It’s great news that there are 24 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, we support 1080p and HD uploads are rising quickly, but that’s also meant increasing bandwidth costs cutting into our bottom line. And so, in our drive to keep expenses under control, we’ve decided that April 1 is the perfect day to take the important step of offering a new way to experience YouTube: text-only mode, or TEXTp.

TEXTp is the result of months of intense transcoding efforts by our engineers, who toiled for weeks to ensure that a large chunk of videos on the platform could be reduced to their most basic elements. By replacing the images in the video with a series of letters and numbers, the videos are far less taxing on our system -- and have the added benefit of promoting literacy!

To give it a whirl, make sure you have the latest Flash player (10.0) and click here. Or you can select “TEXTp” from the pulldown menu on most videos, as so:

You can also append &textp=fool to most video URLs to test it out.

For every person who selects TEXTp and keeps it on while you watch a video, you save YouTube $1 a second, resulting in potentially billions of dollars of savings for us. So if you care about YouTube, you’ll use TEXTp today.

Patrick Pichette, SVP and Chief Financial Officer, Google

As you may know, we're in the midst of one of the largest redesigns in YouTube's history: we're simplifying the look and functionality of the video page. That's the page you see whenever a video plays, and this redesign is about going "back to basics," focusing attention on the reason why you came to YouTube in the first place -- the video -- and all the ways you engage with content and creators.

We first unveiled the new video page two months ago and checked in four weeks later to tell you about the latest set of changes. Truth is, we've been thinking about this for a long time: what you see is the result of eight months' worth of user research, feedback and data analysis. Now, after a few more additions based on your latest feedback, we are rolling it out to 100% of YouTube users.

Here's what's new about the page:

Overall look and functionality
- It's cleaner, simpler and easier to use.
- Information about a video is now grouped together in one place and there's a consistent way to get more detail when you need it. This way, unless something's truly useful to you, it doesn't clutter up your page.
- We've cleaned up the actions bar; you'll see a streamlined presentation for sharing, flagging, and embedding controls.

- The right-hand side of the page is devoted to the next video to watch. We're smarter about suggesting the next videos to watch based on how you found the video you're watching in the first place.
- The channel name and subscribe button are now both on top of the video. We found that you prefer having a quick peek at more videos uploaders have created before deciding whether to subscribe to their channels.

- There's a new playlist interface, with the next video in the list appearing consistently in the top right. You can easily expand that list or skip ahead using a new next button in the player controls.
- Saving to playlists is easier, and we've made Favorites the default option.

- We've replaced the five-star ratings system with a simpler "likes / dislikes" model and introduced a new "Videos I Liked" list.

- Comments have a new highlights view which summarizes the best discussions and celebrates when creators communicate with their audiences.

We know this is a big change, but we hope you'll find the new page to be an improvement to your YouTube experience and to be a reflection of what you've told us thus far through your usage of the site and your comments to us. We'll be gathering in a conference room at our San Bruno, CA, headquarters at 6 p.m. PT today and tomorrow, and in London at 9 a.m. GMT tomorrow, to respond in near-real-time to your comments in the forums, on this blog and on Twitter. Of course, we'll be listening at other times, too, but we wanted to make sure we were available when you might have the most questions about these changes.

Igor Kofman, Software Engineer, recently watched "Pantyraid - Beba," and Shiva Rajaraman, Product Manager, recently watched "Chat Roulette Funny Piano Improv #2."

The facts about the developing world are pretty staggering. Approximately 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation. For every $1 in aid a developing country receives, over $25 is spent on debt repayment. Almost half the world – 3 billion people – live on less than $2.50 a day.

Earlier this month, Jeremy Piven challenged you to educate others about the issues facing the developing world and the organizations working hard to address these problems, by making a video and submitting it to YouTube's Video Volunteers program.

You responded with fervor. This round of Video Volunteers had one of the highest participation rates so far, and the videos submitted ranged from creative and quirky... beautiful and solemn...

Today, you'll find the top three submissions on the YouTube homepage, alongside a video from Jeremy Piven and members of young Hollywood on behalf of the ONE Campaign .

Later this week, we'll kick off a new climate-change focused round of Video Volunteers with former Vice President and environmental leader Al Gore, so stay tuned for news about that and our special Earth Day homepage spotlight.

Ramya Raghavan, Nonprofits & Activism Manager, recently watched "
Padma Lakshmi Discusses Endometriosis Awareness Month."

In addition to some changes to our new video page, which we reported in a separate post, here are some things that have launched recently:

Invitation to Facebook Connect: You've been able to connect your YouTube account to your Facebook account for a while now in order to AutoShare or to find friends to subscribe to. Less known is that the YouTube homepage can show you the YouTube videos your friends are sharing on Facebook; we've kept this under the radar while we've ramped up support. But now, when you log in to your YouTube account, you'll get a prominent invitation in the Recent Activity module (see below) to connect to Facebook, which we highly recommend that you do. In fact, we hope to integrate more social networks with YouTube going forward: knowing which videos your friends are sharing on social platforms is one of the best ways to discover those clips that you, in turn, just might feel compelled to pass along. That's how we found this gem, a lovely virtual choir.

