Recently, Youtube began to massively disable the display of dislikes within its platform. Now the counter of dislikes under the video won’t be shown, although users can still dislike, and it will still influence the content in recommendations.
Today we decided to investigate the possible reasons for such a decision, as well as whether the decision to disable dislikes is a marker of possible major changes in social networks in the future.
Background of disabling dislikes
Youtube representatives stated that disabling the display of dislikes is aimed at improving the general atmosphere within the community, reducing user toxicity, and protecting authors from possible harassment.
However, it should be understood that there may be much more prerequisites for such a decision. To better understand the reasons why Youtube turned off the display of dislikes we remind that Youtube is primarily a business aimed at making a profit. And social networks make a profit depending on the traffic within these social networks.
One of the reasons for disabling dislikes could be Youtube’s desire to increase retention on videos. Without a counter of dislikes, users won’t be able to immediately determine the quality of the video and will have to watch it for some time in order to understand how this video meets their expectations.
Change in expectations from content due to the social factor
Dislikes affect the minds of users in the same way as likes. People often follow the logic: if this video wasn’t liked by others, then I should not like it.
If there are a lot of dislikes under the video, the user is automatically biased towards the video. This attitude can negatively affect their perception of the video and, as a result, reduce retention on the platform. If the user doesn’t know that there is a negative attitude towards the video, then he won’t be able to project this reaction to his emotions from viewing, which increases the chance of getting a positive experience even from a video of low quality.
Increasing other activity
Now the best way to express resentment for users is to comment under the video. This activity is more relevant for Youtube since comments not only attract the user himself to additional activity but also involve other users in the discussion. This can force users to spend more time and energy on the platform than before.
Increased activity and confidence among bloggers
Not every content maker can easily deal with criticism from other people. And while many content makers are ready for negativity, that doesn’t mean they get a positive experience when they receive negativity. Gaining a negative experience for a content maker can often mean a decrease in motivation to create the content on which Youtube is held. That’s why turning off dislikes can give some free for bloggers and allow them to create content more naturally. And although dislikes can still be seen in your account, they no longer affect viewers as much as they did before.
Helping potential advertisers
Youtube has become a platform where many large companies present their products or services a long time ago. And right now there is a chance that in the event of an unsuccessful presentation, users begin to massively dislike the company’s video, which negatively affects the further sales of the product or service. Since companies are potentially the main source of YouTube’s income through advertising bought on the platform, protecting their interests is a priority for Youtube.
Where does this trend lead?
The modern competition between social networks for traffic and user time is gradually reaching a completely new level. Now social networks are trying to do everything possible to keep the user inside the platform for as long as possible, as well as create the most convenient conditions for their main source of income – companies. In the future, there is a high probability of even greater changes of social networks in this direction.
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