As social media moved from the fringes to the mainstream, YouTube is one innovation that touched the most lives. It has, in fact, turned into a driving force radical enough to change the way we see the world around us.
With about 2 billion views a day that too within just a few years from its inception, the impact of YouTube in social networking circle has been overwhelming. While it is really hard to predict which all social media services will survive at the close of this decade, YouTube in all likelihood would not just endure, but thrive. It has in fact embodied all that we have come to define as social media, and surprisingly has not shown even the slightest sign of slowing down. It has literally taken the online video scenario by storm.
How YouTube Differs from a Social Network
We simply can not provide any clear-cut definition for a social network but here is a very close try. A social network is all about keeping in touch with friends, family, colleagues or other people with whom you share a personal bond. In social network, the stress is on staying in touch with our fellow beings rather than exchanging news or information with them. Facebook, which is essentially a social network site, is a typical example.
Information network is different since the focus here is on broadcasting and gathering of news and other relevant information, and not on knowing what is cooking up in your social circle. Information network is more about utilizing the power of networks to help you in being informed and updated. For the same reason, content on information networks is not secretive in nature and is public, which is not the case with the content on social networks. YouTube is a classic example of an information network.
How YouTube is Similar to a Social Network
With social networking garnering widespread popularity among all sections of our society, can other websites like Youtube be left behind? Very soon these websites were into adopting certain features, which were typical of social networking. Primarily a video sharing platform, YouTube too has accepted a few. Although its potential for social networking is limited, YouTube has added features such as “friending” and sharing. YouTube also let its users create a personal profile page or “channel page”. YouTube has now become extremely popular medium for sharing clips on Facebook, Twitter and other online communities.
If you are one of those people who shun YouTube because you are daunted by the idea of producing videos, here is good news for you. To start taking advantage of YouTube, you no longer have to wait to get over your apprehension to produce own videos. The moment you set up a YouTube account, you can kick off social interaction on YouTube. You can rate videos, comment on other videos or channel pages and also create play lists of your favourite videos. If you get it all done right, you can go on and even develop new connections. With YouTube anyone can be an entertainer.
But the real power of YouTube, no doubt, lies in its delivery of information through videos. YouTube’s 2010 record of 1.9 billion videos watched per day is a testimony to its immense potential. That in itself is a good reason to put aside your hesitation to produce videos.
To conclude, social and information networks are two sides of the same coin. Just like most other media platforms, both these networks are very integral to YouTube for its survival.
While it is good to recognize the former, it is even more important to realize that the lion’s share of YouTube’s strength lies in the latter. While evolving your online marketing strategy, it is thus extremely important to realize that a powerful information network like YouTube can do wonders, if used simultaneously with an equally influential social network like Facebook.
By making it possible for everyone to share videos easily and absolutely free of cost, Youtube has revolutionized the way people interact with each other on the internet. So immense is its impact on internet marketing that eliminating Youtube from your social networking campaign is indeed a grave mistake to make in this online era. Overlooking its vast potential is sure to cost you dear.
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