Real-time sharing: AutoShare lets you effortlessly share videos from YouTube to Twitter, Facebook or Google Reader. What you might not have known is that until recently, it took about 10 minutes for those items to get pushed out from YouTube to these platforms. Now these actions happen instantly, in real time.

Partner Program expands again: Exciting! Users in Israel and Mexico can now become members of the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). To sign up, click here.

Subscribers tab in Insight: The number of subscribers you have is an important metric for many YouTube users, as it indicates how many people love your videos so much that they want to be sure never to miss one. (Speaking of which, we commend Nigahiga, who recently hit 2 million subscribers to become YouTube's No. 1 most subscribed channel of all time. But, we digress.) Insight, YouTube's analytics tool, recently added data about the evolution of your subscriber numbers over time, broken down into new subscriptions and unsubscriptions per day. Head over to your account's Insight area to check it out.

Planning our April Fool's Day joke: What joke? :) We just wanted to see if you were reading this far.

The YouTube Team

Over the past couple of weeks, we've been busy iterating on the new video page design based on your feedback, and we're excited to share some new developments before the page is rolled out to everyone soon. Remember to opt-in here to get a preview of these new features:

Highlights view on comments
Many of you indicated that comments could use an overhaul and hoped that was a part of the redesign. We're happy to say that it is. Today, we're introducing a "highlights view" of comments which summarizes top rated comments, uploader comments, video responses and recent comments in a single "front-page story" that you can drill into for more detail. You can see an example on this video and this one. We're continuing to make the highlights better as we learn how people interact with it, so please let us know what you think in the comments below.

We've also made some improvements to the new like/dislike ratings system. When you like a video, we let you know how many people liked it and disliked it. To help you remember the best videos you've encountered, there's a new area housing all the videos that you liked, called (surprise, surprise) "Videos I Liked." In addition, we listened to your feedback and no longer tie 'Liking' something to your Favorites, which you use more for personal saving. Favoriting a video is now the first option when you click "save"; you can continue to save videos to your Favorites in this manner or create another playlist just by typing in the name. Finally, throughout the site, you'll occasionally see a video marked 'Most Liked' to give you an indication that this is a video other people loved, that you may want to check out. We surface popular videos in many ways, and we hope Most Liked becomes a reliable signal that helps you find quality videos to watch.

For quick refresher on the overall video page design, check out this video produced by TheWillofDC:

And if you've opted in but want to go back to the old page, you can opt out here.

UPDATE: After reading your comments, we'd like to note that some of you are opted in permanently to the new page, which means you are part of our current experiment and are unable to opt out. These kinds of experiments help us learn what works on the page and what doesn't, so that we can build the best possible site for you. We've also heard your feedback on Auto-play interrupting your experience and are working on some improvements.

Peter Bradshaw, Software Engineer, recently liked "SOIL & "PIMP" SESSIONS 'Summer Goddess'," and Tyler Morse, Software Engineer, recently liked "Bottle Bank Arcade - -" 

A college education is something many people take for granted, but only about 1% of the world actually gets one. A year ago today, YouTube EDU ( launched with a very simple mission: deliver some of the world’s greatest university courses to anyone with an Internet connection and a screen.

Whether it’s Salman Rushdie reading poetry by the last mughal king to Emory University students, or a lecture in electrical engineering at UC Berkeley, YouTube EDU has helped some of the oldest institutions on the planet blaze a trail into the 21st century by opening up a rich and empowering corpus of video content to aspiring students everywhere.

YouTube EDU is now one of the largest online video repositories of higher education content in the world. We have tripled our partner base to over 300 universities and colleges, including University of Cambridge, Yale, Stanford, MIT, University of Chicago and The Indian Institutes of Technology. We have grown to include university courses in seven languages across 10 countries. We now have over 350 full courses, a 75% increase from a year ago and thousands of aspiring students have viewed EDU videos tens of millions of times. And today, the EDU video library stands at over 65,000 videos.

We have also rolled out new products to make this coursework more accessible, including adding automated captions and auto-translation to videos spoken in English. In just a few clicks, you can generate captions and translate courses into one of 50 different languages.

At the end of the day, YouTube EDU is about using the democratic nature of the Internet and the power of video to make higher learning accessible to all. We’ve heard from thousands of users like trainerstone, who writes: “Thank you so much for your videos. I live in provincial Philippines and have very little access to the arts and academic stimulus.” But perhaps one user put it best: “This is what the Internet was created for.”

Here’s to another great year of great educational content on YouTube. Until then, keep watching and keep learning.

Obadiah Greenberg, Strategic Partner Manager, recently watched “Khan Academy on PBS NewsHour.”


Around the globe, YouTube has become a metaphor for the democratizing power of the Internet and information. YouTube gives unknown performers, filmmakers, and artists new ways to promote their work to a global audience and rise to worldwide fame; makes it possible for political candidates and elected officials to interact with the public in new ways; enables first-hand reporting from war zones and from inside repressive regimes; and lets students of all ages and backgrounds audit classes at leading universities.

Yet YouTube and sites like it will cease to exist in their current form if Viacom and others have their way in their lawsuits against YouTube.

