YouTube slams competition
Google's desire to encourage more social media engagement among its users is in evidence again with the launch of YouTube Slam.
Described as a 'video discovery experiment' in an official YouTube blog post, YouTube Slam sees clips pitched against one another in a head-to-head battle for votes. Each week, the Google-owned video site plans to run a series of slams across five categories - Comedy, Cute, Music, Bizarre and Dance. Viewers then vote for their favourite and the winner of each category is featured on a leaderboard on the YouTube Slam page.
Points win prestige
Adding a further level of engagement, users who correctly predict who will win the audience vote will be awarded points. They will then be able to compare their performance with fellow users at the end of every week.
Tom Glass, creative director at theEword, said: "YouTube Slam is a great concept and the only surprise is that nobody at YouTube tried it sooner. By incentivising users with the prospect of winning points and prestige, it encourages player engagement and increases brand loyalty."
YouTube Slam has been developed in conjunction with Google Research, and is the latest in a long line of Google forays into social media. For example, the company launched Google+ in June 2011 to mixed reviews after failing to capture the public imagination with micro-blogging service Google Buzz or collaboration tool Google Wave. In spite of these setbacks, the fact that Google continues to invest in social media suggests that the company remains determined to muscle in on the success of sites like Facebook and Twitter.