A key finding of this analysis is that the YouTube recommendation system encourages users to watch progressively longer and more popular content.
This study of YouTube’s recommendation algorithm also reinforces the survey findings about the prominence of children’s content on YouTube.
Indeed, an animated video for children was the single most recommended video in this analysis.
In other cases, more- and less-frequent users of YouTube have similar views of the platform’s importance.
This survey finds that roughly eight-in-ten YouTube users (81%) say they watch recommended videos – with 15% saying they watch these videos regularly.
After selecting the starting video, a new video was then chosen at random from the top five recommended videos for that video, as listed in the YouTube API at that time.
The bulk of the videos recommended during these random walks were quite popular – 64% of the recommendations went to videos that had more than 1 million views at the time.
Even when starting on one of a channel’s five most recent videos (which average fewer than 2 million views) the recommendation algorithm consistently suggested more popular videos.
In keeping with the large share of parents who let their children watch videos on YouTube, a substantial share of these videos (11 in total) were oriented toward small children.
Indeed, the children’s video noted above had nearly 30 million views by the final time it was recommended.
Growth on these three sites follows investments the companies have made over the last year in developing their news usability. Twitter, in addition to getting nearly daily attention from the president’s posts, spent the year promoting the platform’s potential for news publishers and has announced launches for multiple news streaming partnerships. YouTube launched and expanded YouTube TV, and the site added a “breaki…