How YouTube Uses Twitter…

Given all the stir that google’s new official twitter account has caused (@google), i thought it might be fun to give a bit of history on our YouTube account (@YouTube) while we can still claim the title of “google product with the most followers.” 

We first got our Twitter account, jeez, must have been back in early 07? I know some of the Twitter guys from their Blogger days and pinged Biz about cool stuff we might do together. My initial idea was that we’d tweet out the URL of a YouTube video automatically when it passed 1,000,000 cumulative playbacks. But when i did the math it turned out that we have a tremendous number of videos that hit this milestone each day. It would be too much for even the most dedicated tweeters! So we put that idea aside but there’s a few similar ones that we’re thinking about doing – some which i know @sacca wants to see. Would people want something as simple as a “Tweet this video” button?
So in 08 we decided to jump on the Twitter bandwagon and start sending out interesting videos, links to new blog posts, links to new features and even the occasional bug report. We follow a few folks from the YouTube community and hope to add more each day. Overall i’d say we’re excited about the immediacy (and brevity) of the platform. Users are increasingly coming to services like YouTube and Twitter to search for breaking news so we’re learning from watching how users discuss these events on Twitter.  And of course, share their great YouTube videos plus give us feedback.
The feedback itself is actually what i’m most impressed with these days. After we do a new code push our engineers are all monitoring Twitter to see what users are saying. Oh sometimes there’s hilarious drama but generally the community is awesome about giving us their views. In fact one engineer built a little google app tool which allows you to graph tweet traffic over time for a specific query. We use it to see when there was a particular spike in YouTube related tweets. Usually around a new feature release or when someone notices a bug. 
So YouTube users – know that we are listening to you and sometimes we’ll jump in if we think we can help. Tweet @YouTube and definitely follow us if you want the latest YouTube updates.
Oh, and btw, i’m @hunterwalk if you want to follow me.

3 thoughts on “How YouTube Uses Twitter…

  1. @andre – it’s not because then we’d need to deal with stability and API quota limits, etc. i bet there are some similar tools created for public usage though.

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