When you think YouTube, you think of watching videos. But did you know that YouTube is the third largest search engine as well? And it’s more than just watching videos – it’s a social media venue.
Go to YouTube. Try searching for things that interest you. As an unregistered user, you will quickly be overwhelmed, unable to return to a video you wanted to see again and more. The amount of material on YouTube is staggering. There are over a billion people using YouTube and 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute. Almost 5 billion videos are watched every day. So, being a casual user might not be enough.
Register for a YouTube account. Be sure to keep this information available. While you may not log out on your computer, you will find if you want to upload a video, you’ll need to sign in to do so.
NOTE: If you have a Gmail account, you can use your email /password to log into YouTube as Google owns it.
When you hear “channels”, you probably think television. On YouTube, channels are the centerpiece of the site. Each account with content to share is a “channel.” Search for “TEDTalks.” TEDTalks has a channel featuring video clips from their talks. You can find the videos they’ve uploaded. As you go to the channel, notice on the right that there are additional TED channels broken down by some subcategories such as education and youth.
If you subscribe to a channel, it will come up on your main page. You’ll be able to click the link in your subscription list to go to that channel. As new material is posted to channels you subscribe to, the individual videos will come up on your main page to make it easier for you to find and view them. Try subscribing to a few lists to see how it works.
YouTube as Social Media
5. Like, dislike and share.
YouTube becomes more social with anonymous Likes and Dislikes on the videos you view. Be careful, choosing one or the other is permanent. You can’t toggle it on / off. You can also “share” the video to other social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Try these buttons.
You can leave comments on the video. To leave a comment, you must be logged into your account. Scroll underneath the video to find comments already there. You’ll notice you can like or dislike comments as well as reply to them. Leave a comment on a video you watched.
7. Add to.
Using “Add to” under the video, you’ll see you can save videos to playlists, make it a favorite or even tag it to watch later. Think on how you can use these options to create an archive of videos for a project or general reference.
8. Be safe.
Just like any other site, there is inappropriate material out there. In addition, be sure not to share too much. This includes passwords, filling out suspicious pop-ups, not giving out your full name and contact information and more. Be a skeptic of all information you receive. The only person protecting you is YOU.
9. Changing interface.
Most browsers have extensions you can add to get more out of YouTube. Explore the extensions for your browser. If you see one you’d like to try, install it and see the different between your YouTube experiences.
10. Mobile apps.
Many mobile devices come with a YouTube application. Check your mobile device to see what is pre-installed. Also, check what other viewers are available. Look at their features and see if you might like to try a different application.
For example, my youngest daughter installed “Play Tube” on her iTouch. It allows her to view and save videos while she has access to WiFi and later watch them without access to the Web.
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