weather icon Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

YouTube lets some users fix videos without changing the link

How do you fix or replace a YouTube video without changing the view count, deleting the comments, and creating a whole new URL?

For most users it’s impossible; there is no “re-upload” button on YouTube. But that’s not the case for everyone.

YouTube lets some users replace videos and the process and requirements to do so remain a mystery.

Replacing a video is important when there’s a mistake like a typo in an on-screen title or a clip that cuts off a second too soon.

Users can upload a new version and start from scratch, deleting the original video to prevent a duplicate or if the mistake is too egregious to keep live. However, any views or comments the original video amassed are lost.

Worse still, removing the original means a broken link for anyone who shared or embedded it.

YouTube’s support page tells users they can’t replace videos “since any new video uploads will get a new URL,” but that doesn’t mean it isn’t done.

Take, for example, an Apple ad about the iPhone X, which was posted on March 16 on YouTube:

Within hours, blogs posted that the commercial displayed a bug on the screen of the phone.

A few days later TechnoBuffalo noted that Apple had reshot the scene in which the bug appeared, and – somehow – quietly fixed its YouTube video without any changes to the URL or view count.

Unlike edited Facebook posts, YouTube gives no indication when a video is updated. That raises the question, how frequently does it happen? There’s also no information on how YouTube determines which users can replace videos and under what circumstances. Google has not responded to a request for comment.

Google offers “partner managers” to channels with at least 100,000 subscribers, but it’s unclear if video replacement is one of the benefits. The application page states:

A YouTube Partner Manager is a deeper level of access to YouTube. So they’ll be able to give you a first look at new creator programs and features. You could get whitelisted for new YouTube tools and get the opportunity to take part in experimental new programs!

Competing services like Vimeo and JW Player have allowed users to replace their own videos for years. Here’s what the button looks like on Vimeo:

YouTube likely reasons that the ability to replace videos, for the average user, could lead to chaos. If a bystander’s clip suddenly goes viral, what’s to stop her from re-uploading the file with changes or promotions edited in? While it may be a reasonable concern for some, the inability to fix videos is a stumbling block to many credible channels.

What areas of media and technology do you have questions about? Let me know at hkeely@reviewjournal.com and/or on Twitter: @HarrisonKeely.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
How does a $100 smartphone compare to a $1,000 flagship?

If you buy a smartphone for $100, how much are you really missing out on compared to higher-end phones? I recently tested the new Alcatel 1X and pitted it against an iPhone X (pronounced “ten” – fitting because it costs ten times more). It is undoubtedly impressive how much you get for $100, nowadays. Now […]

Apple is taking longer to release hardware updates

Waiting on Apple to update a gadget before you make an order? It’s not your imagination – the time between Apple’s product updates is getting longer. Using data from MacRumors’ Buyer’s Guide, I tallied the average days between hardware updates for Apple TV, iMac, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro. I chose […]

How the Welcome to Las Vegas sign has changed over the years

The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign you see today isn’t exactly the original. Perhaps that’s to be expected in a desert where violent winds and blistering sunlight can take a toll on any plastic, but it may surprise visitors who pose with one of the most photographed signs in the world. First, some backstory: […]

Data plans are a hot mess – here’s how to fix them

When I bought my cellular-connected Apple Watch, I was stunned to find that carriers charge $10 per month for data. That’s an extra $120 each year to shoot emails and texts to my wrist. Then I found out that $10 per month doesn’t allot additional data, but instead siphons my iPhone’s existing ration. To top […]

Wires marring Las Vegas sign photos need to go

It’s possibly the most photographed sign in the world. “There is probably no bigger Las Vegas icon than that sign,” said Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak. Behind the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign lies the Strip, rows of palm trees, and – depending on your camera angle – up to 12 power lines […]

What Apple’s nav bar evolution says about the company

Remember iReview or iCards? Those tools once occupied coveted space atop one of the 100 most-visited websites in the world: Apple.com. Both were short-lived products. Most changes to Apple.com are gradual. Rather than a splashy periodic redesign that overhauls everything, the site tends to evolve so gently that changes are barely noticeable. A cursory review […]

In a digital age, why aren’t restaurant grades in search results?

Recently, my dad’s cousin (whom I haven’t seen in seven years) visited from North Carolina. He was in Las Vegas for just one night and invited me to pick a spot for dinner. I asked a friend for recommendations; I researched options online. I read reviews and scoured menus. I opened Google Street View and […]

Your digital assistant could be a better student

At my last newspaper, I gave tours of the press. Whenever someone asked a tough question, I’d try to find the answer for them. What I wouldn’t do is apologize and forget about it. Yet that’s exactly what our digital assistants – Alexa, Cortana, et al. – do. When our virtual assistants don’t know an […]

We don’t know what Siri’s capable of, and that’s a big problem

You want to find an app or create a folder. Do you do it yourself or summon Siri? If you’re like me, you probably try to accomplish your goal sans Siri. That’s a stunning fall from grace for the once-extolled digital assistant. When Siri was born eight years ago, she was smart. Now, she’s entered […]

150+ things Siri still can’t do for you

With all her shortcomings, it’s come in vogue to inveigh against Siri. But how short has she really come? I was curious why the bodiless voice that seduced us at launch no longer satisfies expectations. So I put Siri to the test and assembled a list of skills one could reasonably expect by now. Alas, here’s a […]