In their opening briefs in the Viacom vs. YouTube lawsuit (which have been made public today), Viacom and plaintiffs claim that YouTube doesn't do enough to keep their copyrighted material off the site. We ask the judge to rule that the safe harbors in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the "DMCA") protect YouTube from the plaintiffs' claims. Congress enacted the DMCA to benefit the public by permitting open platforms like YouTube to flourish on the Web. It gives online services protection from copyright liability if they remove unauthorized content once they’re on notice of its existence on the site.

With some minor exceptions, all videos are automatically copyrighted from the moment they are created, regardless of who creates them. This means all videos on YouTube are copyrighted -- from "Charlie Bit My Finger" to the video of your cat playing the piano and the video you took at your cousin’s wedding. The issue in this lawsuit is not whether a video is copyrighted, but whether it's authorized to be on the site. The DMCA (and common sense) recognizes that content owners, not service providers like YouTube, are in the best position to know whether a specific video is authorized to be on an Internet hosting service.

Because content owners large and small use YouTube in so many different ways, determining a particular copyright holder’s preference or a particular uploader’s authority over a given video on YouTube is difficult at best. And in this case, it was made even harder by Viacom’s own practices.

For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately "roughed up" the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt "very strongly" that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.

Viacom's efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.

Given Viacom’s own actions, there is no way YouTube could ever have known which Viacom content was and was not authorized to be on the site. But Viacom thinks YouTube should somehow have figured it out. The legal rule that Viacom seeks would require YouTube -- and every Web platform -- to investigate and police all content users upload, and would subject those web sites to crushing liability if they get it wrong.

Viacom’s brief misconstrues isolated lines from a handful of emails produced in this case to try to show that YouTube was founded with bad intentions, and asks the judge to believe that, even though Viacom tried repeatedly to buy YouTube, YouTube is like Napster or Grokster.

Nothing could be further from the truth. YouTube has long been a leader in providing media companies with 21st century tools to control, distribute, and make money from their content online. Working in cooperation with rights holders, our Content ID system scans over 100 years worth of video every day and lets rights holders choose whether to block, leave up, or monetize those videos. Over 1,000 media companies are now using Content ID -- including every major U.S. network broadcaster, movie studio, and record label -- and the majority of those companies choose to make money from user uploaded clips rather than block them. This is a true win-win that reflects our long-standing commitment to working with rights holders to give them the choices they want, while advancing YouTube as a platform for creativity.

We look forward to defending YouTube, and upholding the balance that Congress struck in the DMCA to protect the rights of copyright holders, the progress of technological innovation, and the public interest in free expression.

Update: The site containing the declarations and supporting exhibits filed by YouTube in support of its motion for summary judgment is here.

Zahavah Levine, Chief Counsel, YouTube

If you've got a question for the director of Avatar, now's your chance to ask it. The famous director is opening himself up to the YouTube community, allowing our own DaveyBoyz to interview him based on the questions you submit via the Official Avatar Channel on YouTube.

Questions will be organized into the following categories — the environment, technology, the military-industrial complex, vision of the future, and imagining a society — and you'll have until 11:59 p.m. ET on March 21 to submit and vote on them. DaveyBoyz, who already has experience talking to the cast at the film's London premiere, will pose the 10 most popular questions to the director in an exclusive interview in L.A. on March 23. The interview will be uploaded to YouTube during the week of April 19, so stay tuned to see how it went.

Nate Weinstein, Entertainment Marketing Associate, just watched "Acting for the Camera."

In May of last year, we announced 20 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube every minute. We then challenged you to keep the uploads coming to see whether or not we could get a day’s worth of video – 24 hours – uploaded in the same brief time span.

Today, we’re announcing that you’ve done it! In just 60 quick ticks of the second hand, more than a full, action-packed day in Jack Bauer’s life is now uploaded to YouTube. To put this into context, imagine how much stuff happens in 24 hours:
  • The earth rotates 360 degrees as it orbits the sun
  • The second hand on your bedside clock ticks 86,400 times
  • The most skilled climber reaches Mount Everest’s summit
  • 2.5 days go by on Jupiter
A day’s worth of content uploaded to YouTube every minute is a big achievement for our community and speaks to the role video plays in connecting and changing the world one upload at a time. So what’s next? 30 hours? 36 hours? Tell us in the comments below what you think the next big YouTube upload milestone should be.

Hunter Walk, Director, Product Management, recently favorited “The LXD: In the Internet age, dance evolves...

[Cross-posted from the Google Public Policy Blog]

It’s not every day that you get to ask your country’s leader questions about issues you care about. But that’s exactly what Canadians did this afternoon when Prime Minister Stephen Harper sat down with YouTube.

Roughly 170,000 votes were cast through Google Moderator for nearly 1,800 questions -- giving voice to thousands of Canadians. And don’t think that these were softball questions. Canadians asked their Prime Minister questions on a wide variety of important topics: from the deficit to Canada’s role in Afgahistan, from child care to protecting pensions. We tried to select questions that represented the most popular topics and would solicit conversation. (We also minimized duplicate questions so we could cover a range of issues.) Neither the Prime Minister nor his office knew in advance which questions he’d be asked.

You can see the Prime Minister respond to your questions in this video:

Prime Minister Harper is the second world leader to answer your questions in a YouTube Interview. It’s your appetite for political discussion on YouTube that creates these opportunities to access public leaders in this format, and we look forward to conducting more YouTube Interviews soon.

