YouTube is a great tool for finding and sharing videos. You can find your favorite song, upload your silly dog videos, or watch your child’s school performance again on the NCTV channel! If you’ve never used YouTube before, all of the features might be overwhelming. This post will lay out some of the basic features, and a some uses you perhaps didn’t know about.
Creating a YouTube Account
If you have a Gmail account the good news is you already have a YouTube account ready to be activated! If not, no problem, simply go to youtube.com, click “Sign In” (in the top right corner), and then click “Create Account”. Once your account is created you can add a channel icon and banner to personalize your page if you’d like.
Uploading a videoAny videos you upload should belong to you, or you should have written permission from the owner to upload it. This includes all elements of your video, such as any music or pictures in it. If you try to upload something you do not own YouTube will often flag your video and it might be taken down. More about copyright and infringement on those rights can be read here. Once your video is uploaded you can share the link with others, or post it on social media if you want to show it off!
Once you’ve made your account and have your channel ready, you can start uploading videos. In the upper right corner, click the upward pointing arrow. Select your video file from your device, change the title and description as necessary, and click publish when that's all set. After it's completed uploading it will give you a unique link to the video.
Note: YouTube’s Audio Library (www.youtube.com/audiolibrary) is a great tool for finding music and sound effects to use in your videos that will not infringe on any copyright! Just be sure to note if attribution is required, and if so give the artist and song name credit in your video.
Searching for a video or channel
Once you have uploaded your videos, or perhaps you just don’t have anything to share yet - you can search for and watch others’ videos. You can pretty much find anything you want, just decide what you’re in the mood for, put some terms in the search bar, and click search. You can find your favorite song, find a yoga video and do some exercise, find a tutorial on how to fix your car, or just watch some funny animal videos - the options are endless.
Creating a playlist of your favorites
A great feature of YouTube is being able to create a playlist of videos you want to easily come back to. You can make as many playlists as you’d like too! If you have songs you’d like to group together this would be useful. Or maybe you’re trying to eat more vegetables - you could add cooking videos to a playlist. To add a video to a playlist click the + symbol next to the words “Add to” (below the video), and then choose the playlist you want to add it to, or choose the “Create new playlist” option and give it a label.
Liking and Subscribing videos and channels
If you find a video you really enjoyed you can express that by hitting the thumbs up “like” button (or if you really dislike something you can give a thumbs down). This input can be helpful to the creator, as can commenting, should you want to share some feedback. If you find a channel you really like you can click subscribe to be notified when new videos are uploaded by that user to their channel. Subscribing is another great way to show support of the people who create videos you enjoy. Here’s a link to the NCTV Channel if you want to practice using these "Like" and "Subscribe" features ;)
If you have more questions about how YouTube works, or you would like to learn in person, you can contact or visit NCTV. Much of what we do is video production, but we are also happy to help people learn about technology. So many things are intertwined today, and knowing how to navigate the web can lead you to exploring more, and sharing more with your community.