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Study Reveals That YouTube Influencers Rarely Disclose Their Marketing Relationships

In addition, they are working on computational methods to detect other types of hidden advertising on social media, including sponsored content and product giveaways, which are less straightforward to identify than affiliate marketing

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YouTube criticised on Twitter for lifting Christmas holiday video. Pixabay

Even as social media has started playing a very significant role in our decisions, many people who create content to promote products on popular platforms such as YouTube and Pinterest do not always disclose their marketing relationships with the companies, reveals new research.

The study focused on affiliate marketing, in which companies pay a commission to social media figures for driving sales.

Content creators who produce videos, photos and commentary are rewarded when their followers purchase products after clicking on affiliate marketing links included in their social media posts.

Researchers from Princeton University’s Department of Computer Science extracted affiliate marketing links from randomly drawn samples of about 500,000 YouTube videos and 2.1 million Pinterest pins.

They found 3,472 YouTube videos and 18,237 Pinterest pins with affiliate links from 33 marketing companies.

The researchers found the links by identifying characteristic patterns in the URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) that marketers use to track readers’ clicks.

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YouTube music will separate the movies and music section on the platform. Pixabay

They then used natural language processing techniques to search for disclosures of affiliate marketing relationships within the ‘videos’ and ‘pins’ descriptions.

Disclosures were present in around just 10 per cent and seven per cent of affiliate marketing content on YouTube and Pinterest, respectively.

These findings were published in the journal, ‘Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction’.

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In view of these findings, the researchers proposed that regulators should take broader legal action against affiliate marketing companies for failures to disclose, and recommend that social media platforms make it easier for content creators to disclose marketing relationships in a standardised way.

The lead author of the study, Arunesh Mathur, a computer science graduate student, and his colleagues are also developing a web browser extension that would automatically flag some types of paid content, Princeton University said in a statement.

In addition, they are working on computational methods to detect other types of hidden advertising on social media, including sponsored content and product giveaways, which are less straightforward to identify than affiliate marketing. (IANS)

Next Story

To Avoid Copyright Violations Youtubers Try Funny Ways to Make Videos

There has not been any comment on the subject from Google or YouTube as of now

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Recently, several YouTubers have landed in copyright violations by picking up short clips from platforms like TikTok that contained music from labels like Sony and Warner. Pixabay

In an attempt to combat copyright-related issues on YouTube, creators have started adding self-sung songs behind funny clips they wish to shoot a reaction video on.

Reaction videos, typically monetised, are a huge part of the current YouTube culture where people lift clips and trailers and film their reactions to what is happening on-screen.

Recently, several YouTubers have landed in copyright violations by picking up short clips from platforms like TikTok that contained music from labels like Sony and Warner.

“To work around that, creators like Danny Gonzalez and Kurtis Conner have started replacing the music with their own singing, half-heartedly singing famous songs while the corresponding TikTok video plays on screen,” The Verge reported on Sunday.

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Reaction videos, typically monetised, are a huge part of the current YouTube culture where people lift clips and trailers and film their reactions to what is happening on-screen. Pixabay

Creators have devised the humorous method so that major labels would not be able to claim copyright infringement, or at least that the singing would not trigger YouTube’s automated system for finding copyrighted content.

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However, the issue remains that YouTube content creators are still trying out ways to monetise videos that include content they did not create themselves.

“It’s a little painful to hear, but ultimately a very fun loophole in the copyright system that YouTube has to enforce,” the report added.

There has not been any comment on the subject from Google or YouTube as of now.  (IANS)