These are the 10 most-viewed YouTube videos of all time

Being popular is about the only thing the most-viewed YouTube videos have in common with their top-performing predecessors. Even though YouTube videos like Charlie Bit My Finger or Chocolate Rain went viral during the first few years of YouTube’s content, they probably wouldn’t be among the kinds of videos that go viral now.

In fact, children’s programming and music videos are now among the most-viewed content on YouTube. Music videos, in particular, have enjoyed great success on the streaming site and, until recently, had been the majority of the most-viewed videos in YouTube’s history. Music videos still account for a substantial portion of the top 10 most-viewed videos, however. If these view counts are anything to go by, the video-sharing site could be considered a leading platform for music videos and kid-friendly content rather than just the meme-worthy viral videos the site was known for in its early days.

What is the most-viewed YouTube video of all time?

Baby Shark Dance is the most-viewed video ever on YouTube. The children’s song overtook the all-Spanish version of Despacito in November 2020.

What are the top 10 most-viewed YouTube videos?

  1. Pinkfong — Baby Shark Dance (11.04 billion views)
  2. Luis Fonsi — Despacito featuring Daddy Yankee (7.93 billion views)
  3. LooLoo Kids — Johny Johny Yes Papa (6.40 billion views)
  4. Ed Sheeran — Shape of You (5.77 billion views)
  5. Wiz Khalifa — See You Again featuring Charlie Puth (5.59 billion views)
  6. Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes — Bath Song (5.54 billion views)
  7. ChuChu TV — Phonics Song with Two Words (4.76 billion views)
  8. Mark Ronson — Uptown Funk featuring Bruno Mars (4.64 billion views)
  9. Miroshka TV — Learning Colors Multi-Colored Eggs on the Farm (4.60 billion views)
  10. Masha and the Bear — Recipe for Disaster (4.50 billion views)

10. Masha and the Bear — Recipe for Disaster (4.50 billion views)

Маша и Медведь (Masha and The Bear) – Маша плюс каша (17 Серия)

Recipe for Disaster is one of many episodes from the Russian CGI-animated TV show for kids Masha and the Bear. It’s the only video on this list that isn’t a song (or features one song heavily) and only one of three that isn’t entirely in English. The show is widely popular outside its home country, and many episodes have huge view counts on YouTube. It’s also on Netflix in a collective episode format.

The Recipe for Disaster episode is of particular interest due to its astronomical view count.

Get Movies, the channel that uploaded Recipe for Disaster, earned loads of viewers just from this one specific episode.

9. Miroshka TV — Learning Colors Multi-Colored Eggs on the Farm (4.60 billion views)

Educational videos being among the most-viewed content on YouTube isn’t surprising if you think of it like this: If kids are going to be staring at screens for a decent portion of the day, it makes sense that the programming of choice among parents would be free to access and, better yet, educational. Miroshka TV’s Learning Colors Multi-Colored Eggs on the Farm is no exception. It’s an educational video for kids that has already racked up over 4 billion views in the four years since it was first uploaded.

It’s a fun, five-minute video that teaches young children about different colors via (crudely) animated eggs on a farm. The video itself is narrated in Russian and teaches kids the names of different colors in Russian. The only parts of the video that aren’t in Russian are the music (which is Old MacDonald Had a Farm in English) and any subtitles that appear (if you have them turned on). The video has a slow pace — some scenes are a bit long — but the funny, silly moments will appeal to younger audiences.

8. Mark Ronson — Uptown Funk featuring Bruno Mars (4.64 billion views)

Even though it’s older than the top three videos on this list, Uptown Funk continues to gather new viewers to remain a potential chart-topping threat. Ronson’s video made its YouTube debut in November 2014 and swiftly became one of the most popular and well-liked videos ever.

Arguably just as impressive as its view count is that it beat such stiff competition from its contemporaries. Big music videos from other major artists, like Katy Perry, saw their big 2014 hits achieve billions of views. Uptown Funk still manages to eclipse those achievements.

