YouTube, Reels, Community, Video, Online, CDs, 45rpm

You Tube Launches "Reels"

Posted November 30, 2017
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There is a kind of strange marriage between technology and art, and more often than not, it is the technology that dominates.

Take popular songs. 

As you may have noticed, most pop songs run about 3 minutes long.

Ever wonder why that is?  The reason is that is the length that a 45 RPM (as your grandparents) ran.  To accommodate the technology, starting in the 1950's, popular songs were designed to come in a just the right length to fit one side of a vinyl '45'.

By the same token, CDs (ask your parents) ran exactly 74 minutes. The reasoning behind that was that that was the length of Beethoven's 9th Symphony.  No one wanted to have to change the discs before it was over.

Along the same line of thinking, TV shows run 30 minutes (22 without commercials), so that the linear TV programmers could make them fit into nice half-hour formats. These were the soon to be gone days of 'appointment TV'.

So now we come to video.

There is no reason any video has to be any specific length in the online, non-linear world.  But, of course, old habits die hard. 

Now, YouTube, the mother of all online non-linear video, is rolling out an entirely new format for video called Reels.

"The company tells us the idea with Reels is to introduce a new video format on YouTube that lets creators express themselves and engage fans without having to post a full video." -Techcrunch

At first glance, Reels appears to be something of a combination of a pitch reel and a very, very rough cut. 

The 'creator' assembles simple cuts of fragments of what could be a larger and more complex story and posts them on Reels. Viewers are allowed to vote up or down on the 'reel', and YouTube can then ascertain if there is sufficient interest in this to continue on to a full blown video.

YouTube has become increasingly interested in how viewers interact and respond to videos in an attempt to create more of an online video community around content creators.  Up until now, video has been pretty much a one-way street - 'we make it, you watch it'.

For example, Grav3yardgirl used Community to ask fans to pick what to unbox nextLele Pons posted GIFs that serve as a trailers for her upcoming videos; Kevin Durant shares photos on NBA gameday. And some have used it send traffic to different channels, and other purposes.


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