Imagine that you're the last person alive. After losing all of your loved ones, you thought you'd never see another human being in your life. Then, they arrive. The hoard of 15-year-old zombies looking for a cute British YouTuber so they may feast on his brains.
This may sound like the lamest post-apocalyptic story ever, but it was exactly what VidCon 2014 felt like. Luckily, YouTube gave us some interesting and exciting things to look forward to as the fangirls feasted for the weekend.
The 5th annual VidCon, held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Southern California, was a bit different this year. As a regular attendee, the conference has always been about communities and building your channel. This year, however, it was more like Comic-Con circa 2005. Random teenage girls flooded the convention center running to the nearest YouTuber they recognized. It was a complete madhouse.
Teenage fandom aside, there were plenty of other changes as well. For the first time in VidCon history, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki made a keynote speech about the exciting new features to come to YouTube that are beneficial to both the creator and the fan. And the best news—it has nothing to do with forcing us to use Google+.
YouTube is making their service more interactive. Bilingual fans can help their favorite YouTubers with "Fan Subtitles". This way, many people can watch a vlog and understand what's happening, even if they don't speak the language.
You can also support the people you subscribe to by clicking on interactive cards, which send you directly to their Indiegogo or Kickstarter project. You can also provide monetary support by using YouTube's virtual tip jar, something that sites like Subbable and Patreon are already doing.
As a creator, you will be able to control channel management using their new YouTube Creator Studio app for Android, which had the whole crowd excited. If you know anything about Google AdSense and Analytics, it can be tough to manage at times. I, for one, am excited to use this app myself.
The sound library will be adding 7,500 more sound effects and music tracks in the YouTube editor, and videos will have a higher frame-rate feature, up to 60 frames per second. This is especially exciting for those who make video gameplay videos, as it will be much easier to view the actual game, which tends to be crisper than current online videos.
YouTube is also finally promoting YouTubers and musicians better with cards that overlay videos enabling viewers to click straight through to purchase anything from music on the Google Play Store to non-Google retailers. You will also be able to promote any collaborations using the "Creator Credits" feature, which allows collaborators to shoutout to one another in text-based tags.
Overall, the convention was absolute madness. But the fact that YouTube is finally standing up and making useful changes makes me excited about new media once again. We should be seeing these changes within the next couple months, but still no word on when they'll finally fix the subscription box that has been broken for over three years now.