20 YouTube Updates that Will Affect Your Channel in 2024

From monetization changes to quirky new tools, check out the biggest YouTube updates from the past year.

Throughout the last year, YouTube has rolled out many updates on the platform for creators. While some of these updates are minor, several have changed how we look at YouTube forever. And when we peek into the future, it doesn't look like the pace of innovation will be slowing anytime soon.

To help you stay informed, we've compiled the biggest YouTube updates every creator should know!

Monetization Changes

For most creators, getting monetized is the most important step in growing a sustainable career. And YouTube seems to have acknowledged that loud and clear. Changes to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), Shorts monetization, and the positioning of video ads are helping creators earn big.

1. New YPP Eligibility

YouTube has reduced the subscriber and watch time requirements for joining the YPP. However, this new monetization tier doesn't include ad revenue. Creators can make money through fan funding instead, via features like Super Chats, Super Thanks, Channel Memberships, and the shopping feature.

You can apply to the YPP as soon as you have:

  • 500 subscribers (instead of 1,000)
  • Three public uploads in the last 90 days
  • 3,000 public watch hours in the previous 12 months (instead of 4,000)

2. New Reapplication Process for YPP

If YouTube rejects your YPP application, you can re-apply in 21 days instead of waiting the original 30 days. Also, creators who are rejected a second time will have to wait 90 days before reapplying.

Read more: This Update Could Change the YouTube Partner Program Forever

3. YouTube Shorts Monetization

Creators can earn ad revenue from YouTube Shorts now, and there's a new pathway to get there: 1,000 subscribers plus 10 million Shorts views over 90 days. However, the monetization structure for Shorts is different.

Here is the 4-step process:

  • YouTube pools all of the Shorts ad revenue on its platform.
  • YouTube calculates how much money goes to the creator pool, which depends on views and music usage across all Shorts. If creators use no music in their Shorts, they retain all of the revenue at this point. If they use music, the revenue is split between the creator pool and music publishers.
  • YouTube distributes the ad revenue to monetized Shorts creators. This is based on a creator's total share of Shorts views on the platform, whether that's 5%, 10%, 15%, etc.
  • Creators keep 45% of their revenue share.

4. Automatic Ad Placement

Instead of allowing you to select the video ads you want to show, such as pre-rolls, post-rolls, skippable, or non-skippable, YouTube will make those decisions for you. It will happen automatically when you decide to monetize an upload.

Read more: YouTube Monetization Update: Key Changes for Video Ads

YouTube has said that activating pre-roll ads can potentially boost revenue by over 15%, with a watch time reduction of less than 5%. Creators will still have full control over mid-roll ads and can place them manually.

5. New Profanity Rules

Creators who use coarse language in the first 7 seconds of a video are still eligible for monetization (unless harsh profanity is used throughout the video). Here are the exact rules:

  • Not all kinds of profanity will be treated the same. Words like "f**k" are now classified as "stronger profanity," while "b***h," "d***ebag," "a**hole," and "s**t" are all considered "moderate" profanities.
  • Videos containing “moderate” profanity will be eligible for complete monetization. Those containing “stronger” profanity in the first 7 seconds will receive limited monetization.
  • You won't be demonetized for profanity in background music, backing tracks, or intro or outro music.
  • Profanity in thumbnails or video titles will still lead to demonetization.

6. Adblocker Update

YouTube is taking steps to discourage the use of ad blockers, encouraging viewers to support creators through YouTube Premium. This is happening for several reasons:

  • Sustainability: To continue producing high-quality content, creators need financial support. Ads provide that cushion.
  • Fair compensation: By watching ads, viewers help to compensate creators for their effort and time.
  • Long-term viability: Ad revenue creates long-term sustainability for the platform.

New YouTube Tools

YouTube launched a host of tools last year (and some are yet to come in 2024) to aid creators in their process and make life easier. YouTube isn’t just providing a space to upload videos anymore; it wants to enhance your creative process with a slew of shortcuts!

1. Video Inspiration Tool

YouTube will share AI-powered insights with creators, which they can use to make engaging content. The new tool suggests video ideas and even provides a content outline using powerful data and analytics! Essentially, YouTube is going to share personalized insights for your channel based on what people are viewing.

2. Assistive Search for Creator Music

Using the assistive search feature for Creator Music, you can swiftly pinpoint the perfect tracks for your YouTube videos. Just describe what you need, be it lively dance tunes or mellow lo-fi beats, and the search assistant will recommend tracks. This is much faster than sifting through YouTube's Audio Library.

3. Dream Screen

In 2024, YouTube will test a new tool called Dream Screen. The name of this feature is spot-on because it sounds exactly like what it does. Whatever you can “dream of”, YouTube will place it in the background of your YouTube Shorts! Just describe what you want to see, and the AI will make it happen.

Read more: Coming Soon: YouTube Announces New AI Tools for Video Creation

4. Subscribe and Like Button Update

Late last year, YouTube introduced a new feature that draws attention to the subscribe button as well as the like button. Now, the buttons light up with colorful animations when a creator says "like" or "subscribe."

5. YouTube Create App

YouTube will now have a video editor that creators can use for their content. Here’s what it can do:

  • Split, trim, and rearrange clips.
  • Caption videos automatically.
  • Reduce background noise in your audio.
  • Synchronize video clips to the beat of your music.
  • And much more…

YouTube Create is in beta right now, but a few Android markets have access to the free app.

6. A/B Thumbnail Testing

Creators can now test up to three thumbnails per video, with YouTube selecting the best one based on share of watch time. This is a significant update for those who want to optimize their video's packaging.

7. New AI Rules, Self-Certification Tool

In 2024, YouTube will introduce labels to indicate AI-generated content, aiming to prevent misinformation and creator impersonation. Soon, creators must self-certify their AI content or risk harsh penalties, like content removal or suspension from the YPP.

8. Vertical Livestreaming on YouTube

YouTube has recently launched a brand-new product that allows creators to stream their content in a vertical, 9:16 format that is usually popular with platforms like TikTok and Instagram. With this new live format, both veterans and newbies of the "Shorts" and "Live" categories have a new way of growing their channel and audience.

Read More: YouTube Vertical Live: Is It For You?

Other YouTube Updates

  1. Community Tab Quizzes: A new feature in the community tab allows creators to engage with their audience through quizzes.
  2. Channel Page "For You" Update: A new section on channel pages recommends content based on viewer interests.
  3. Podcast Integration: Enhanced integration of podcasts into the YouTube ecosystem, including a dedicated tab and playlist.
  4. Shorts Thumbnails Update: Creators can now select a frame from their Shorts as a thumbnail, but custom uploads are not yet supported.
  5. Shorts Links Update: External links have been removed from Shorts descriptions to combat spam and scams. However, now you can link your Shorts to a related long-form video and redirect your viewers to more monetizable content.
  6. Impersonation Policy Update: Updated policies require fan channels to disclose that they don't represent the actual artist or creator.
  7. Platform and Analytics Updates: New detailed activity graphs in analytics, changes to the About section on channel pages, and new metrics for analyzing audience behavior.

Want more details about these updates? Watch our video below for a deeper guide.

Moving on to 2024

While the community hasn’t always been on the same page with YouTube’s changes, most of these updates have been received well. We can expect more updates coming our way in 2024.

So, get ready to capitalize and kickstart your year on YouTube the right way!