Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
At Futuro Media, Maria Hinojosa is building a home for authentic Latino storytelling
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Oct. 23, 2018, 8 a.m.
Audience & Social
LINK: blog.chartbeat.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   October 23, 2018

What do people do when YouTube is down? Apparently, they go read articles — especially articles about why YouTube is down.

A one-hour YouTube outage on October 16 at around 9 p.m. ET resulted in a 20 percent net increase in traffic to client publishers’ sites, Chartbeat found.

That increase was roughly evenly split between general articles on the publishers’ sites, and articles specifically about the YouTube outage.

The shift in consumption when YouTube was down is notable compared to previous outages on other services. A 45-minute Facebook outage on August 3, for instance, resulted in just a 2.3 percent net increase in traffic to Chartbeat publishers’ sites (and only a negligible amount of that traffic went to articles about the outage). As in the YouTube case, though, readers used the time that Facebook was down to go straight to publishers’ sites: Direct traffic to publishers’ websites increased 11 percent, Chartbeat found, while traffic to publishers’ mobile apps went up by 22 percent.

Unlike Facebook, YouTube is not normally a traffic driver to publishers, Chartbeat notes, making the October 16 bump “purely additive.” The YouTube outage also took place on a Tuesday evening in the U.S., which Chartbeat’s data scientist Su Hang refers to as “prime couch time” — and when users chilling on their couches couldn’t pull up YouTube videos, it appears they went to read stuff instead.

For an hour, anyway.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
At Futuro Media, Maria Hinojosa is building a home for authentic Latino storytelling
“Tell the story without the explanatory commas, as if you’re telling to the person you want to be telling the story to.”
Small steps, but: Most big American newspaper newsrooms are now led by someone other than a white man
Among the 20 biggest dailies, nearly two-thirds of their newsrooms are run by a woman or a person of color (or both). But newsrooms still have a long way to go to be reflective of the communities they serve.
Female video game journalists on what to do when the mob comes for you
“Remember 98% of the time the people harassing you are not attempting to engage with your work in good faith.”