You’re probably watching the cute baby polar bear video anyway. (Wait. Don’t tell me you haven’t seen the Danish polar bear Siku?)
In any case, now YouTube users can let the site know which cute animal, baby or other form of adorab-ilia they like best.
The world’s biggest video site launched YouTube Slam yesterday, a new feature that pits viral videos in head-to-head voting competitions in five categories — music, dance, cute, comedy and bizarre. Users earn points for playing and voting, and the YouTube blog says users can “help uncover the next big thing.”
But there’s more to the YouTube Slam than unearthing the next honey badger. The YouTube Slam is a smart new feature for many reasons, but primarily because it has
the potential to yield a treasure trove of data for the site.
In its first day, the YouTube Slam section had already generated more than 200,000 votes by more than 20,000 people in the comedy category alone by mid-day. That’s a massive amount of fresh raw insight from users, most likely YouTube’s most passionate and dedicated fans, as to what they like best. YouTube could potentially tap into this data to better understand what users want and then make sure those types of videos are either served up in a targeted fashion to users with similar tastes or featured on the home page. Better yet, YouTube could try to sell ads around those videos, or related ones.
Whatever option YouTube chooses, the greatest potential for YouTube Slam is not in the coolness of it — it’s in the stickiness of it. YouTube Slam can keep the passionate fans on the site for longer, and it may also yield tremendous consumer insight that will be valuable for advertisers.
Nearly 161 million unique viewers watched more than 20 billion videos on YouTube in the month of October, according to comScore’s most recent figures.