The Top YouTube Updates of 2023 (What Creators Should Know)

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Carla Marshall
December 19, 2023
Announcing YouTube Updates 2023

One of the most exciting things about YouTube is how fully invested Google is in rolling out new and innovative features to keep the platform relevant and productive. 

With such fierce competition from TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and others, every tweak and new tool is carefully designed to return the optimal viewing experience for viewers, so they’ll keep returning (and keep the advertisers happy.) YouTube is, after all, a business. Giving its creators the best possible environment to optimize and publish content to their target audience and beyond benefits all parties involved. 

2023 was no exception. In this post, we take a brief look at some of the most impactful features that YouTube introduced, which every serious creator should be up to date on. You’ll find extra information in the videos and resources we include.

Key YouTube Updates 2023 and What They Mean for Your Channel

In the last 12 months, YouTube rolled out some significant changes to short-form video creation, monetization, platform policies, and AI tools. Let’s kick off with the crucial changes made to the YouTube Partner Program.

How to Make Money on YouTube: What Creators Need to Know About Long-form and Shorts Content

In June 2023, YouTube announced some exciting news about a subject very close to most creators’ hearts: how to make money with your video content. This update really helps small or new channels.

YouTube lowered the barrier to entry for the YouTube Partner Program from 1,000 subscribers to just 500 subscribers as long as the channel has:

  • Uploaded three videos to the public within the previous 90 days
  • Generated either 3,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months or 3 million Shorts video views in the last 90 days

These more attainable goals allow newer creators to apply to join the YPP sooner. Once accepted, not only will they get the chance to share in ad revenue, but they will also gain access to the following lucrative Fan Funding features:

Find out more about how this exciting change to requirements can kickstart you into generating AdSense revenue from your content sooner than ever before:

Of course, 2023 was the year that YouTube finally unlocked monetization opportunities around YouTube Shorts. With over 2 billion short-form content views by July 2023, creators were desperate to cash in on this content. Read more about how Shorts monetization works.

YouTube Update 2023: A Little Swearing Won’t Get You Demonetized

Sticking with the subject of monetization, YouTube upset a LOT of creators back in November 2022 by demonetizing content that contained any type of swearing. The backlash was quick and severe, but YouTube listened. In March of 2023, the powers that be softened their stance, stating that:

  • ALL curse words will no longer be treated the same
    • Moderate profanity used frequently and anytime throughout a video doesn’t preclude earning ad revenue
    • In the previous update: all forms of profanity (light, moderate, and extreme) were treated equally, making it hard to monetize anything with any cursing involved
  • Most profanity in background music is acceptable and won’t get you demonetized
  • Use of stronger profanity WITHIN the first seven seconds, or repeatedly throughout the majority of your video can limit ads (better come up with a different hook!)
  • Content using moderate and strong profanity AFTER the first seven seconds can now earn ad revenue
    • Unless profanity is repetitive throughout the majority of the video
  • Ads will not run on videos with profanity in the title/thumbnail 

This doesn’t exactly open the floodgates to making a ton of money dropping f-bombs. But creators can at least breathe a sigh of relief that they aren’t going to get punished for the odd curse word. Find out more information in our breaking news video:

Swearing aside, YouTube did stand firm when it came to stamping out dishonest behavior from creators. You’ll find out all about that in our Instagram update from January 2023.

Even MORE Monetization Opportunities for YouTube Creators!

But wait – we’re not finished with the great news around money-making opportunities available to creators. In September, YouTube teased even more monetization changes, including: 

YouTube updates 2023 included changing monetization
  • Long-form video monetization
    • Say goodbye to individual ad controls like pre-roll, post-roll, skippable, and non-skippable ads. YouTube is taking the wheel to maximize your ad revenue based on viewer behavior. This means you will no longer have the option to control WHICH ad formats show up on your videos.
  • Live stream monetization
    • New mid-roll options arrived! Creators can self-select their ad frequency in intervals of six, 12, 18, 24, or 30 minutes OR let YouTube choose where ads belong. 
    • While streaming, you’ll get a 60-second countdown before an ad plays, with the option to skip or delay if you’d like.
  • YouTube ad revenue impact
    • According to YouTube’s data, these changes could boost your ad revenue by over 15% while barely affecting your watch time.

YouTube has really stepped up to the plate when it comes to enabling creators to earn money directly from the platform. Learn more about this November round-up from our video team:

YouTube Shorts Updates 2023: What Changed?

2023 saw a host of YouTube Shorts updates. August brought a flurry of new tools for creators, including:

  • Collab
  • Q&A stickers
  • Shorts live
  • Audio and effect suggestions
  • Playlists
  • Transform horizontal videos

But that’s not all. In August, we got news that YouTube was getting rid of hyperlinks in Shorts comments and descriptions in its ongoing battle to stamp out scamming. It also announced the end of clickable social media icons on desktop channel banners. 

But it wasn’t all take. Creators received prominent clickable links on Channel pages, plus enhanced linking and navigation features for Shorts.

YouTube Update 2023: New Community Guidelines for Creators

Creators won’t get far on the platform if they ignore YouTube’s community guidelines. 

And yes, we’ve all seen other creators get away with shenanigans without being punished, but that doesn’t mean the rules no longer apply. Earlier in the year, we gave you a community guidelines cheat sheet to memorize (only joking). Savvy creators will want to note the following changes that took place this year:

  • The Old Rules
    • Break a guideline, get a permanent warning
    • Break another guideline, the channel gets a strike
    • Receive three strikes, channel terminated
  • The New Rules
    • Break a guideline, get a warning AND have the option to remove the warning by taking a short educational training course
    • Creators who stay clear of this policy violation for 90 days will have the warning lifted from their channels

YouTube Update 2023: Shiny New Tools for Creators 

Alongside the meat and potatoes changes to policy and monetization, the platform provides several new tools for creators to take advantage of.

Generate More Subscribers with a New Animation Feature

YouTube’s new visual cue comes to life when creators say “like” or “subscribe.” This animation actually synchronizes with the words and even rewards viewers when they engage with the video. We think the new YouTube Subscribe button is awesome.

Pause Comments: Creators can now pause comments on their channel should they take a break (or just want a break) from monitoring.

More Channel Permissions in Studio: Edit your videos via Android, customize your YouTube Channel layout, and also clean up your Channel layout.

YouTube Music: Create a 30-second song for your Shorts video soundtrack using some AI dark arts called Dream Track. Podcast creators can now deliver their content via an RSS feed to bring the technology in line with Apple, Spotify, etc.

YouTube Updates in 2024?

Those are the major YouTube updates of 2023, but YouTube is already promising a pile of goodies for 2024. 

AI will continue to dominate any new innovations as the platform continues to experiment with this extraordinarily exciting technology. Upcoming AI-led features include Dream Screen, which allows you to create AI-generated backgrounds for Shorts, and Aloud, a way for creators to dub their content into other languages, using, you guessed it, artificial intelligence. 

Stay tuned to TubeBuddy as we bring you all the new developments and how they can expand your creative insights and audience growth as a YouTube creator.

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