Posted by Jacob Glick, Google Canada Policy Counsel

Right up there with our love of award-winning Texas BBQ is our love of independent music and the people who create it. That’s why the indie-centric SXSW Music Conference in Austin is the perfect place to launch the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) for musicians, aka Musicians Wanted. It's just the latest step in the YPP's continual expansion.

This time, we’re inviting thousands of artists who made the trek to Texas -- and the rest of you accomplished musicians at home -- to apply today. If accepted, you'll join stars like ukulele songstress Julia Nunes, singer-songwriter David Choi and many others who, as partners, are able to make some money from their YouTube videos. Here's multi-instrumentalist and YouTube musician extraordinaire Jack Conte and songstress Nataly Dawn (aka Pomplamoose) to tell you more:

We've also got a few words from our most recent YPP Music partner. You may have heard of them – they're a little band with a viral hit or two and recently made headlines by starting their own indie label. As OK Go's Damian Kulash puts it "YouTube has always been a great match for OK Go - creativity flourishes and we can connect directly with our fans. So when we heard about Musicians Wanted, it was a no-brainer: it sounds great for us. We're honored and excited to be the first applicants. We can't wait to get new videos up on our channel."

So whether you make hip-hop, folk, noise-rock, jazz or a genre of your own invention, we are looking for all types of original music video content. One thing to keep in mind is that right now this program only supports video content by U.S.-based artists, though there are plans to roll out the program more widely in the future.

We'll leave you with a final call to apply now to join our Musicians Wanted campaign and perhaps you, too, will find yourself autographing CDs, reporting from the road and collaborating with other amazing musicians on the site.

Michele Flannery, Music Manager, recently watched "Bulldozer."

Earlier today, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Julius Genachowski sat down for an exclusive YouTube Interview, right on the heels of the FCC’s announcement of a National Broadband Plan -- the agency’s strategy to deliver high-speed Internet to more Americans across the country. You might be surprised to learn that -- even though the Interent was invented in the U.S. -- broadband penetration in the states is considerably lower than many other developed nations. Chairman Genachowski’s YouTube Interview is part of a series of conversations we’re having with public figures in which citizens submit and vote on their favorite video and text questions on CitizenTube. Earlier this year we spoke with President Obama in the White House, and engaged with leaders of Congress after the bipartisan health care summit.

You can see the entire interview posted below. Chairman Genachowski answered Brooklyn-ite Elizabeth Stark’s question on cost by saying the FCC needs to eliminate all barriers to competition so more Interent providers can compete and drive down prices. When Evslin in Vermont asked about rural broadband access, the Chairman said the FCC will take funding currently allotted for rural phone lines and instead use it to provide broadband to rural communities. And when Michael Tapp asked if broadband should be considered government infrastructure or a commercial service, the Chairman shied away from calling the Internet a fundmental right -- but he did say that all Americans “need to have access to this critical infrastructure.”

All in all, the Chairman took 17 questions, including two lightning rounds of “F-C-Caesar,” in which the Chairman gave a thumbs up or thumbs down to more straightforward “yes” or “no” questions posed by users. 

You can submit your feedback to the National Broadband Plan on, or feel free to leave a comment about the interview on the YouTube video itself.

More and more world leaders are coming to YouTube to speak directly with citizens about important events, so stay tuned for more interviews in the future. We’d love to know you who’d like to hear from next.

Steve Grove, head of News and Politics, recently watched, “Announcing the National Broadband Plan.

Today marks the last day of the SXSW Film Festival (stay tuned for a "BBQ and Music" blog as the music portion of SXSW kicks off tomorrow), where we continued to roll out our Filmmakers Wanted campaign, launched back at Sundance, to educate filmmakers about opportunities to distribute and make money from their work on YouTube, especially through YouTube's new Rentals program.

Here's a shot of some of our handiwork for those of you who couldn't make it to Austin this year...

But for any filmmakers out there who want more than just my amateur photo of a poster, visit our Filmmakers Wanted channel for information on Rentals and how to become a partner.

As much as we've enjoyed our stay here in Austin, it's never a party unless we get to celebrate with all of you. So we've put together a kickin' collection of music documentaries to transport you to that artistic otherworld where music and film coexist in beautiful harmony (and if this virtual otherworld doesn't do it for you, try to get to Austin next year -- the BBQ's really good, too).

Below are descriptions of the films, which are available for rent, and trailers to help you decide what to watch.

Socalled is a Canadian klezmer/hip hop artist and part-time magician with millions of views on YouTube (and he also happens to be performing at tonight's SXSW Film Closing Party if you're here in Austin!). Find out what drives this eccentric rapper as he blasts through the boundaries that separate music from different cultures, eras and generations in "The Socalled Movie."

In the late 80's and early 90's, The Pixies took the indie rock world by storm until internal strife tore them apart. This rockumentary takes you behind the scenes of their 2004 reunion tour and explores some of the band's darker demons.

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, "DiG!" recounts the friendship and rivalry between the American rock bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols.

In "Air Guitar Nation," a cadre of the nation's greatest would-be guitar heroes - including C-Diddy, Jam Toast and The Shred - converge on the first-ever U.S. Air Guitar Championships, before moving onto the world finals in Finland.

