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Page views, video views — they’re simple measures that make the web go ’round, but they don’t really paint a full picture of what users are actually doing online. YouTube today tried to address this issue by adding comments, ratings, and favorites — aka “community engagement” — to the set of analytics it offers all video publishers.
The new analytics will not be directly linked to advertising pricing on the site; you can’t use them to automatically charge a higher rate for a video with which users are more engaged. But they will help publishers brag about the value of the interactions they foster on YouTube.
Information about these interactions will be tied to the day and place where they originated, both for individual videos and for channels. So for instance, a studio could see that a certain cut of a movie trailer did better in the UK, and another in the U.S., or the average rating for each version on any given day, said Tracy Chan, product manager for YouTube Insight. Users could also measure the effectiveness of “calls to action” within their video. Chan did not know what percent of YouTube viewers partake in commenting, rating and favoriting.