Teens at VidCon sound off on YouTube, Facebook Watch, Snapchat’s redesign and IGTV

For all the attention media and advertising companies pay to YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, the ultimate arbiters are their teen and young adult target audience. Thirty thousand of them are in Anaheim, California, this week to attend VidCon, a Comic-Con for the digital entertainment industry. Here’s a sampling of what they had to say about what they’re watching and where.

On ads on YouTube
“I mean, it helps the people that are making the videos, so I guess that’s cool. And they make them skippable so you don’t have to watch the whole thing.”

“Very few times am I interested in the ad.”

On paying for YouTube’s ad-free, subscription service YouTube Red (recently renamed YouTube Premium) and the original shows on it
“I’m on the family plan, but I probably wouldn’t pay for it on my own. I think the creators they push on the platform are not some of my personal favorite creators. If some of my personal favorite creators had an original show, I would probably check it out.”

“I don’t. I wait for the free episodes to come out and just watch those.”

“I have YouTube Red. I would say primary reason No. 1 [is] definitely ads. The YouTube Red stuff is a fringe benefit; it looks like it’s becoming more and more beneficial as they ramp up their content. And then Google Play Music is also another nice benefit.”

On watching videos on Facebook
“I come across a lot of videos on Facebook. But once you find those videos on Facebook, you can actually search up those types of videos on YouTube, and they provide even more content because Facebook usually is limited to one video in one group or something like that, one genre, and you can connect that to YouTube and find even more videos of that genre and you can enjoy it more.”

“Sometimes I’ll transfer from Facebook to YouTube to watch videos because sometimes on Facebook they will show the videos, but it’s not the whole thing. On YouTube, it’s more convenient because it’s like everything.”

“I’m not on Facebook.”

On Facebook Watch
“I don’t think I’ve ever watched [Facebook Watch]. I just watch the stuff in my feed.”

“What’s that?”

On watching live videos on social apps
“I don’t really watch live things at all. If they’re from my friends that I’m really close with, then I’m going to watch. If they’re YouTuber [livestreams], I don’t really watch them unless I really like that person. And that’s not even like 10 minutes of my time. I’m gonna see what they’re up to, and then I’m gonna quit.”

“When it comes to the creators’ livestreams on their Insta Story, I like to watch that because it’s a lot more interactive, a lot more personal, because of the comments section.”

On Snapchat’s redesign
“It’s terrible. It was so much better before. I don’t remember what it was before, but I remember it being easier to watch the person’s [Story].”

“It’s more difficult to people you want to chat with.”

“I like how they tried to revert it back to the original, but it’s still not the same. The way you message friends and look at people’s Stories is still kinda confusing. I don’t know if I’ve seen their Story or not because it’s in a totally separate tab.”

On Instagram’s new app, called IGTV, for full-screen vertical videos that can last up to an hour long
“It’s a little bit weird watching videos vertically, but I might be interested in watching that.”

“I probably would if it’s different from what’s on YouTube.”

“I feel like a lot of social media nowadays, they’re trying to one-up their competition. We like social media because they’re different from one another, and if they’re being too similar to one another, we’re gonna delete those apps because the features are already there in another app. So if you’re talking about people putting on 30-minute shows on Instagram where you don’t have that necessarily, it’s going to attract people more to Instagram, but then they’re going to ruin other businesses. You don’t need that many apps with similar features if one app is going to have it all.”

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