How to feature videos and channels on YouTube

What means ‘Featuring videos and channels’?

Most of you guys may already be familiar with the term ‘feature’. For those who have slight idea about it, ‘featuring’ means to focus ‘limelight’ (attention) on something/somebody. You must have seen magazines that feature models, superstars and famous people. For example, Time magazine featured Nicola Tesla on their cover page in the year 1931, probably the best year for the inventor in his life. The same way you can focus/promote certain videos and/or channels on your YouTube channel.

How to feature a video and the advantages

Suppose you have uploaded a video that you think has quality content, but for some reason it’s not getting enough views like other videos on your channel. So in order to have sufficient number of views on this particular video you can feature it. In order to do that you need to go to ‘Channel’ tab while you’re on ‘Video manager’/dashboard and then choose ‘Featured content’ option. Now you need to click on the blue ‘Feature content’ button.

Once you do that, you’ll have to choose one between ‘Most recent upload’ and ‘Choose a video or playlist’. I most of the time choose the most recent upload. That way the featured content changes when I upload a new video. You know featuring the same content for an extended period of time may be pretty boring to the viewers. On some occasions I choose a particular video instead of the ‘most recent upload’. I do that for the reason stated in the previous paragraph. I never featured a playlist this way, but you can most certainly try that.

Feature videos and channels on YouTube
Don’t be thinking that you can feature only videos, not playlists.

If you choose to feature a particular video or playlist you need to select one such from a made-up list presented to you. Here you will see two tabs: one for videos and another for playlists. You may switch between these tabs if you require.

At which instant to feature the video/playlist

Once you have selected a video/playlist to feature, now it’s time for you to decide when this featured content would appear. The default option is ‘End of video’. Nevertheless you can choose any particular time instant (display time) of the current/running video when the featured content would be presented to the viewers. I personally consider the recent average watch-time of my channel when it comes to this decision. Suppose the recent average watch-time is 2:20, then I would like the featured content to appear at time-instant like 2:00 or 2:10; so that the viewer might choose another of my videos to watch instead of someone else’s video. This way they would stick to my channel for longer periods.

Feature videos and channels; choose time-instant
Some might choose ‘End of video’ while you may choose a particular time-instant inside the video

Experts on YouTubing suggest that you need to see your recent ‘audience retention’ graph to choose this particular time instant. If you see that there is a sharp decline at 2:00 instant in the graph, then you might want to set the timing of the featured content at instant as 1:45 or 1:50, just prior to the ‘sharp decline’ portion of the graph. That way you are attempting to retain the viewer to your channel. This procedure also might provide a way to increase your channels revenue.

Whether to choose ‘Optimize timing’ and my experience regarding this

I am not sure whether ‘optimize timing’ thing actually does good to your channel and its earned revenue. But one thing is for sure, it increases the chance of your featured content to be watched. I don’t exactly know how YouTube’s automated system optimizes timing, but I can guess a little. It is described below.

May be YouTube uses the data for each user/viewer’s average watch-time. It is very much possible for YouTube to record and measure their average watch-time whether or not they have a channel of their own. Suppose a user’s average watch-time is 1:40 and the intended time-instant/display time of your channel’s featured content is 2:00. Since there is little gap between 2:00 and 1:40, so YouTube’s system may choose to present the featured item at 1:35 (which is sooner than 1:40) instead of 2:00. That way YouTube’s system might attempt to retain that particular viewer/individual with your channel.

I, for one, have always used ‘Optimize timing’, although not sure whether this helps develop my channel’s overall performance and revenue. Like I said earlier it surely increases the views on featured content. A few times I decided to NOT go for ‘Optimize timing’. But every time I did that, the number of total running views per minute seemed to instantly decline which I could not bear. So I always had to stick with ‘Optimize timing’.

How to feature channels?

In order to feature your other channels or those owned by someone else (like your friend or close associate), you need to go to your channel’s homepage. In case you didn’t know how to get there, you should first go to ‘Dashboard’ and then click on your channel’s name or the link ‘Visit channel’. Either way you reach your channel’s homepage. Now to the right of the page you’ll see the segment that reads ‘Featured channels’. You’ll see that if you previously customized your channel’s layout. In case you didn’t know how to do that click on the following link and read the article which at some point describes how to customize your channel’s layout.

How to make a Youtube account/channel and also customize it

Assuming that you have the above-mentioned section on your channel’s homepage, you need to click on the ‘+Add channels’ link, a dialog box will open.

You can either type the channel's name or its url while adding channels
You can either type the channel’s name or paste its url while adding channels

Now type in the channel’s name you want to feature or its url and then hit the ‘+Add’ button. You can add multiple channels like this. Once you finished adding channels, be sure to hit the ‘Done’ button. The thing is that I’m not exactly sure about the upper limit: how many channels you can feature like this. You can do some experiment on that and let me know the results/outcome.

What are ‘Popular channels on YouTube’?

Below the ‘Feature channels’ segment, you might see another section which reads ‘Popular channels on YouTube’. This is basically a list of some popular channels which have some similarity with your channel in content or in any other way. You can ‘Enable’ this option. Although enabled, you may not see any channel’s name there, if your channel is still new (hasn’t gathered enough views/subscribers yet). Once your channel too becomes more or less popular, you’ll get to see a few channels’ name here. In other words, once you start to see channels’ name here, you should be joyful to know that your channel has just crossed a certain success level.

Indeed, the more popular/successful channels’ name you see here, you should realize that your channel too is getting more popular. Because the channels that are presented here are a good match/parallel to your own channel, though I hardly use this feature/section. I kind of don’t rely on others’ channels to send me traffic. I also have a superstition that, by ‘enabling’ this option, I might lose viewers from my channel and in return get fewer viewers from other channels.¬†This superstition originated from one of my bad YouTubing experiences.

Should you go for ‘Popular channels’ option or not?

Back in 2016, when my first YouTube channel started to receive success and handsome revenue, many people started to steal (re-upload) my content. By doing this they also had success whereas my channel’s revenue shrunk. At a time like this whenever I enabled ‘popular channels’ option, I got to see those criminals’ channels on the list which irritated me a lot. That’s why I never enabled this option on any of my channels’ homepage. Along with content they could easily steal my viewers because they had the same content as mine. Also YouTube’s copyright system was kinda stupid; bringing copyright allegations against those could get my own channel to termination. But that’s another story. No matter what, most successful YouTubers always keep the aforementioned option enabled; you can do the same.

You might also like: YouTube cards: How to set and use them

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