YouTube is a giant among video libraries. The sheer amount of topics and subjects you can watch, comment, like and dislike is staggering. Youtubers, the term for YouTube content creators, are uploading videos every day of every hour. You could watch nothing but YouTube for a straight year and you won’t even scratch the surface. But first, you have to know how to use YouTube.
1. Creating a Google Account for YouTube
Since YouTube is a subsidiary of Google, Google implemented a system that, once you’ve created a Google account, you immediately have a YouTube account. They’re joined at the hips. So, if you already have a Google account, you already have a YouTube account and you can head over to YouTube to use its features. However, if you don’t, here’s what you do:
1. Open your preferred browser. Any will do.
2. Head over to Google’s account creation and create an account. There’s no need to create a YouTube account.
3. After you’ve created a Google account, head over to YouTube. If you’re logged into Google, it will carry over to YouTube.
2. Video Features and What They Do
Now that you have a YouTube account, you are free to peruse the exhausting library of YouTube’s video. Its library is so expansive with their subjects, you can find just about anything your heart desires, well, anything that doesn’t cross into adult territory. You won’t find that on YouTube.
3. Looking for Something to Watch
1. Click ‘Search’ at the top of the browser. Type anything you want to see. If you need your fill of something cute, search for baby monkeys, cats or dogs.
2. Press the ‘Enter’ key and YouTube will compile pages of videos that match the keywords you used.
3. Choose a video to watch by clicking the thumbnail or title.
4. Liking and Unliking Videos
Liking and unliking a video gives you the power to respond to a particular video beyond just commenting. On the receiving end, a ‘youtuber’ (someone use creates content on YouTube) may use that as a way of gauging their audiences’ reaction to certain content. Perhaps a youtuber you like posts a video and wants feedback on the format they use; you might hear them say ‘Like this video or dislike it.’ Here’s how you like and dislike a video:
1. Search for a video you want to like or dislike.
2. Below and to the right of the video’s title, there are two thumb icons: one pointing down and one pointing up. If you hover your cursor over the thumbs up, it will say ‘I like this,’ while the other will say, ‘I dislike this.’ Clicking either one will cast your vote. To be clear, your decision isn’t set in stone. You can like and dislike back and forth all day.
5. Sharing a Video
Liking and disliking a video is one thing, but what if you want to share the video with someone else. It doesn’t always have to be for positive reasons. In fact, you see people sharing videos because they like them just as often as you see people sharing videos to voice their disdain. Here’s how you share:
1. Search for a video you want to share.
2. Below and to the right of the video’s title, you’ll see an arrow and ‘SHARE.’ Click it.
3. Choose the platform you want to share it on, like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or in an email, just to name a few.
6. Saving a Video
It’s a pity that most people lead very busy lives and don’t have all the time in the world to binge watch their favorite channels. Luckily for you, if you found a particular video by accident, but don’t have the time to finish it, you can simply save the video for later viewing. Here’s how you save a video:
1. On the video you’re watching, click ‘Save.’ You can find it below and to the right of the video’s title. It will prompt a small window.
2. Decide which playlist you’d like to save it to. ‘Watch later’ is the default playlist. Click it.
3. Clicking ‘Create new playlist’ will give you the opportunity of creating your own playlist. It’s very helpful if you want to break up videos into categories.
7. Leaving a Public Comment
There’s no better way of expressing your opinion about a video than leaving a public comment. Be warned, though, because you need a very thick skin if you plan on surviving on YouTube’s comment section. The best course of action is to leave your comment and never come back to it. Here’s how you do it:
1. Head over to a video you want to comment on.
2. Just after the video’s information, you’ll see the comment section as well as how you can add your own. Click ‘Add a public comment…’ Type anything you want to say.
3. When you’re finished typing your comment, click ‘Comment’ and it will immediately get posted.
8. Channels You Want to See More Of
Subscribing and Unsubscribing to Channels
So, you’ve been coming back to a specific youtuber for awhile now and you finally want to subscribe to them. That’s good. On their side, subscribers indirectly help out their channel, especially if they’re paid through YouTube. The more people subscribed, the more traffic they get, the more income a youtuber can earn. And the best part? It’s free to subscribe to a youtuber. It won’t cost you a penny, unless you use YouTube Premium, but that’s a different story.
1. In the ‘Search’ bar, search for the youtuber you’d like to subscribe to.
2. When they show up in the search results, right next to their name is a ‘Subscribe’ button you can click. Go ahead and do so. Afterwards, you’ll be a subscriber.
Where to View all your Subscribed Channels
1. Head over to YouTube.
2. Log in if you aren’t logged in already.
3. At the top left corner of the browser, to the left of the Search bar, there’s three horizontal lines. Click it. It will open a panel on the left hand side.
4. Locate ‘SUBSCRIPTIONS.’ Below that are all the channels you are currently subscribed to. You can click on any of them to view their content.
Getting Notifications on New Content
Now that you’ve subscribed to a channel, you must be wondering if there’s a way to be notified of their new content. After all, it’s a bit of a hassle stalking their channel for any new updates. It just happens there is and here’s how:
1. At the top left corner of the browser, to the left of the Search bar, there’s three horizontal lines. Click it. It will open a panel on the left hand side.
2. Locate ‘SUBSCRIPTIONS.’ Click a channel you’d like to turn notifications on for.
3. On the channel’s homepage, you’ll see at the top their channel banner. To the right of their profile picture, you’ll see ‘Subscribed.’ But to the right of that is a tiny icon of a bell. Click it and from now on, you’ll get a notification. If you have the YouTube app, you’ll get a notification on your phone. You’ll also get one in your email.
9. YouTube Studio / Creator Studio Classic
YouTube Studio and Creator Studio Classic are made specifically for content creators. It comes with a bevy of tools, like viewing channel analytics to the comments on their videos, but that’s the tip of the iceberg.
For any individual serious about creating content on YouTube, you’ll be seeing the YouTube Studio and Creator Studio pages all the time. If you have serious aspirations, you can view YouTube Studio by doing this:
1. At the top right corner of YouTube, click your profile picture. It will produce a menu.
2. In the menu, click ‘YouTube Studio (beta).’ YouTube will direct you immediately.
3. As for Creator Studio Classic, in YouTube Studio, look at the bottom left corner of the browser. You’ll see an icon that looks like a stick figure running through a door. Click it. YouTube will redirect you to Creator Studio Classic.