YouTube suffered a crash yesterday and was rendered inaccessible to several users, The Daily Mail reports. Those trying to access the service were instead greeted with a rather funny message, giving some the indication that the site may have been hacked. The message read, “Sorry, a team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation. If you see them, show them this information.” The message flashed even as users could see a 500 Internal Server Error message flashing. YouTube, however, was quick to respond. In a Twitter post, YouTube apologised and added, “Some of you may have encountered issues using YouTube today. Our engineers worked quickly to make the fix. Sorry!”

Getting bigger with more channels

Went down shortly after Google lost $24bn

Incidentally, the news of YouTube being inaccessible came shortly after Google experienced its sharpest plunge in stock market history on Thursday when a staggering $24billion (£15billion) was “wiped off the company's value after its results were accidentally released.”

YouTube only recently started rewarding more engaging videos with higher rankings. The videos that users spend more time watching will appear higher than others in search results on YouTube. YouTube revealed in an official blog post that the newest change is a result of its attempts at pegging instances of video discovery to the amount of time spent in watching them. The move comes after YouTube made changes to Suggested Videos in March, and recent improvements to YouTube Analytics.

YouTube shared that the results have been positive so far, whereby it has registered more users watching than clicking. With this, YouTube also shared that it expects users to spend more time watching videos from search and across the site. Importantly, video channels should benefit from this if their videos get more watching minutes, quite like what other optimisations did to its discovery features. 

It was also recently reported that YouTube was launching more than 60 new video channels with content from Britain, Germany, France and the United States. “The new programming will be in addition to the 100 channels of content launched in the United States last year,” said the report. 

Last month, Google was said to be testing a new feature for YouTube. Reports at the time suggested the new feature is currently in beta, and those interested can opt in through account settings. The new feature, called Video Questions Editor, allows you to add questions to your videos that users can answer.

Once activated, the Video Questions Editor can be seen on the edit bar on the video edit page. Once the questions get answers, the results can be seen by the account holders through the analytics for the video. The editor offers features such as the ability to give viewers hints for the questions if they pick the wrong answer.

Recently, Google had released a new version of the YouTube app for iOS devices. The new YouTube app for the iPhone features thousands of additional videos, as well as improved features for finding videos and sharing videos on social networks. Unlike the previous version of the YouTube iPhone app, the new version features online advertising, according to a Google spokesman.

Online ads generate the bulk of Google's revenue, and YouTube already offers ads on its mobile website and on the YouTube app for Android smartphones.

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