Remember that Chewbacca lady? I was among the first few hundred viewers of her video. I didn’t know a lady going crazy over a mask will become such a trending thing the next day.
How many times did it happen that you watched a video after few minutes of it getting uploaded and the next day you find it getting trending and going viral.
Great, like you, it has happened to me more than ten times.
Recently going through the patent filing of Google, I spotted a patent that discloses a feature of YouTube that will let a viewer know that you were among the first few who watched that viral video.
Taking the Chewbacca lady again, if this feature would have existed at then, Youtube would have sent me a notification reading “Congrats Shabaz, you are among the first 1% viewers who watched that video.”
And I would be flaunting the screenshot to my friends for I had to let them know that I watched the video way before them.
Below I have a screenshot of the feature for you which I found in the patent images:
The patent also mentions a reward system. In the image above, there’s a small icon marked as 204 (with an animal on it). This is an example of a badge that users will get, based on how soon they watched a video that later got popular.
Paragraph [0066 ] in the patent describes the feature:
In an aspect, based in part on being an early consumer of “Santa is Coming,” Erin can receive an award or badge that represents Erin’s status as a trendsetter. For example, Erin can receive a badge 204 that indicates Erin status is “Golden Fox.” In an aspect, a user’s trendsetter status can accrue as a function of the number of content items for which the user is an early consumer. For example, the greater number of videos a user is an early viewer of, the higher the user’s trendsetter status can become. – 
A YouTube user who watches multiple viral videos earlier will be termed as “trendsetters”. He would be able to flaunt this badge to other users as it would be visible on his profile. Screenshot for the help (see 402):
Recently, Youtube introduced an in-app messenger to let users share a video with other users. And now this feature. What I think is YouTube is finding few more ways to keep its users engaged to the platform.
This is the need of the hour because, in the recent time, Facebook has started emerging as an important video sharing platform. I witnessed many YouTube channels that first became popular on FB and then they went to YouTube.
Thus, they were creating videos for FB specifically because they know that it provides a mechanism to distribute the video and spread the word.
It seems YouTube is trying to do the same thing but other ways around. What do you think?