Soon, YouTube users will no longer be able to use the Community Contributions. Google, the popular streaming site’s owner, announced that it’s shuttering the feature on the 28th of this September. Their reason for the move is lack of use and a high level of ‘spam and abuse.’ The tool was mainly facilitated to let people translate or contribute closed captions and video descriptions or titles. Mountain View said that its still has two other captioning options which are ‘auto-generated’ and ‘manually uploaded.’ But unfortunately, these can only be done by the uploader. The cool, though, is that if you are one of the few YouTubers that relied on the service they are about to shut down, Google will give you a free 6 month subscription to Amara.org, a site that provides video captioning services.
According to Google’s statistics, less than 10% of 1% of channels use the community captions feature and that they show on less than a fifth of a percent of total watch time last month, users have greeted the news with dismay. The thing is, those numbers may seem small, and sure, as a percentage, they are.. but you’ve got to consider the fact that YouTube has millions and millions of users, so, people affected are in the many thousands. Countries like Korea and Japan have relied heavily on community-submitted translations.
The good thing is that community contributions that are currently saved as drafts are gonna remain available through September 28th, but you will have to make sure to publish them before that date. If you don’t you’ll lose your work. All contributions that are published before September 28th will continue to work.
Since auto-generated translation technology is still quite lacking and manually uploaded subtitles require a ton of time and effort from YouTubers, the shuttering of the community captions will leave many users with a lower quality experience.
Fun Fact: YouTube started as a dating site.
Featured Image Credit: [Unsplash/Szabo Viktor