Sara Pollack, Entertainment Marketing Manager, recently watched "Socalled - (Rock the) Belz"

When the first ball of this year’s Indian Premier League cricket season is bowled, fans across the planet will have a front row seat in the world’s biggest online sports stadium. Tonight the Deccan Chargers and Kolkata Knight Riders will face off in Mumbai at 8 p.m. IST, and the YouTube global community will be able to tune in to the IPL’s YouTube Channel ( for streaming and on-demand access to witness the start of what promises to be one of the most widely-distributed sporting events in history. Fans can watch matches, highlight videos, player interviews and much more all on the IPL’s YouTube Channel.

Named by Forbes as the "hottest sports league in the world" with revenues comparable to the world’s most popular leagues, the IPL season is a 60-match, 43-day tournament that features some of the best talent in cricket today. You can come to YouTube and keep up with the action any time, anywhere, and connect with fans across the globe. Watch as the match happens, or if you missed a match, tune in later to see what happened. The entire season will be streamed around the world on YouTube, except in the U.S., where matches will be time-delayed and made available 15 minutes after the match ends.

On the IPL Channel, you’ll see three tabs:
  • Today’s Matches: This is where you can watch streamed matches as they happen. (Note that the stream will be delayed by a few minutes.) Click through at any time to see the match scorecard.
  • Recent Matches: Catch up any time on the full action of matches that have already happened. Watch Sachin cream the ball through the covers, Warney taking his latest wicket and more.
  • Highlights: If you’re short on time, check in here for short videos of player interviews, match highlights, greatest plays, and more.
And for all of you who want to cheer or commiserate with others, check out our Twitter gadget on the channel page to be part of the conversation. You can keep up with the discussion on Twitter with the YouTube IPL hashtag (#youtube_ipl). Share, rate and comment on videos throughout the channel, or upload your own video responses to the action. There's also a link so you can join the Official DLF IPL community on Orkut (

We'll be watching the donkey drops, the five-fers, the flippers and floaters, the half-yorkers and slow sweeps — and cheering alongside you!

Amit Agrawal, Strategic Partner Development Manager

* A googly is a kind of pitch similar to a baseball pitch or a bowling throw in the game cricket; a wicked googly would be a really good pitch.

Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog 

More than ever, governments around the world are threatening online free expression. Forty countries have taken measures to limit this freedom, up from only a handful a few years ago. YouTube services are or have been blocked in 25 of those nations.

On Thursday night in Paris, we took an important step to highlight this crucial issue by sponsoring the first Netizen Prize (or more elegantly, Le Prix du "net-citoyen") awarded by the Paris-based advocacy group Reporters Without Borders. And on Friday, March 12, we’ll be helping highlight the fight for Internet freedom by marking the group’s World Day Against Cyber Censorship on YouTube.

Fittingly, Reporters Without Borders chose to give the first Netizen Prize to the Iranian creators of the website Change for Equality, first established in 2006 to fight for changes in laws in Tehran that discriminate against women. That site has since become a well-known source of information on women’s rights in Iran, documenting arrests of women activists and becoming a rallying point for opponents of the regime.

Over the past year those leaders in Tehran have distinguished themselves — and earned the opprobrium of people all over the world — for their brutal crackdown on the rights of its critics to question their rule. Last year's killing of unarmed Neda Agha-Soltan during post-election protests in Tehran, seen around the world on amateur video, has become a symbol of the regime's ferocity — and the power of the Internet to reveal what governments do not want the world to see.

At the award ceremony in our Paris office, Google's Senior Vice President David Drummond said that we are at a critical point in the future of the Internet: "All of us have a choice. We can allow repressive policies to take flight and spread across the globe, or we can work together against such challenges and uphold the fundamental human right to free expression.”

David went on to praise the role of NGOs like Reporters Without Borders, the Obama Administration’s commitment to the promotion of Internet freedom and the efforts of all groups that have joined the Global Network Initiative. Under the initiative, major U.S. Internet companies, human rights group, socially responsive investors and academic institutions agreed to guidelines promoting free expression and protecting the privacy of their users around the world. “In the spirit of the undiplomatic American come to European shores," he said, "let me make a plea for European governments, companies and groups to rise to the occasion. Any effort that is limited to the United States is bound to fall far short of its global potential.”

Robert Boorstin, Director of Public Policy, Google, recently watched “Tiananmen: 20 Years.”

From its beginning, YouTube has been a place where citizens come to have political conversations, and Canada has been no exception. From interviews with Cabinet Ministers to campaign discussions to in-depth news reports, Canadians have used the site to engage with their elected officials in ways previously not possible. Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself has shared videos on his Prime Minister channel, including his CTV interview at the Olympics, his performance with Yo-Yo Ma, and several Parliamentary speeches.

Now you can speak directly with Canadian Prime Minister Harper in an exclusive YouTube interview. Tomorrow, March 11, we'll be streaming the Prime Minister’s response to the Speech from the Throne at approximately 10:45 a.m. EST. It’s a major policy speech for the Prime Minister about his vision for the future of Canada. You can watch it at, and submit your follow-up questions for him in video or text - and vote on your favourites.

Prime Minister Harper will then answer a selection of your top-voted questions in a YouTube interview this Tuesday, March 16 at 7pm EST. If you're wondering how it will work, take a look at our recent interview with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Take this chance to submit and vote for questions you want to be answered - in English or French. We prefer video questions (short and precise) if possible. This is your chance to ask the Prime Minister about the Speech from the Throne or the recent federal Jobs and Growth budget. We look forward to your questions.

