YouTube has offered auto-generated channels around specific ‘popular’ topics, like latte art and snowboarding, for about a year now, but on May 4th, they really opened the feature up introducing /topics/ and /blogs/, as well as including the channels in your YouTube search results, Recommeded for you section, Top YouTube Collections section, and in the ‘As Seen On’ links on video pages.
Channel recommendations inside search results:
Note also that if you click on the Channel button, it will open up and show you all related Channels as well:
Recommended for You section:
Notice that Auto-Generated Channels for /channel/ and /topic/ start with ‘Youtube ‘, which is a good way to identify them. This is not the case with /blogs/.
Top YouTube Collections:
I have yet to see a single /blogs/ channel show up in Top YouTube Channels yet, even though I have seen some with higher subscribers than the /channel/ and /topic/ channels they are recommending here.
As Seen On channel recommendations:
“Lots of complex algorithms are working behind the scenes to give you the channel you’re looking for, for example, being able to tell when the word ‘Chicago’ means the music band and when it means the movie/musical. We’re still tweaking everything to make sure it works just right for you, so let us know what you think of the channels or learn more in our help center.”
I have not found any documentation explaining the selection process between a channel, topic, or a blog, but it seems that most of the /blog/ channels I have seen are based on a specific site, where /channel/ and /topic/ appear to be based on Wikipedia. Maybe /channel/ is just the ones that were made before the new changes introduced this month.
So how exactly do you create or get a channel?
Well, you don’t.
“Channels auto generated by YouTube are channels created by algorithms to collect trending and popular videos by topic. Auto generated channels act like user channels in that you can subscribe to them and stay updated on new videos. ”
So what does this new feature mean for you?
Just like tracking any trends and opportunities, by identifying which channels are growing around your topics, and further identifying where those channels are sourcing their content, you can influence your videos being picked up in specific channels. Especially if those are /blogs/ channels, where simply having a video on that blog would give you a good shot at being in their channel.
Also it is important to note that many other social sites are being sourced for /blogs/ channels as well, such as Reddit, Yahoo Answers, etc.
Earlier this week during some testing we got one of our videos into a /blogs/ channel that had 0 subscribers and still got around 4,000 views, which leads me to think that even without a real following on some channels, there is enough recommendations from YouTube for channels as a whole, to get a decent amount of views as people are clicking through and checking the channels out.