7. ChuChu TV — Phonics Song with Two Words (4.76 billion views)

It’s a pretty straightforward educational children’s literacy video. Phonics Song with Two Words features a simple tune that goes through the entire alphabet, going over pairs of words that use each of the letters in the English alphabet. The video even provides illustrations of these words and explains how to pronounce the sounds of each letter in their respective example words.

This video has been around since March 6, 2014, and has racked up over 4 billion views.

6. Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes — Bath Song (5.54 billion views)

Slowly but surely, educational videos for children are taking over the top 10 most-viewed YouTube videos of all time. In fact, Cocomelon’s Bath Song is now No. 6 on our list, as other videos like Gangnam Style have been knocked out of the top 10 completely– which is weird when you think about it. It’s just a simple song about bath time that’s less than three minutes long and has a Baby Shark Dance-esque chorus. And yet, it managed to snag its spot on this list, speeding far ahead of a video from an internationally famous singer.

5. Wiz Khalifa — See You Again featuring Charlie Puth (5.59 billion views)

Wiz Khalifa – See You Again ft. Charlie Puth [Official Video] Furious 7 Soundtrack

Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s See You Again is the first video on this list to have a movie tie-in — Furious 7 — to aid its promotion. It has managed over 5 billion views since its April 2015 debut and serves as a tribute to Paul Walker, the former star of The Fast Saga, who died in 2013.

Between July 10 and August 4, 2017, the video remained the most-viewed video on YouTube, dethroning Gangnam Style. That reign was only temporary, as it was later eclipsed by Despacito. It was also the most-liked video between August 26, 2016, and July 25, 2017.

See You Again became the second video to pass the 2 billion view mark.

4. Ed Sheeran — Shape of You (5.77 billion views)

Whether you watched it or not, there’s no denying that Shape of You is one of the most-watched videos of all time. It’s No. 4 on this list, has over 5 billion views, and was the second video to nab 4 billion views.

Shape of You debuted in January 2017.

3. LooLoo Kids — Johny Johny Yes Papa (6.40 billion views)

Another video for kids that made it into the top 10 most-viewed YouTube videos is Johny Johny Yes Papa. It’s a short, animated music video about a mischievous baby and his Papa. It’s a simple song about a baby trying to eat some sugar (literal sugar cubes) even though his Papa obviously doesn’t approve. Does the kid get the sugar? You’ll have to watch to find out. The song itself isn’t annoying, either — it’s almost too simple and short to be a nuisance. That’s a good thing, considering it’s been viewed/listened to more than 6 billion times.

2. Luis Fonsi — Despacito featuring Daddy Yankee (7.93 billion views)

Featuring Puerto Rican artists Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, Despacito hit YouTube in January 2017 and racked up more than a billion views in just 97 days — the second-fastest run ever. The video went on to become the fastest to garner 2 billion views and the first-ever video to exceed 4 billion, 5 billion, 6 billion, and now 7 billion views.

1. Pinkfong — Baby Shark Dance (11.04 billion views)

Sometimes a song becomes famous solely because it’s an earworm. We’ve seen it happen with Barney in the early days, so it’s no surprise it happened again with an insanely catchy kid’s song about a shark family.

Baby Shark Dance, produced by Korean pop manufacturer Pinkfong, isn’t a complicated song. It has sharks, repetition, and a considerable amount of existential dread — that’s about it. However, this song rose to become the number one video on this list and has inspired countless variations found across YouTube.

Let’s be honest: Baby Shark Dance‘s success isn’t really all that surprising. If bringing up Baby Shark and playing it 12 times in a row is the only way to calm your toddler down, every parent with access to the internet is going to do exactly that. Expect Baby Shark‘s reign as the most-viewed video to continue.

Do you want to watch these videos without an internet connection? Read our guide on how to download YouTube videos.

Editors’ Choice

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British Army’s YouTube and Twitter accounts were hacked to promote crypto scams

Both the British Army’s Facebook and Twitter accounts were hacked and used to promote cryptocurrency scams, the UK Ministry of Defence confirmed on Sunday. It’s unclear when exactly hackers took over the two accounts, but they both appear to be back to normal now.