Posted by Patrick Pichette, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Google

Les citoyens, dont les Canadiens, ont fréquenté YouTube dès ses tout premiers débuts afin d’y parler politique. Il suffit de penser aux entrevues avec des ministres, aux campagnes de toutes sortes et aux reportages fouillés. Le premier ministre Stephen Harper a lui-même publié des vidéos sur le canal du premier ministre, notamment son entrevue avec CTV aux Jeux olympiques, sa performance avec Yo-Yo Ma et plusieurs discours parlementaires.

Vous pourrez vous adresser directement au premier ministre dans le cadre d'une entrevue exclusive sur YouTube. Demain, le 11 mars vers 10h45 (HNE), nous diffuserons en continu la réponse du premier ministre au discours du Trône. Vous pourrez le regarder sur et poser des questions en format vidéo ou texte ainsi que voter pour vos questions préférées.

Ensuite, dans une entrevue YouTube le mardi 16 mars à 19 h (HNE), le premier ministre répondra à des questions sélectionnées parmi celles ayant accumulé le plus de votes. Pour vous faire une idée du processus, allez jeter un coup d’œil à notre entrevue récente avec le président américain Barack Obama.

Profitez de cette formidable occasion pour poser vos questions et voter pour celles qui, selon vous, devraient être sélectionnées, et en anglais et en français. On préfère que vos questions soient soumises en format vidéo, courtes et précises, si possible. Ne ratez surtout pas cette chance de demander des précisions au premier ministre au sujet du discours du Trône ou du budget de 2010. On a hâte de recevoir vos questions.

Posté par Patrick Pichette, Vice-président senior et chef de la direction financière, Google

Last March,we launched the YouTube Mobile app for Nokia S60 and Windows Mobile phones. Since then, the application was translated to 12 languages, installed on millions of devices around the world, and has been chosen as a Nokia Ovi Top App of 2009. Today we’re releasing the latest version of the YouTube Mobile app, version 2.4.

We strongly believe that faster is better.The YouTube Mobile app is designed to be the fastest way to find and play a video on your smartphone. In the initial release we minimized the number of features and focused on speed for things that matter: app startup, finding a video, and starting playback.

In today’s release we have added search query suggestions, ‘My Account’ support, and a new homescreen user interface that is optimized for larger screens. Now when you log into your YouTube account on our phone, you can view your favorites, subscriptions and playlists from wherever you are. Let’s say you have recently found an amazing basketball shot video and favorited it on your desktop PC. When you’re at the basketball court with your friends, all you need to do is launch the YouTube app and go to your “Favorites” to show it to them.

Another feature that we have added is query suggestions. When you type into the YouTube search box, you get relevant suggestions. This saves on typing, which is especially useful for mobile phones where text input may be difficult.

To download the app on your Windows Mobile or Nokia S60 phone, simply your phone's browser. For more information, please take a look at the YouTube Help Center.

Andrey Doronichev, Product Manager, Mobile, recently watched "Alice in Wonderland - New Official Full Trailer (HQ)."

If you're reading this, then you're probably on the Internet -- via your laptop, your mobile phone or other handheld device, or maybe even through your television. But in 2010, millions of Americans still do not have access to the wealth of information made available on the Web. Even though the Internet was invented in the U.S. over 20 years ago, many Americans lag behind in both access to the Internet and speed of connections, which is why the Federal Communications Commission (or the FCC, the federal agency that oversees the U.S. communications industry) is launching its much-anticipated National Broadband Plan next Tuesday, to lay out its strategy for connecting all Americans to fast, affordable high-speed Internet.

After this plan is announced, you have the opportunity to interview FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in the second of a series of in-person YouTube interviews with government leaders. (Our first, with United States President Barack Obama, took place last month.) Go to CitizenTube today to submit your video or text question via Google Moderator, and vote on your favorites; we'll bring a selection of the top-voted questions to Chairman Genachowski in our interview next Tuesday, March 16. The deadline for submission is Sunday night March 14 at 11:59 p.m. PT.

To help structure our conversation with the Chairman, we've broken the interview down into seven topics. To learn more about what the FCC is doing in each area, click on the links next to each topic below. Then submit your question on CitizenTube under one of the topic headings.
Access to the Internet has transformed almost every aspect of our economy and society. This is your chance to press the FCC on how the National Broadband Plan will work, and ask your questions about improving the Internet in America. We're looking forward to seeing your questions and hearing what the Chairman has to say.

Steve Grove, Head of News and Politics, recently watched "The Internet in 1969".

All of the entries for Round 1 of Project: Report are in, and a panel of judges from the Pulitzer Center have chosen the top 10 semi-finalists. We saw terrific submissions from around the country, each telling a powerful story of an individual through a day in his or her life. Now you can vote for which Round 1 submission you think should win the Community Award.

Below is a list (in no particular order) of the 10 Round 1 winners who will proceed to the second and final round of Project:Report. The grand prize? One of five $10,000 travel fellowships to work with the Pulitzer Center on an international reporting project.

Each of these 10 semi-finalists also received a Sony VAIO notebook with the new 2010 Intel Core i7 processor and a Sony HD video camera, which they will use these to produce their videos for Round 2.

