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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

YouTube Declares War on Cleavage

Posted by on Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 5:01 PM

The Daily Dot says that YouTube is tackling the (apparently, somehow serious) problem of "reply girls," in which women in revealing clothes talk about popular topics in the hopes of blog hits that turn into ad money:

Announced in an official YouTube blog post and on the site’s help forums, the new algorithm now bases related videos—shown as suggestions when a user finishes watching a video—on “which videos contribute to a longer overall viewing session rather than how many clicks an individual video receives.”

The new algorithm is meant to reflect “viewer engagement,” which Google calculates by how long people stay on the site.

In theory, the new related-videos algorithm will hinder reply girl videos from reaching the top of related videos, because most viewers of reply-girl videos leave within seconds of realizing that there’s not much substance there.

I don't understand how reply girls make money, when there is the world's largest collection of absolutely free porn floating around in the same cyberspace. Why do viewers click on the reply girls in the first place? Since they click away when they see that the reply girls are just talking, what is it that they hope to see when they start the videos?


Comments (16) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Reply girls? That's a new one. Learn something every day I guess.
Posted by Bhamjason on March 14, 2012 at 5:23 PM · Report this
Why do viewers click on the reply girls in the first place?

Ummm...Paul, I don't think you're exactly the target demo. For reasons of nurture and nature.
Posted by Mr. Happy Sunshine on March 14, 2012 at 5:29 PM · Report this
eastcoastreader 4
Aw, I kinda like the whole reply girl thing. So I might be a little off on this, but basically from what I understand there are woman who are gaming the system on YouTube to make ad money. What happens is that they post a “reply” video to a popular video that is getting lots of hits. The videos the reply girls make basically has just a few moments of their cleavage and they might not even be saying anything relevant to the original video they are replying to. So then people are looking at the original video and look down towards the comments and see BOOBIES! And click on that reply video, which they quickly realize is meaningless. *but* since enough people click on those LOOK! BOOBIES! Reply videos, those reply videos move up in the ranking and stay right there under the original video, gathering lots of hits which turns into ad money for the reply girl.

Why do I like this? Smart women working the system for money based solely on (some) men’s desire to LOOK! BOOBIES! It’s hilarious!
Posted by eastcoastreader on March 14, 2012 at 5:39 PM · Report this
rob! 5
Well, that means there's a yawning multi-year opportunity for shirtless "reply guys," I guess. (Please and thank you.)
Posted by rob! on March 14, 2012 at 5:49 PM · Report this
Greg 7
People make money on YouTube? Weird.
Posted by Greg on March 14, 2012 at 6:35 PM · Report this
sirkowski 8
@4 You're projecting. A lot.
Posted by sirkowski on March 14, 2012 at 6:47 PM · Report this
MarkyMark 9
My favorite NPR program "On The Media" had a great segment on this last week -

Attack of the Reply Girls!

And among other things, there was also a fantastic segment delving into the total insanity of Wikipedia editor/goons and the alternate universe they inhabit.
Posted by MarkyMark on March 14, 2012 at 6:54 PM · Report this
emor 10

You need to work on your reading comprehension.
Posted by emor on March 14, 2012 at 8:28 PM · Report this
Amnt 11
It is a legitimate problem clogging the related videos list with useless crap, so I'm glad they are changing the ranking system. I would also highly recommend the YTshowRating extension, which will display the thumbs up/down ratio under each video, potentially saving you from wasting time on crap and misleading thumbnails like reply girls.
Posted by Amnt on March 14, 2012 at 8:31 PM · Report this
I'm with @4. People will look through a long list of reply videos to a popular video and suddenly see a pair of barely concealed breasts. Youtubers, especially on the most popular videos, skew male and young, so these little thumbnails trigger their dominant "boobies!" reflex and they click, just to get a better view of the things.

@11, I didn't know that add-on. It doesn't seem to exist for firefox, which is a pity because it sounds terrifically useful.

Yes there's porn out there, but this lands on their virtual lap, presumably with the promise of no pop-ups and malware on the other side.
Posted by Lynx on March 15, 2012 at 1:25 AM · Report this
Karlheinz Arschbomber 13
The only thing stupider than the text comments on YouTube are the 'video replies', tits, or no tits.
Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber on March 15, 2012 at 3:05 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 14
@4: Yes, those women are so smart that they can only make money (and they don't even make money) with their tits. How progressive! I have always thought strippers were the smartest women on the planet, and I guess you would agree.

Now if we could only knock down the patriarchal Nobel prize comittee and force them to recognize the deep, important economic ideas these brave reply girls are giving to the world.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on March 15, 2012 at 5:31 AM · Report this
tainte 15
and your answer, dear homo...tits are awesome!

now have another spring roll.
Posted by tainte on March 15, 2012 at 5:57 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 16
@14: It's pure capitalism. What, are you some sort of pinko commie who doesn't like breasts?

Anyway, I'm not exactly @4 levels of excited by the phenomenon, but I'll just accept that the original videos are generally pretty stupid to begin with.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 15, 2012 at 7:59 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 17
@16: hey, I love titties just as much as the next red-blooded capitalist, and how dare you slander my good name with your faceless accusations. Although, you have to admit, the means of production is certainly in the hands (bras?) of the proletariat in this case.

I am just amazed at how moist @4 is up there about it all. I mean, any moral way someone can make money is fine with me, I am just surprised the feminist up there (should call that icon the "femifist") thinks these women are geniuses for doing this. It isn't that intelligent, and it contributes nothing meaningful to society.

I would just think a die hard feminist would think that this practice just serves to further reinforce the fallacy that a woman's only worth is tied to her sexuality.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on March 15, 2012 at 8:40 AM · Report this
More, I Say! 19
@8 Projecting? ORLY? Sounds like informing for Paul, to me. But then I already read about this stupid crap on Gawker or something.
Posted by More, I Say! on March 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM · Report this

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