“We are aware of a breach of the Army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts and an investigation is underway,” the Ministry of Defence Press Office said on Twitter. “The Army takes information security extremely seriously and is resolving the issue.”

Hackers hijacked the British Army’s Twitter page, swapping out the organization’s profile picture, bio, and cover photo to make it seem like it was associated with The Possessed NFT collection. The account sent out various retweets for NFT giveaways, and its pinned tweet linked users to a fake NFT minting website.

The videos on the British Army’s YouTube channel were replaced with old livestreams featuring Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey.

Bad actors also stripped the British Army’s YouTube channel, deleting all its videos, as well as changing its name and profile picture to resemble the legit investment firm Ark Invest. Hackers replaced the British Army’s videos with a series of old livestreams featuring former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. These livestreams were previously aired as part of The B Word conference held by Ark Invest last June, but hackers added an overlay that encouraged users to participate in a crypto scam. The channel aired four livestreams at once, with some of them racking up thousands of viewers.

As Web3 Is Going Just Great blogger Molly White points out, the scammers who took over the British Army’s accounts carried out their scheme with some of the same tactics used in the recent past. In March, hackers took over the Twitter account belonging to MKLeo, one of the world’s top Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players, and used it to peddle phony NFTs made to look like they were associated with The Possessed. Just two months after that incident, scammers managed to steal $1.3 million using the same Ark Invest livestreams that were repurposed for this hack.

Twitter spokesperson Rocio Vives told The Verge that the British Army’s account Twitter “has since been locked and secured,” and that “account holders have now regained access and the account is back up and running.” Google didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment.

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Lil Nas X, Kanye West, and Taylor Swift were among the Vevo YouTube channels hacked Tuesday

On Tuesday morning, YouTube channels for some of the world’s biggest stars showered fans with strange music videos. Vevo channels for artists like Lil Nas X, Eminem, Drake, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Harry Styles, The Weeknd, Michael Jackson, Kanye West, and many others were affected. The channels in question have subscriber counts that add up to hundreds of millions. Before the videos disappeared, viewers saw bizarre clips of Paco Sanz, a Spanish conman sentenced to two years in jail after being convicted of fraud for lying about having terminal cancer, and rapper Lil Tjay.

YouTube did not respond to requests for comment from The Verge; however, Vevo — which bills itself as “the world’s leading music video network” — did acknowledge the incident. A spokesperson responded to contact via Vevo’s public press information and requested not to be named, citing the “nature” of the incident. They said in a statement that “Some videos were directly uploaded to a small number of Vevo artist channels earlier today by an unauthorized source.”

Besides noting that the videos are gone, they also claimed, “No pre-existing content was accessible to the source. While the artist channels have been secured and the incident has been resolved, as a best practice Vevo will be conducting a review of our security systems.”

Another Vevo-related breach in 2018 saw popular music videos defaced, while the then-most-viewed YouTube video of all time, “Despacito” (it is now second, behind “Baby Shark”), was vandalized and briefly removed.

Google and YouTube have recently focused on trying to secure popular channels. Last year a report highlighted a phishing campaign targeting creators, YouTube required millions of popular channels to enable two-step verification, and Google says it gave away hardware authentication keys to over 10,000 high-risk users.

Despite those precautions, an apparent compromise somewhere along Vevo’s pipeline allowed the attacker, who pointed to their Twitter handle @lospelaosbro in the posts, to continue uploading across high-profile channels for several hours.

The artists or the people who operate their pages were likely unable to do anything about the issue. Vevo’s artist information page explains that it works by creating a separate verified Artist Channel to upload videos, and YouTube merges that content with videos on the artist’s own YouTube page. A support page states that “Vevo does not provide access directly to artists.” Instead, independent content providers or the artist’s music label will upload the content to Vevo, which sends it to YouTube and other channels.

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Hackers hijacked the OpenSea Discord with a fake YouTube NFT scam

Around 4:30AM ET on Friday, the official Discord channel for OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, joined the growing list of NFT communities that have exposed participants to phishing attacks.

