YouTube has seen views on its site drop precipitously over the past five months, as the Google video-sharing site transitions away from getting users to click on more videos to getting them to engage with more long-form content. However, the 28 percent drop in video views since December is an expected side effect of that transition, Ad Age reports.
On March 15, YouTube tweaked its recommendation system to favor time spent with a video or channel over clicks in determining which videos to show users. “Our goal is -- we want users to watch more and click less,” said Cristos Goodrow, YouTube director of engineering. Previously, YouTube would only track the length of views up to 30 seconds; now it tracks two to three minutes.
As a result, views are dropping, but the amount of minutes spent on YouTube has grown by 57 percent to more than 61 billion minutes in March 2012. The average length of a video has also grown by a full minute to four minutes in the past year.