Frankly speaking I never really used Facebook much, but of late it’s been hard to avoid it. Logging into YouTube today, I noticed a side banner promoting YouTube’s new Colleges section. Essentially you can see the videos your schoolmates are sharing since YouTube has a new category based on your institution.
A quick survey of the list today reveals that the University of Georgia (Athens, GA) publishes the most YouTube videos (41) with a total of 17 members. As more colleges are added and more students become aware of this, the numbers are bound change. The college page for the my university is said to be coming soon (as indicated in the pink box above).
To join your college page, all you need to do is to authenticate your academic affiliation using your school email address, in my case I’d be using the buffalo.edu account. This take a page off Facebook’s registration mechanism and academic community concept. Within each institution page, you can also create user groups, which makes sense especially for the various student associations on campus. With this feature, YouTube is essentially creating an opportunity for you to stay within their site by offering you a space to host discussions, rather than to have you take your conversation elsewhere such as on your blog.
On the interest of privacy though, I couldn’t click on any other colleges to see what videos they’ve shared. Still, that doesn’t mean that particular videos cannot be seen, as they are probably shared in the searchable public space like the rest of the YouTube videos. Unlike FaceBook’s News Feed, it’s aggregated content but made private to groups.
There seems to be a trend toward using physical spaces as a semantic organizer of content. Flickr recently recognized geotagging as a way to organize photographs, as photos can now be displayed by location on a map in the user’s page. Using geographical locations to contextualize grassroots media makes sense since users have immediate familiarity and relevancy towards such content. Places would look familiar as with local events.
Question: How does YouTube intend to generate revenue for their expensive bandwidth?