In this case, a bot made a fake announcement about OpenSea partnering with YouTube, enticing users to click on a “YouTube Genesis Mint Pass” link to snag one of 100 free NFTs with “insane utility” before they’d be gone forever, as well as a few follow-up messages. Blockchain security tracking company PeckShield tagged the URL the attackers linked, “youtubenft[.]art” as a phishing site, which is now unavailable.

While the messages and phishing site are already gone, one person who said they lost NFTs in the incident pointed to this address on the blockchain as belonging to the attacker, so we can see more information about what happened next. While that identity has been blocked on OpenSea’s site, viewing it via or a competing NFT marketplace, Rarible, shows 13 NFTs were transferred to it from five sources around the time of the attack. They’re now also reported on OpenSea for “suspicious activity” and, based on their prices when last sold, appear to be worth a little over $18,000.

The phishing message, as seen on Discord.
Image: Richard Lawler / Discord

A screenshot of the thief’s haul as seen on Rarible

A screenshot of the thief’s haul as seen on Rarible.
Image: Richard Lawler /

This kind of intermediary attack in which scammers exploit NFT traders who are looking to capitalize on “airdrops” has become common for prominent Web3 organizations. It’s common for announcements to appear out of the blue, and the nature of the blockchain may give some users reasons to click first and consider the consequences later.

Beyond the desire to snag rare items, there’s the knowledge that waiting can make minting your NFT amid a rush much slower, more expensive, or even impossible (if you run out of funds during the process). If they’ve left any items or cryptocurrency in their hot wallet that’s connected to the internet, then coughing up login details to a phisher could give them away in seconds.

In a statement to The Verge, OpenSea spokesperson Allie Mack confirmed the incident, saying, “Last night, an attacker was able to post malicious links in several of our Discord channels. We noticed the malicious links soon after they were posted and took immediate steps to remedy the situation, including removing the malicious bots and accounts. We also alerted our community via our Twitter support channel to not click any links in our Discord. We have not seen any new malicious posts since 4:30am ET.”

“We continue to actively investigate this attack, and will keep our community apprised of any relevant new information. Our preliminary analysis indicates that the attack had limited impact. We are currently aware of fewer than 10 impacted wallets and stolen items amounting to less than 10 ETH,” says Mack.

OpenSea has not made a statement about how the channel was hacked, but as we explained in December, one entry point for this style of attack is the webhooks feature that organizations often use to control the bots in their channels to make posts. If a hacker gains access or compromises the account of someone authorized, then they can use it to send a message and / or URL that appears to come from an official source.

Recent attacks have included one that stole $800k worth of the blockchain trinkets from the “Rare Bears” Discord, and the Bored Ape Yacht Club announced its channel had been compromised on April 1st. On April 25th, the BAYC Instagram served as a conduit for a similar heist that snagged more than $1 million worth of NFTs just by sending out a phishing link.

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This YouTube channel is using AI to 8K-ify classic game intros and cutscenes

Twenty years ago, when photorealistic games were still just a faraway dream, companies like Square sent our imaginations soaring before we played, with big-budget intros and cutscenes. Long before Overwatch normalized the practice of releasing Pixar-quality animated shorts for each new character, Blizzard’s Diablo II and Capcom’s Onimusha 3 put us in the demon slaying mood with incredible mini-movies stretching to six minutes each.

But if you dare try watching these classics on a modern 4K TV or even a 1080p monitor, they’ll look like a pixelated mess. That’s where a YouTube channel named Upscale and machine learning comes in — making them look nearly as good as they did on your old CRT. Or perhaps even better. It just depends how well the game’s art style works with the AI algorithms bringing it back to life.

The Kingdom Hearts intros, for instance, look incredible. I scanned around, and I’m willing to call these the definitive versions currently in existence:

You have to check out the hair in World of Warcraft’s intro. It left me in awe, and the video includes a before-and-after comparison, too:

Here’s the legendary six-minute Onimusha 3 opening cinematic at 4K 60 fps. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best I’ve ever seen it. More than good enough to share with people who need to understand this piece of gaming history.

And here’s 1999’s Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver in 8K. Can you believe this is a PS1 game?

