At the end of last week I noticed that the ‘Embed’ button on YouTube video pages moved to a different part of the page. However, it wasn’t until over the weekend that I realized that the ‘Embed’ button wasn’t the only thing that changed on YouTube’s video pages. YouTube also removed the view analytics that used to be available on all video pages.
You may remember that, up until a few days ago, you could click a carat next to the number of views on a YouTube video to open up more information, including a chart that showed the view pattern over time, as well as information about Honors the video had received (i.e. #1 comedy video in New Zealand). You can see an example in the screenshot below.
However, if you visit YouTube today you won’t find any carat next to the view count on a video, and you won’t be able to find out any additional insights or information concerning videos, aside from what you can find from insights on your own videos, within your personal YouTube account. Here’s a screenshot taken today of the same video from the screenshot above. As you can see, there’s no way to open up additional analytical information about the views.
For the average YouTube viewer that just wants to watch videos and have a good time, this change won’t affect you much, if at all. However, some YouTubers will definitely feel the void that exists where this insights feature used to be.
I, for instance, liked to check in with these analytics to see the view patterns on a specific video and how recently a video went viral. The ‘Double Rainbow’ video, for instance, was posted months before it started getting views. Without being able to look at the chart mapping the views on a video it’s hard to tell if a video that you are seeing for the first time has been popular for months (or even years), or if you are seeing it along with millions of others for the first time, as it is going viral.
Did you notice that YouTube changed their interface to remove the video page analytics? Does it even matter to you?
UPDATE (November 12, 2010):
It has been brought to our attention in the comments below that indeed the statistics have not been removed, but have simply moved to a different area of the page.
User YouTube PM writes, “The button has only moved and changed appearance. See the little button with the green and red bar next to the “dislike”? Click that to expose the statistics. This has been a bit disorienting to our users, so we are considering reverting to the former location.”
I, for one, can attest to the fact that the change has been a bit disorienting. However, I’m glad that we’ve gotten this matter cleared up. Check out the new location of the button to open the statistics in the screenshot below.