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YouTube is horcruxing itself into niche apps – game changer or pointless?

(BUSINESS NEWS) The huge abundance of content that made YouTube so successful in its startup days has also become its biggest challenge – how to get the right content to the right audience? By splitting its massive library of content into niche apps.

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Is this a sign of growth or a sign of decline?

The huge abundance of content that made YouTube so successful in its startup days has also become its biggest challenge – how to get the right content to the right audience? By splitting its massive library of content into niche apps.

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In addition to YouTube’s regular app, you’ll now find YouTube Kids, YouTube Music, and YouTube Gaming. While The Verve called YouTube Music a “game changer,” Gizmodo called it “breathtakingly pointless.” Are these niche apps a sign that the company’s stronghold on the world’s internet video viewing is fracturing? Or is it expanding exponentially?

What do these separate apps look like?

Separate apps for niche audiences does makes some sense, since viewers have diverse preferences and ways of interfacing with the site. Think about it – now you can load the YouTube Kids app, hand your tablet over to your little ones, and rest easy knowing they’ll only be exposed to PG content.

The kid-friendly version also includes extra-large icons with minimal text, and preliterate, clumsy-fingered toddlers can make search requests by voice instead of typing.

For music lovers, YouTube Music provides all of the content of the regular site, but offers additional videos you can’t find on competitor apps like Spotify – karaoke videos, live concert footage, and the like.

Meanwhile, it will be easier than ever for gamers to find exactly what they’re looking for. On the regular app you can only follow user channels, but on YouTube gaming you can follow a specific game.

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In fact, the whole idea splitting into separate apps is part of YouTube’s attempt to make it easier for users to sift and sort through its enormous archive of videos.

The goal: Keep people in-site

More targeted delivery of videos increases watch times and overall user engagement – and YouTube knows it needs to keep users on their site for as long as possible to compete with Facebook, Spotify, and Apple Music. YouTube already uses your friends’ recommendations and your viewing history to suggest videos that will keep you watching longer. But diversifying its app offerings will only make it easier for the well-established audiences of children, music fans, and gamers to find what they’re looking for.

#YouTubeApps

Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

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