Upscale can’t quite seem to nail Chrono Cross, I’m afraid, but its second or third stab at Chrono Trigger looks pretty amazing:

And I’m not particularly fond of Upscale’s attempt at Dirge of Cerberus. Thankfully a handful of other YouTube channels are also trying these machine learning techniques, and I think The Gaming Restoration nailed it.

These enhancements are all made possible through a piece of software called Topaz Video Enhance AI, aka Topaz Gigapixel, and we’ve written a bit about it before — it’s the same generated adversarial network technique some modders are using to upscale the graphics of playable games themselves, now applied to their cutscenes as well. For $299, the company will sell you an app that can spit out videos like these in a handful of hours, depending on your PC’s GPU, how long, and how high a resolution you need. I know, because I took it for a spin with a handful of anime music videos and game trailers myself, and was impressed just how easy it could be.

The important thing to know, though, is the images the computer spits out aren’t necessarily “truth” — it can invent details that aren’t there, or smudge ones that are, in the sometimes-inappropriate pursuit of clarity. I found 4K videos would sometimes look better than 8K, and you really have to pick the right algorithm for the content you’re trying to upscale and compare quick previews before you commit.

Here’s two different algorithms trying to enhance the same scene in Gundam Wing, so you can see what I mean.

Topaz’s “high quality” setting gets rid of the intentional blur / bokeh and flattens the image.

A lower quality “aliased and moire” setting does a more faithful job at the expense of clarity.

To be clear, these are both enhanced images, but one is arguably wrong: this is an ethereal, dream-like sequence where the background is supposed to be soft and blurred, not sharp and flat. Of course, the algorithm doesn’t know that.

If you’d like to see a couple examples where I tried to enhance some old content myself, click here and here, and make sure to change your YouTube quality setting. ExtremeTech’s Joel Hruska also has a great series about trying to remaster Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Truth be told, I’ve hesitated to write about Upscale for The Verge, because I figured lawyers would shut it down any minute, or Upscale’s creators would get bored and stop posting. But I’ve been waiting and watching for nearly a year, and it hasn’t gone away yet. If you’re a big video game industry executive, would you perhaps consider not firing ze copyright missiles?

At least until you’ve done a better job of remastering these cutscenes yourself, I mean.

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How to Download YouTube Videos

YouTube has quickly become the world’s second largest search engine behind Google, with people spending hours per week on the popular platform. If you’re a YouTube fan like us, you might want to know what the most viewed YouTube videos are, and how to download YouTube videos. Also, check out our guide on how to download YouTube videos on an iPhone or iPad, if that is the device you will be using.

But first, we do need to issue this warning: Though it is legal to share and embed YouTube videos on the internet, downloading them for offline use isn’t always allowed. Downloading videos is considered a violation of  YouTube’s terms of service, unless the video streaming site has explicitly granted permission to download a particular video.

That said, let’s take a look at how to download YouTube videos. This guide features an easy-to-use desktop app known as 4K Video Downloader.

Step 1: Download the 4K Video Downloader app


Head over to the 4K Video Downloader website, and under the heading 4K Video Downloader, select the blue Download button that corresponds to your computer’s operating system. This app is available for Windows, MacOS (10.13 or later), and Ubuntu. Once the installer has downloaded, run it to get the app installed on your computer.

If you don’t have a 4K display, don’t be put off by the name. This is one of the most versatile and simple-to-use download tools available, and it will work with all of your files regardless of your computer’s display resolution. The free version of this software has the ability to download individual videos at customizable qualities all the way up to 4K, has support for 3D and 360-degree videos, and can download subtitles.

There is a paid version that starts at $15, but for downloading a simple YouTube video, the free version will suffice.

Step 2: Copy the YouTube video’s URL

4k video downloader youtube url copy screenshot

The next step is the easiest: Just head over to the YouTube video you want to download and copy its URL from the address bar at the top of your browser window. With the URL locked and loaded in your clipboard, you can close the window or tab of the video.

