Game Theory: YouTube Is Broken, Even For PewDiePie

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Did you ever notice that a lot of channels you subscribe to don’t show up in your feed? There’s a good reason for that.

MatPat, as per his channel name, has a Game Theory: YouTube is broken. I think everyone has intrinsically felt like that is the case, but MatPat puts the theory into video form and demonstrates HOW YouTube works … or doesn’t.

Basing his assessment off a recent video in which PewDiePie had noticed the issue, MatPat points out in his frenetic video that YouTube, like Facebook, Netflix, etc. works off an engagement algorithm. The more you engage with something, the more it shows up in your feed. The problem for YouTubers like PewDiePie who put out content daily is that there’s less engagement as a result, as there is much more content to engage with — the more PewDiePie puts out, the more you miss, essentially. And the more you miss, the lower he sinks in your feed. This is how he can have 30 million subscribers and less than a third of that in views.

So is there a solution? Not exactly; MatPat mentions cutting the amount of videos one puts out can potentially increase vid engagement. But if YouTube switches from an engagment model to an ad model in search of more of that money stuff that everyone seems to like so much, the problem will become different and worse.

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So right now, there isn’t a solution. It’s a problem like something out of I, Robot — the system is too perfect and creates a logical fallacy in order to exist. And that makes it broken. To be fair though: I’m sure there are a lot of creators who are noticing this sting a lot more than PewDiePie.


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