YOUTUBE IS TAKING another step to prevent users from artificially boosting the number of views their videos has received.
From today, the site will begin periodically inspecting video views to see if they’re real or not. Before, YouTube would only monitor views immediately after a video was posted, or if it was reported by a user.
The move is to help address concerns that some channels are buying views so their videos will appear more popular that they already are.
When some bad actors try to game the system by artificially inflating view counts, they’re not just misleading fans about the popularity of a video, they’re undermining one of YouTube’s most important and unique qualities.
It says that it doesn’t expect this approach to affect more than a “minuscule fraction” of videos on the site, but that it’s crucial to help “maintain the trust of our fans and creators.”
The problem of fake views is something that has plagued YouTube for the last few years. During December, it deleted more than two billion views after it found that a number of music companies violated its terms of service.
Sony/BMG was hit hardest as its views dropped from a total of more than 850 million to 2.3 million, while Universal lost more than a billion views bringing its total to six billion.
Also, fake views have the ability to undermine advertising on the site, which YouTube and Google has ramped up in recent times. It was estimated that the site generated $5.6 billion in advertising revenue in 2013, with net revenue being $1.96 billion once partners and content creators were paid.