Further reading

Step 3: Paste in the URL

4k video downloader paste link screenshot

Open up the 4K Video Downloader application you just installed. There’s no need to manually paste in the URL — just click on the Paste Link button in the top-left corner of the menu bar and the software will grab the URL from your computer’s clipboard.

Step 4: Download your video

4k video downloader step 4 download video screenshot

The 4K Video Downloader will take a few moments to process the video. Once this process is complete, the app will let you choose from different video qualities, formats, and conversions. You’ll also be able to change where the video downloads; the application will construct a special folder for you containing all of your downloaded videos. If you use VPN, you should note that this specific software uses videos based on your IP address rather than the URL you copied. You’ll need to change your download location to the correct version.

Once you pick all your preferred options, click the Download button. Once you do this, a progress page will appear, detailing the size of your download, how fast it downloaded, and how much time remains in your download. You can pause the download if you need to without losing any progress. Once your download is complete, you can select your video from the open page. Look for the three vertical dots on the right-hand side and click them. A menu will pop out with the option to select Show In Folder. When you click this, the app will automatically take you to the file location of the downloaded video. 

After you’ve mastered it, you can configure 4K Video Downloader to automatically download videos or use Subscriptions or Smart Mode as necessary.

YouTube TV has taken off as well, you would be amazed to know how many subscribers YouTube TV has already. You might want to see if it’s worth subscribing to those shows.

Editors’ Choice

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Record-breaking Twitch streamer Ludwig Ahgren is moving to YouTube

YouTube Gaming has been aggressively luring Twitch creators to its platform, and the latest to defect is “Ludwig” Ahgren. Ludwig is perhaps best known for his marathon streaming session that allowed him to break the Twitch all-time subscriber record held by Ninja, eventually hitting 283,066 all-time active subs.

Ludwig broke the news in an amusing Twitter video that showed him driving with his manager “Slime” in a purple car that eventually explodes after they get out. He then jumps into a red model, driving home the point that he’s leaving team purple for team red. “It’s pretty much the same one,” says Slime. “Yeah, it’s just like a different color,” Ludwig replies. (“We actually blew up a car and one-take-jaked it,” Slime tweeted separately.) 

In a reply on Twitter, Twitch said “You’re a mogul in every sense, Ludwig. Best of luck and keep doing big things out there. However, the site has been bleeding talent to its rival of late. Ludwig’s departure follows recent moves to YouTube Gaming by Benjamin Lupo (“DrLupo”) and TimTheTatMan (Tim Betar), along with previous defections by big-name streamers Lannan “LazarBeam” Eacott, Elliott “Muselk” Watkins and Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter. Jack “CouRage” Dunlop also jumped ship in 2019. 

In a separate video explaining the move, Ludwig said that he first spoke to YouTube gaming as “leverage” but planned to stay with Twitch “because I’m a Twitch guy.” However, he later realized that YouTube made more sense, in part because he wants to produce content like Mogul Money on top of game react videos. 

He also noted that if he had stayed with Twitch, “I would have to be grinding hours,” and that “I loved Twitch, but it wasn’t necessarily a two-way street.” Finally, he said that while the change wasn’t necessarily about money, “YouTube offered me more money. Straight up.”

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Streamlabs says Facebook Gaming views have overtaken YouTube Gaming

For the first time ever, people recently spent more time on Facebook Gaming than YouTube Gaming watching their favorite streamers. That’s according to Streamlabs, which published its Q3 2021 Live Streaming Industry Report on Wednesday.

The company says viewers watched 1.29 billion hours of content on Facebook Gaming between August and September, representing a 9.2 percent increase from the previous quarter. By contrast, the amount of content people watched on YouTube Gaming went from 1.294 billion hours in Q2 2021 to 1.13 billion hours in the most recent three-month period. In terms of viewership, Google’s platform has seen a steady decline since it hit a peak at the end of last year.

YouTube’s struggles are surprising considering the company recently spent big to secure talent like and . Steamlabs attributes the milestone to Facebook Gaming’s international popularity, in addition to the recent rollout of features like . Whether Facebook can continue to top YouTube is hard to say. Over the same timeframe, the platform saw a decline in both total hours streamed and unique channels. Those stand at 17.1 million and 440,000 currently, representing declines of 17.8 percent and 48 percent from the previous quarter. For what it’s worth, Steamlabs predicts the company is on the right path.

