Neal Mohan, Chairman and General Manager of Sundar Advisory Services for Google and Alphabet: Twenty-Five Years of Contribution
Twenty-five years ago, I decided to join a couple of people who were building a search engine. Larry and Sergey were their names. I decided to join the team because I saw the potential of what they were building, despite the company having only a few users and no revenue.
I plan to support Neal and help with his transition, which includes continuing to work with some YouTube teams and meeting with creators. In the longer term, I’ve agreed with Sundar to take on an advisory role across Google and Alphabet. This will allow me to call on my different experiences over the years to offer counsel and guidance across Google and the portfolio of Alphabet companies. It’s an incredibly important time for Google—it reminds me of the early days—incredible product and technology innovation, huge opportunities, and a healthy disregard for the impossible.
In his first address to the community since taking on the job last month, Neal Mohan outlined his priorities as well as teased some forthcoming features for the platform. In his letter, Mohan opens by saying that he’ll “continue to put [creators] first” and recapping some of the recent features the platform has added. He also teased a new one, which was particularly interesting. Brilliance artificial intelligence tools are being developed for content creators.
And beyond that, I’ll still be around, so I’ll have a chance to thank the thousands of people from all across the company and the world who I’ve worked with and learned from. I want to thank him for all the support over the years. I also want to thank Larry and Sergey for inviting me on what has truly been the adventure of a lifetime. I would like to work for a company that could change the world for the better. Thanks to you and your vision, I got the chance to live that dream. I have been a part of it and am excited for what the future has in store.
How to Build Your Own YouTube Story: The Rise of Generative Artificial Intelligence and the Rise of Shorts, Remixes and Duets
In a letter published today, Mohan said that creators will be able to expand their stories and raise their production value by using artificial intelligence. “We’re taking the time to develop these features with thoughtful guardrails.”
Mohan said we can expect the generative artificial intelligence tools to roll out to creators in the coming months, but he didn’t give any details about how the technology would work.
Following the explosive popularity and accessibility of generative AI models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and DALL-E, many have questioned the ethics and legality behind the tech, with some claiming the datasets used to train such models potentially infringe on copyright protections. “AI presents incredible creative opportunities, but must be balanced by responsible stewardship,” said Mohan.
Mohan also promised a big new addition to YouTube Shorts. The Duet feature will be added byYouTube later this year, similar to TikTok that allows users to record a short in a side-by-side layout. TikTok’s Duets have become one of the platform’s most recognizable formats since its release in 2018, so much so that Instagram rolled out its own variant for Reels in 2021, dubbed “Reels Remix.”
There’s also one big new feature coming that’s more focused on YouTube’s traditional TV efforts. YouTube announced back in December that it will soon exclusively distribute the NFL Sunday Ticket out-of-market sports package in the US via YouTube TV, starting with the 2023 NFL season. A new feature of the website will allow viewers to watch multiple games at once.
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Mohan is taking over the reins of a company that has been in turmoil with Susan Wojcicki stepping down after nine years as CEO. Alphabet, YouTube’s parent company, reported that ad revenue for the platform plummeted by 8 percent year on year during the holiday quarter. YouTube has also been criticized for its crackdown on swearing in recent weeks, with creators expressing that the new profanity and content guidelines are too vague and harshly applied.