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Hunter Walk talks with Shira Lazar at YouTube. "All of the success we've had is because of the people here."

Hunter is the director of product development at YouTube and gave the keynote speech at VidCon. He discusses YouTube's VidCon announcements: the partner grants program, 4k resolution, and the YouTube editor.

With Shira Lazar

Filmed by Mark Ostrick
Shira: Hey, Shira Lazar coming to you from VidCon.  I'm right now with Hunter Walk.  He is the head of product development at YouTube.

Hunter: Little video site called YouTube.

Shira: Little, it's just starting out, so like, congratulations on, you know, the beginning of the success.

Hunter: It's been a good first five years.

Shira: Yeah.

Hunter: Well, I mean, it's amazing, I came down here, there's, what, 1400, 1500 people here.  I think it's probably the largest YouTube gathering that we've seen, and it's amazing.  I mean, any success we've had, it's because of the folks in here.

Shira: Yeah.  Were you surprised at the reaction and seeing everyone in real life here?  

Hunter: Well, I think, you know, you build up these intimate relationships online, people have been pouring their heart and soul into video, you talk with them in the comments, you get to know them over a few years, and then when you see them in person, it all just clicks.  I--what I hope to see coming out of this are a bunch of collaborations from the YouTube community, bunch of people inspired to maybe try out new things, and then we're gonna see the fruits of that on, you know, YouTube for the years to come.

Shira: Yeah, so you did the keynote here this morning.  What were you focusing on?

Hunter: Sure, so as a keynote, kicking this off, you know, one, we wanted to thank people, right?  Like, this, you know, YouTube is called YouTube for a reason, because it really is about you.  I mean, we are just here building a technology platform, we don't know what people are gonna do with it, we just try to respond to it.  So, first, was just celebrating the community.  I wanted to talk a little bit about, you know, where YouTube is evolving.  Five years ago, when we started, just having an upload button, the idea of being able to put your video online, was pretty unique, but now that's not enough, right?  We wanna make sure that people have great looking videos, so we announced a beyond HD, we're now supporting up to 4K, so your video will look as good as you filmed it on YouTube.

Shira: That's always a nice thing.

Hunter: That's always a nice thing.  

Shira: Raise the bar a bit.

Hunter: Well, you know, people, you know, people originally think web video and they're like, "Oh, old, grainy," and that's sort of the, that's 2005.  It's 2010.  What these people are filming look as good or better than anything that's made in Hollywood or any other sound stage, so we wanna support that.  So first was talking about video quality, second was talking about video interactivity.

Shira: Yeah.

Hunter: How do you take a video and make it even better?  So, we a few weeks ago announced YouTube Editor, it's an online editing tool you can use to mash up your clips, put in music.  It's still early, we're gonna do a lot more work, but part of that was showing this community and asking them what do you want from this?  What do you want to be able to do in this mash-up tool?  So that was great, and then third, talking a little bit about YouTube not just being something you experience, you know, on your computer or when you're at work or when you're at home, but that you can get anywhere.  So YouTube Mobile, 100,000,000 playbacks a day, and a new mobile video website that we launched this week, and I'm also really excited about YouTube Lean Back.  It's a experience that functions more like television.  You just turn it on and it starts playing, and that's also available now on testtube,  You can try it out on your computer and it'll be launching on any TV that supports a browser, including Google Television this fall.

Shira: So is YouTube gonna take over TV, the traditional TV as we know it?

Hunter: I think it depends on the people in this room, right?  I mean, if they're gonna be the ones creating content, they're the ones demanding to say, hey, I want YouTube creators everywhere.  I don't see a difference between something that was filmed in Hollywood or filmed, you know, in a production studio, I want content I care about, and these content creators are the most explosive, creative group.  I mean, you look at it, our goal, I want the YouTube creative community worldwide to be bigger than any other community in the world, right?  We want people to quit their jobs and be able to feel like they can earn a living on YouTube, that's, you know, that's a lot about what this weekend is about.

Shira: Awesome, well, thank you so much, Hunter.  

Hunter: Great, thanks for having me.

Shira: See you on YouTube.

Shira: Oh, absolutely.