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YouTube chief claims 'best year ever,' plays down Facebook threat

Matt Kapko | July 27, 2015
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki spoke at the annual VidCon conference yesterday in Southern California, where she detailed the company's growth and its plans amidst a collection of the online-video world's brightest stars.

YouTube redefines celebrity status at VidCon

YouTube is changing the definition of what it means to be a celebrity via the connections it enables and maintains, according to Wojcicki. "Creators ... from around the world were able to spark a massive change, the reinvention of television," she said. "The traditional rules of television, those 22-minute episodes or those strict time slots, they're being rewritten in favor of new kinds of entertainment, interesting new faces and above all, engagement and community."

Online celebrities that most adults have never heard are everywhere at VidCon. "We're finally in an era where diversity on the screen reflects the diversity of our society," Wojcicki said. 

YouTube is also releasing new features and more vertical-specific apps to improve the overall experience and keep its creators and fans engaged, she said. For example, the company released a redesigned flagship app this week and is working on a new "YouTube Gaming" app, which is expected "soon."

Following the release of the new YouTube Kids app earlier this year, the top 100 family-oriented creators saw their viewing time increase 80 percent faster than the rest of YouTube, according to Wojcicki.

Last year, during her first VidCon keynote, YouTube's chief wore a t-shirt and jeans on stage, but this year she sported a business-like black dress. The formal attire could represent the more serious tone Wojcicki is trying to convey today at YouTube -- a company that just celebrated its first decade but must continually evolve if it hopes to survive another.


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