“Marketers Need to Pay ” Attention to YouTube’s In-App Sharing Feature

Measurably Daring™

By Josh Niederriter, Head of Programmatic, Fetch

YouTube’s announcement to share videos within its app last month was met without much fanfare. Perhaps marketers were growing numb or cynical to another announcement from the social media world? They are missing out if they are.  YouTube’s in-app sharing holds a potential wealth of features that may easily extend the ability to collect actionable data. Here’s some food for thought.

Data, Data, Data

At first glance, the addition of sharing within the app may only seem like a benefit to consumers, but this very strategic move by YouTube has positive implications for marketers. By encouraging people to share within their app, YouTube is extending and increasing its capability to track audience conversations around videos. This valuable data is a potential goldmine for marketers. Whether they’re videos directly from a brand, a brand’s competitor, or an industry topic at large, all of this data about how the information is resonating with real consumers (not bots) is now available. Whether or not YouTube decides to share that data with marketers is to be determined. Google and Facebook ” AKA the Walled Gardens “are notorious for withholding consumer data from marketers. If they decide to share this particular set of data, it would certainly entice marketers.

More Meaningful Conversations

The ability to now easily share videos with those closest to you will likely increase the amount of meaningful conversations happening around videos on the platform. As opposed to getting into comment section debates with the ever-present internet troll, users now have the option to communicate with friends, family and other users about video content in closed forums. This is a much needed win for brands as conversations in the comment section can quickly boil over, shifting focus away from the purpose and message of the branded video. By decreasing these chances of derailment, brands can uncover deeper, more accurate insights into how people are connecting with and feeling about video content and the brand as a whole.

YouTube as a Social Network

Prior to YouTube’s latest announcement, there were people who questioned the platform’s status as a “social network,” likely due to the fact that sharing was not an option within its app. Sharing is a key component for social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, especially on mobile. With its new feature, though, YouTube is entrenching itself alongside traditional social networks, and more importantly, it gives consumers a reason to spend additional time in the app. This would also increase opportunities for marketers to connect with consumers, either through the actual videos they’re viewing or traditional display advertising on the YouTube platform.

While YouTube’s in-app sharing feature may have felt like a sole benefit to consumers at first, if you look deeper, there’s potential for marketers to be excited about. The biggest takeaway is that YouTube, an already powerful player in terms of platforms that are dominating consumers’ time and attention, is becoming even stronger and more important for marketers. Making it easier for users to share with each other in its app allows YouTube to keep users engaged on its platform, which, in turn, provides marketers with even more opportunities to connect meaningfully with consumers. Instead of chalking up YouTube’s latest announcement as just another press release, marketers should recognize the huge opportunity it represents. This small, but important tool could help unlock more information about their key audiences and the types of video content that resonates most with them faster than we have seen yet.


This piece can also be found in Mobile Marketer.