As for Twitch, it ran into its own set of problems. People watched 5.79 billion hours of content last quarter. Obviously, that’s more than Facebook and YouTube combined, but it’s also a 11 percent decrease from the viewership numbers it saw in Q2 2021. What’s more, the above number represents a year-over-year decline of 22 percent. At the same time, Twitch saw, for the first time ever, a year-over-year decline in unique channels, with that number decreasing from 10.6 million in Q3 2020 to 10.4 million in Q3 2021. Still, with a 70 percent share of the market in terms of hours watched, Twitch is the dominant platform in the space, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Google Drive and YouTube sharing will change in July

Soon, public links to an untold number of items stored on Google Drive and YouTube will stop working. In the name of enhanced security, Google is changing the way it handles link sharing on both services, and while active users may be able to opt out of the switch, files and videos abandoned on unused or inactive accounts may simply slip out of view forever.

That’s because shared links are now part of a newer system that Google says increases security. On YouTube, the newer links are apparently more difficult for anyone to guess or access without being explicitly given access. The newer links also have the affect of tying more activity to specific accounts and requiring viewers to log in, which allows access to be tracked and made a part of each user’s profile.

On YouTube the changes will affect any videos that are public, but marked as “Unlisted.” As described in a blog post and five-minute video, any Unlisted videos that were uploaded prior to 2017 will have their status changed to Private starting on July 23rd. The way Private videos work now, that will kill any old links or embeds, plus it limits sharing to a maximum of 50 people — all of whom will need a Google account to view it.

For people who would prefer to keep sharing their old Unlisted videos with public links, embeds and comments, they can opt out on a per-account basis by filling out this form over the next month. The only other option is to reupload those videos and leave them marked as Unlisted.

Google Drive is going through the same change, as announced earlier today on the Workspace Updates blog. Clicking a link to access cloud-stored files will now include a resource key that determines who does or does not get access. If you’ve already accessed a file (presumably while logged in to your Google account) then you will continue to have access to it, and if you have “direct access,” then that will continue to work.

Google Drive security update email

Google Drive security update email

If that is not the case, then you’ll need to make a request to access the file or folder. If you have a personal Google/Gmail account and use Drive, then you’ll get an email after July 26th alerting you to any files that will be impacted by this change. If your account includes links that will be affected, then you’ll be able to opt out of the “security update” as long as you do so before September 13th, 2021.

If you use a Google Workspace account managed by your employer, school or other organization then it’s a little more complicated. The administrator/IT department can choose to opt out entirely, apply the update to everyone with no opt-out possible, or apply the update and allow individual users to remove it from specific files.

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Tech News

YouTube on iOS PiP makes it much easier to watch videos while multitasking

YouTube is now rolling out the ability for all users to watch videos with picture-in-picture mode, which reduces the video players to a small floating screen on one’s phone or tablet. This feature won’t be limited to only premium customers as some had previously speculated, though those premium customers will get access to the PiP support first.

Android users have had access to YouTube’s picture-in-picture mode for a while; it has become increasingly useful as devices get larger, higher-resolution displays, leaving ample room for using more than one app at a time. With PiP, someone can watch a video in a small corner of their device’s display while doing something else, such as browsing social media, messaging, or playing games.

There have been concerns over recent months that YouTube wouldn’t only make its picture-in-picture mode available to paying Premium subscribers on iOS, but that’s not the case, according to confirmation given to MacRumors.

The feature is now rolling out to all iOS users in the United States, with Premium customers getting it first followed by free users ‘soon.’ Some iOS users have already had access to the YouTube picture-in-picture feature, though its availability has been touch and go with it working only sometimes.

The official support will eliminate the need to deal with difficult workarounds and buggy Safari streaming, though you may need to remain patient if you’re not a Premium user. The feature will be most useful on larger iPhone models where there’s enough screen space to watch a video in the mini player and engage in a second activity.

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