Last weekend, the new MormonMessages YouTube channel was identified as the #62 most-watched YouTube channel. This occurred largely because of the response to President Uchtdorf’s inspiring video (shown below).
Because of this response, President Uchtdorf’s video was featured on the YouTube home page under “Videos Being Watched Right Now.” This demonstrated the positive influence a large group of Latter-day Saints can have on the Internet.
Feedback on the new channel has been overwhelmingly positive. A small minority has expressed concern about what they perceive as the Church “endorsing” YouTube by posting these videos on a platform that has inappropriate content on it. Although I understand this concern, my personal feeling (not an official Church statement) is that 1) posting videos on YouTube does not constitute endorsement of the entire YouTube site any more than broadcasting BYU-TV endorses all television programs and 2) we need to take our messages to where the people are. When someone searches for “Mormon” on YouTube, I want Church-friendly content to be at the top of the search results, not the Godmakers video. YouTube also has some great features (not currently available on lds.org) which allow members to easily share Church videos with friends and family.
So far, this experiment has been a success. We are working on options that will allow people to view the MormonMessages videos on lds.org if they prefer not to visit YouTube. We are also working closely with YouTube to see if we can minimize or eliminate inappropriate links occassionally appearing on our video pages. In the meantime, we have posted the following warning to alert those who may not be familar with YouTube:
Warning: Clicking on “Related Videos” or “Promoted Videos” may take you to videos outside of the Church’s control which could contain inappropriate content. All of the videos listed on this page as well as those listed as “More From: MormonMessages” are safe.
I will try to drop by occasionally and provide an update on how things are going. If you have not already subscribed to the MormonMessages channel, please consider doing so. Efforts to help others become aware of this new online resource are also appreciated.