But don't worry, even if you're not one of the 10 semi-finalists there's still an opportunity to win a prize. At the end of Round 2, the Pulitzer Center will look at all of the videos submissions that came in for Round 2 and select one additional contestant to receive a Sony VAIO notebook.

If you're game, here's the assignment for Round 2:
Report on a compelling topic or subject of any nature which you believe has not been sufficiently and/or accurately covered by the national media. All entries must be less than five minutes long and shot in High Definition.

Submissions are due by 12 p.m. ET on April 4, 2010.

Congratulations to the 10 semi-finalists, and good luck to everyone in Round 2!

Olivia Ma, YouTube News & Politics, recently watched "Jersualem: War in My Land"

On Sunday, despite as many as 100 bomb blasts throughout the country, according to news reports, Iraqi citizens flocked to the polls in higher-than-expected numbers to vote in the first nationwide parliamentary election since 2005. Amidst 38 confirmed casualties, Iraqi citizens from 18 different provinces inside Iraq -- as well as 16 other countries around the world -- cast their ballots to determine who will fill the Prime Minister's office and 325 seats in the nation's parliament.

What is it like to be an Iraqi citizen during this important and volatile time in the nation's history? We partnered with Al Jazeera English to find out, by collecting opinions directly from Iraqi voters on video in our "Iraqi Voices" project. The footage is still coming in as the votes are counted, but you can go to Al-Jazeera's YouTube Channel to see the playlist of content uploaded to YouTube so far. (If you'd like to put things in perspective, you can compare these clips to the ones we collected from American voters during the 2008 election in our Video Your Vote platform with PBS.)

One Iraqi got to the polls at 5 a.m. only to find out that his name was not on the list:

This video documents the actual voting experience in Iraq:

And this woman explains why she will not vote in this year's election:

If you're from Iraq or have thoughts about the Iraqi elections, upload your videos to the Al-Jazeera website ( using YouTube Direct and your video might be shown on television.

Olivia Ma, News & Politics Manager, recently watched "التصويت الخاص للجيش (محمد الصالح" (with subtitles)

Jeremy Piven is best known as the sharp-tongued Ari Gold on HBO’s Entourage, but today he’s taking a break from berating Vince and the boys to give the YouTube community a glimpse of his softer side by signing on as a Video Volunteers curator.

This month, YouTube, Piven and the ONE Campaign are asking you to make videos supporting a nonprofit working on an issue related to global development, such as extreme poverty, access to clean water and sanitation, and preventing disease. With International Women’s Day on March 8 and World Water Day on March 22, it’s an ideal time to tackle some of the problems crippling citizens in developing nations. Piven agrees:

Once you’ve created a video for a nonprofit of your choice dealing with global development, submit it to the gadget at Remember: the video has to be about an organization, not just an issue. Piven and the ONE Campaign will pick their top three videos to go on the YouTube homepage at the end of the month.
Happy filming!

Ramya Raghavan, Nonprofits & Activism Manager, recently watched “Spread the Word to End the Word.”


Ever encounter an issue on YouTube and wonder whether you're the only one experiencing it? There are two places you can go to find out more about the situation:

1. If you see your issue on the Current Site Issues page, it means that the bug has been reported to YouTube and that our engineers are working on a fix.

2. We also suggest taking a look at the Popular Discussions section of the Help Forum. The team frequently posts bug acknowledgments, new feature information and useful Help Center articles here.

If you don't see your problem reported in either place, you can always visit the Help Forum and chat with other users to find out if they're experiencing a similar issue or know a work-around for the situation.

The User Support Team recently watched "The Famous Chicken Danceoff."

Whether it's utilizing new techniques, telling a story in a novel way or focusing on a groundbreaking subject, filmmaking is a craft in which innovation takes center stage. So it's with great pleasure that we introduce a new round of films in the Screening Room, courtesy of Lexus, celebrating convention-breakers, thought-provokers and envelope-pushers.

To start, we've got four very different films. "Papiroflexia" (Spanish for "origami") is the animated tale of Fred, a chubby man with a passion for paper folding, who wants to change the world with his art. The documentary short "Kung Fu Wang" explores the life of a martial arts master whose real contribution to society is not what you think. In "Little Minx Exquisite Corpse: Cara," a less-than-glamorous actress in Los Angeles might not be exactly what producers are looking for, but why should something like that stand in the way? And in "Windowbreaker," a pair of young siblings build a home-alarm system to protect themselves against a group of neighborhood burglars.

Stay tuned because in two weeks, we'll have a new round of innovative shorts.

Nate Weinstein, Entertainment Marketing Associate, recently watched "Muni Fight."

A video's life on YouTube is just the beginning; embedding gives it a life off of the site. Just look at your favorite blogger and they're likely to be embedding YouTube content in their posts. In fact, almost every popular video on the site is first made famous by embeds on the Web. That number can be as high as 50% of views in the first 48 hours, kicking off a great cycle.

We offer a few size choices when you grab a video's embed code. The default size used to be on the smaller side -- smaller than the size displayed on -- but as of today, we're defaulting to a larger size, one that's the same size of a video on (either 480x385 if 4:3 video, or 640x385 for 16:9 content). These new defaults were selected because they will give the majority of people the best possible viewing experience and because they better match our current video encoding sizes.

