Spending hours hopping through videos on YouTube is a very common practice these days. Admit it; we have all found things on YouTube, which we never even know existed. So, it's kind of ok to get addicted to this. Over the years as the contents have increased on YouTube, the viewers and times that they spent here have also grown immensely. So, much so, that YouTube has revealed that users are now watching over one billion hours of video per day.
"A few years back, we made a big decision at YouTube. While everyone seemed focused on how many views a video got, we thought the amount of time someone spent watching a video was a better way to understand whether a viewer really enjoyed it. It wasn't an easy call, but we thought it would help us make YouTube a more engaging place for creators and fans. And last year, we hit a big milestone on that journey: people around the world are now watching a billion hours of YouTube's incredible content every single day," said the company in a blog post.
The company also added in a blog post that it reached this milestone at some point last year, and as WSJ notes, it represents a ten-fold increase from the same total back in 2012. Putting that in perspective, Google says 1 billion hours is equivalent to well over 100,000 years, the same amount of time it takes for a beam of light to make it from one side of the Milky Way to the other.
While many would attribute this tremendous success of the California-based video-sharing website to the sheer amount and ever improving quality of its video contents, but YouTube has some other reason for this accomplishment. The answer is – personalization algorithms.
You might have noticed that once you've spent a specific amount of time on YouTube, the recommendations alongside the video tend to find the videos similar to the ones you are watching. It tends to find the videos that you may enjoy. Sometimes, the recommendation videos are not even directly linked to the one you searched for. This happens due to personalized algorithms created by YouTube in partnership with Google Brain team, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. These two organisations have worked together to filter out the "single-use" videos, which a user is not really interested in watching but happens to watch time to time.