seven companies showing innovative apps for all three days of I/O. All of them will have fun demos but if you are short on time don’t miss the following three:
You may have noticed that sites with lots of video embeds on the same page may suffer from performance issues due to player load overhead. My colleagues Greg Schechter and Phil Harnish suggested not loading the player at all to handle this use case, you can find more info in the GDD talk entitled HTML5, Flash and the Battle for Faster YouTube Cat Videos.
After Pamela Fox asked me about this issue today I decided to prototype a simple example of how a workaround might work. You’ll find the code here. It loads thumbnails and replaces them with the YouTube iframe player upon click. Pretty simple, isn’t it?
My YouTube colleague Mykola Dzuba put together a nice example of building your own YouTube Flash player using our AS3 chromeless player API called youtube-as3-player-helper. One of the interesting features available to Flash player developers is full screen playback. Here is an example of how it works.