The Dark Side of the Moon:YouTube's Unviewed Other Half by JChoops7yt
NOTES: Origins and Context | See Also
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Origins of this content
To find videos that have been live for some time but have tiny view counts, it is necessary to search random phrases along with several random adjectives (not what people actually search on YouTube).
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More videos related to the content of this page
Virtually any typical YouTube search returns pages of videos with four+ digit view counts. Even a search as random as "BLT Sandwich" offers fourteen highly-viewed videos before a single video with fewer than 1,000 views. Users usually find a satisfactory video among the top three our four most "relevant" videos returned by a search. Thus, almost all that we watch on YouTube has already been watched thousands or millions of times before we get to it. However, half of the videos on YouTube have fewer than 500 views.[ cit]

It can be tough to find a video on YouTube that has so few views. YouTube, by default, sorts search results by relevance. The site allows its users to sort search results by view count, but only in one direction. A user can only see results listed from most to least viewed. If a user searched the title of a popular song and sorted the results by view count, she would have to click through countless pages of results just to get down to videos with five-digit view counts, not to mention finding a video with fewer than 500 views.

What sorts of videos make up the undiscovered half of YouTube? Many videos with low view counts have been recently posted and simply have not had the time to pick up views. However, there is a range of videos that have been live for several months or more but still have very low view counts. Some seem to be on YouTube only because they have been embedded on another website. Some seem to have been mistakenly uploaded. Others seem to lack any explanation at all.

Will YouTube ever let its users sort a search by least viewed videos? If it did, would users spend less time watching videos with attached advertisements, resulting in less revenue for YouTube? It would certainly make it easier for users find videos with few views, and hidden gems would be found within this vast, unexplored content. Users want to see these billions of lesser-known videos. We will have to see if YouTube ever makes it easy for users to do so.