When you click on the embed code, the space below it will expand and reveal customization options, like so:

You can choose the following for your embedded player:
  • The color and size
  • Whether or not to include related videos
  • Whether or not to display the player border
  • Whether or not to play in HD by default -- triggers video resolutions of 1280x720 (720p) or 1920x1080 (1080p)
When using the "Play in HD" option, it's best to embed the player at a very large size (at least 1280x745) in order to accommodate the large size of the video. If you play HD video in a small player, the user's computer will have to scale down the video to fit within the player, costing the user extra CPU cycles and bandwidth, which may result in choppy playback. It's always best to play the video size that best fits the size of the video player. And if you want even better performance when watching HD content, you can choose to watch it in full-screen.

Geoff Stearns, Senior Web Developer, recently embedded "OK Go - This Too Shall Pass - RGM version."

Tens of millions of people in the U.S. experience some kind of hearing impairment and recent studies have predicted that over 700 million people worldwide will suffer from hearing impairment by 2015. To address a clear need, the broadcast industry began running captions on regular video programming in the early 1970s. Today, closed captions on video are more prevalent than ever. But generating captions today can be a time-consuming and complicated process.

Making video easily accessible is something we're working hard to address at YouTube. One of the first steps we took was the development of a caption feature in 2008. In November of last year we released auto-captioning for a small, select group of partners. Auto-captioning combines some of the speech-to-text algorithms found in Google's Voice Search to automatically generate video captions when requested by a viewer. The video owner can also download the auto-generated captions, improve them, and upload the new version. Viewers can even choose an option to translate those captions into any one of 50 different languages -- all in just a couple of clicks.

Today, we are opening up auto-captions to all YouTube users. There will even be a "request processing" button for un-captioned videos that any video owner can click on if they want to speed up the availability of auto-captions. It will take some time to process all the available video, so here are some things to keep in mind:
  • While we plan to broaden the feature to include more languages in the months to come, currently, auto-captioning is only for videos where English is spoken.
  • Just like any speech recognition application, auto-captions require a clearly spoken audio track. Videos with background noise or a muffled voice can't be auto-captioned. President Obama's speech on the recent Chilean Earthquake is a good example of the kind of audio that works for auto-captions.
  • Auto-captions aren't perfect and just like any other transcription, the owner of the video needs to check to make sure they're accurate. In other cases, the audio file may not be good enough to generate auto-captions. But please be patient -- our speech recognition technology gets better every day.
  • Auto-captions should be available to everyone who's interested in using them. We're also working to provide auto-captions for all past user uploads that fit the above mentioned requirements. If you're having trouble enabling them for your video, please visit our Help Center: this article is for uploaders and this article is for viewers.
For content owners, the power of auto-captioning is significant. With just a few quick clicks your videos can be accessed by a whole new global audience. And captions can make is easier for users to discover content on YouTube.

Twenty hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. Making some of these videos more accessible to people who have hearing disabilities or who speak different languages, not only represents a significant advancement in the democratization of information, it can also help foster greater collaboration and understanding.

Hiroto Tokusei, Product Manager, recently watched "How to Eat Stick Candy Fast."

Our curator of the month is TechCrunch, a blog dedicated to "obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and well as companies making an impact on the new Web space." They polled their whole crew to come up with a list of favorite videos focusing largely on tech, innovation, start-ups, Silicon Valley and, of course, a few unconventional subjects, like a pogo-ing CEO.

Here, Jason Kincaid explains the thinking behind their selection, which is featured on our homepage today:

You can find the full playlist here.

Mia Quagliarello, Community Manager, recently watched "Life in Quarantine - Fully Sick Rapper."


For the second year in a row, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) asked activists on YouTube to make videos raising awareness about world hunger as part of their "Hungerbytes" competition. And once again, many creative entries came in. Nonprofits looking to run their own YouTube video campaign may want to take note of this effort as it effectively harnessed the imaginative minds of the community to raise awareness of an issue.

A judging panel including Drew Barrymore, actress and WFP Ambassador Against Hunger; Lance Vollard Senior Vice President of Publicity at Warner Brothers Pictures, and Nancy Roman from the WFP selected the finalists. One video used a food fight to show how citizens take meals for granted in the United States; another showed that in the time it takes to cook a microwavable meal (60 seconds) 10 children die of hunger; and this clip used a variety of voices and original music to walk us through our daily food consumption in the U.S. and how it compares to those who starve each day.

But it was filmmakers Carlos Antonio and Michel Sandoval of Mexico who took home the top prize for their film "Dreams," which demonstrates that people in different parts of the world have very different perspectives on hunger. One person's diet is another person's dinner:

Antonio and Sandoval will now travel to Guatemala with WFP to raise awareness for hunger in that country. In addition, 14-year-old John Beck from Rome won the "Under-18" category for his "Dinner Is Served" video, in which a white-gloved waiter dishes up a meal consisting of a compact emergency food ration. The juxtaposition of gourmet restaurant service and an emergency ration is striking:

You can learn more about the United Nations World Food Program, and how you can help, on the WFP's YouTube channel.

Steve Grove, Head of YouTube News & Politics, recently watched "Jerusalem: War in My Land."