It looks like things are getting worse at YouTube. Despite YouTube’s dominance in the user-generated video space for more than a decade, the introduction of TikTok in 2017 signaled the beginning of the end for the site. It released “YouTube shorts,” a reactive maneuver that mirrored the short-form phone format, in an attempt to compete with the dominance of TikTok.
In any case, this strategy appears unsuccessful, as TikTok continues to pose a serious threat to YouTube’s hegemonic status. YouTube’s newest high-profile exit has some worrying that matters may be worse than people understand.
As per New York Post, longtime executive Robert Kyncl is departing the corporation after more than 12 years on the job.
“After 12 incredible years, I’ve decided to move on to the next challenge soon,” Kyncl tweeted. “Working alongside creators, artists, media and music companies to transform media has been a privilege.”
YouTube is a great place to be at, and a great place to be from! After 12 incredible years, I've decided to move on to the next challenge soon. Working alongside creators, artists, media and music companies to transform media has been a privilege https://t.co/LHEPGVtzQU
— Robert Kyncl (@rkyncl) August 29, 2022
The Post notes that this departure occurs during a moment of great upheaval for YouTube. Kyncl’s resignation comes as YouTube faces slowed growth and rising competition from TikTok within the coveted Gen Z audience.
A Pew Research poll conducted this month indicated that a stunning 95% of US youths stated they use YouTube, which makes it the most popular app or site in the survey. However, TikTok, used by 67% of teens, inches close to YouTube as the second most popular app among young people. The Chinese-owned app is eating up a growing share of young people’s screen time and poses a threat to Big Tech central tenets like YouTube and Meta’s Instagram.
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After leaving YouTube, Kyncl’s future plans are unclear. As of this writing, he has not disclosed that he has accepted a post elsewhere.
This is happening as a major dispute surrounding the popular YouTubers Markiplier and CoryxKenshin continues to grow.
Kenshin, a black creator, found that his videos were becoming flagged and removed and reported for age limit despite very identical videos from other creators not suffering the same punishment. His subsequent viral video, in which he accuses YouTube of partiality or bigotry, prompted other producers to share their own experiences with the platform’s restrictive policies and procedures.
YouTube’s top celebrities have joined the chorus of those who have said the platform’s algorithm is skewed against smaller creators and that it uses users’ data for nefarious purposes. This entails requiring them to regularly upload content or face a drop in the ranks of the system.
Markiplier, perhaps one of YouTube’s most prominent uploaders, also had a recent dispute with YouTube, which used his face to promote the “Game On” conference but then removed his contribution after completing tasks for the event. As a form of protest, Markiplier posted the work he and his team had done on his channel with the title “YouTube Cut This Content.” The video was an example of Markiplier’s popular interactive YouTube come format, in which he incorporates analog horror elements that have gained widespread notoriety.
Both YouTube’s list of problems and its list of scandals is extremely vast. YouTube’s censorship of videos that present alternative perspectives to the left’s narratives on controversial health topics is a frequent target of criticism.
Because of this, the platform is currently handicapping itself in a fight against a rival video platform that is rapidly gaining ground.
The jury is yet out on whether Kyncl’s resignation was motivated by a belief that YouTube’s heydays were behind it, but it looks like that’s the case.