Youtube has now reached two billion users monthly despite the site being embroiled in several controversies relating to ‘harmful content’ on their site.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the new stats at a presentation to advertisers in New York last night.
He said that the milestone is a ‘200 million user increase’ from 1.8 billion monthly users in the last quarter.
The announcement comes just after share prices of Google parent company Alphabet, who also own YouTube, plunged following slowing revenue growth.
Alphabet’s chief financial officer said that a ‘deceleration’ in clicks on its YouTube unit, a main driver for its ad revenue, was partially to blame.
In the past year, YouTube has had huge brands pull their advertising because some of their content was appearing alongside harmful or disturbing videos.
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Youtube now has now reached two billion users logged in every month despite recent controversies revolving around harmful and disturbing content. The Google-owned company was at 1.8 billion viewers a year ago but has now crossed the milestone
Alphabet did not reveal performance stats for YouTube, until they provided the new stats about its video giant yesterday.
In addition to serving as an entertainment source, Pichai also touted YouTube’s identity as an educational hub in the earnings call.
‘YouTube is a place where we see users not only come for entertainment, they come to find information.
‘They’re coming to learn about things. They’re coming to discover research,’ he said.
The statement raised eyebrows at the event considering YouTube’s recent struggle to counter conspiracy theory videos posted and promoted on the site.
YouTube has also come under intense scrutiny amid public concern that it does not effectively control videos containing ‘harmful content’ posted on the site.
They have faced continued pressure from advertisers to tighten regulations so that they do not appear to be sponsoring adult or offensive content.
Major brands have ‘paused’ or stopped advertising on YouTube altogether following revelations that some adverts were being run next to terrorist content or ‘hate speech’.
Advertising revenue, a key moneymaker for Google, grew only 15 per cent to $30.7 billion (£23bn), failing to meet the investors’ expectations.
Schmidt (Middle), Page (right)and Brin (left) were considered a power triumvirate in control of Google. Page replaced Schmidt as chief executive a decade later. The Google co-founders had about $9 billion wiped from their collective net worths as the stock plunged in early trading
Google reported a quarterly net income of £5.2 billion ($6.7bn) last night, down from £7.2 billion ($9.4bn) a year ago. Advertising revenue, a key moneymaker for Google, grew by 15 per cent to $30.7 billion but failed to meet the expectations of investors
Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced that he was leaving the board of the tech giant’s parent firm Alphabet later this year after the historically poor day for Alphabet.
Alphabet shares dropped by as much as 8.6 per cent, wiping more than $66billion from the company’s value and marking the steepest drop since October 2012.
Google founders Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Schmidt had about $9 billion wiped from their collective net worth as the stock plunged in early trading yesterday.
Increased ad competition from rivals Amazon and Facebook and dips in its smartphone business have been cited as part of the reason for the slowing growth.
Amazon has steadily been gaining ground because people are now beginning more searches on Amazon’s platform rather than Google’s search engine, experts have said.
ALPHABET, GOOGLE AND YOUTUBE SCANDALS SO FAR
Schmidt was named in the lawsuit accusing the company of covering up harassment by multiple executives.
Reports emerged last month that former search executive Amit Singhal was forced to resign after an employee claimed he groped her at an off-campus event.
It was claimed he was paid $35million in a severance package.
Prior to this, an investigation it was uncovered a $150 million payout to Android creator Andy Rubin amid a sexual misconduct inquiry.
YouTube content controversy
Companies including Nestle and the makers of Fortnite pulled their adverts from YouTube after a ‘soft-core paedophile ring’ was discovered on the site.
Videos of youngsters, sometimes in compromising positions, were being inundated with comments by paedophiles and attracting tens of millions of views, it was claimed.
Some of the disturbing footage, reportedly featuring girls as young as five, appeared alongside advertising from companies such as Disney and Nestle, according to a US-based vlogger.
Some of the videos appeared alongside advertising from companies such as Disney and Nestle.
In July of 2018 it was revealed that data privacy practices of Gmail means that it was common for third-party developers to read the contents of users’ Gmail messages.
A new investigation in August 2018 found that some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking – even when Location History has been paused.
It announced in October last year that there was a software bug in Google+ which meant personal information of ‘hundreds of thousands’ of users was exposed.
The issue reportedly affected users on the site between 2015 and March 2018.
On March 20, 2019 Google was fined £1.27bn for breaching EU competition laws.
On July 18 2018 EU antitrust regulators handed down a separate $5 billion (£3.8bn / €4.3bn) fine to Google after a three-year long investigation.
The EU first fined Google $2.84 billion (£2.1bn / €2.42bn) for thwarting rivals of shopping comparison websites.
The European Commission said Google had an unfair advantage by pre-installing its Chrome browser and Google search app on Android smartphones and notebooks.
Military collaboration and uses of AI
Google received criticism over its Project Maven, a project with the US military to use its AI to control drones destined for enemy territory.
Google decided not to renew this contract in June 2018 following protests from some employees.
It established an internal AI ethics board in 2014 when it acquired DeepMind but this has been shrouded in secrecy with no details ever released about who it includes.
Ethics board shambles
Google disbanded an AI ethics board less than a week after it formed following outrage from staff.
The liberal workforce objected to the inclusion of Kay Coles James, president of conservative think-tank Heritage Foundation.
Activists lashed out at Ms Cole, who was selected by the search giant for her role so the council could offer a range of backgrounds and experience, saying he is ‘anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ and anti-immigrant’.