Night Light | Dark Pattern Design

Reed of the Week

Shorts and YouTube's Subscribe Button 

As every platform designs and optimizes for short form content I've been paying close attention to app design and what its intent is behind UX decisions. Lately I've realized that YouTube's subscribe button is placed in a way where people are accidentally subscribing to channels as they scroll. Could this be Dark Pattern Design, a tactic used to make users take unintended actions within an app?

In my opinion the design choice is deliberate. When comparing between apps, Instagram's Reels is similar to YouTube Shorts (a subscribe button where the user swipes). Interestingly, TikTok places theirs off to the side.

Initially it might not seem like a big deal, but the reality is these artificial subscribers will never watch your short or long-form content. Subscribers gained this way would have a negative impact on CPMs and conversion rates, may skew demographics away from a channel's real consumer-base, and inflate sub counts. Design decisions like this are bad for digital distribution and the creator economy. 

Creator News

KSI knocks out FaZe Temperrr in first roundFaZe's CEO isn't the only thing that's down: their stock price is down 43.5% since the fight took place. 

Flo Rida awarded $82m in legal battle with CelsiusYou could buy a lot of energy drinks with that windfall. 

Emma Chamberlain is the new face of LancômeThe French beauty brand takes a big swing in the influencer space. Smart move in an industry with notoriously high consumer loyalty. 

Can't Miss Clips

Too small!The NIL deals must be pouring in. 

Thumbnail generation as the next AI tool? The art of the YouTube thumbnail made easy. 

Deep Fake KeanuFortnite's John Wick skin come to life. 

Business & Entrepreneurship

Inside Sephora's decision to drop Addison Rae and Hyram YarbroInteresting contrast with Morphe's demise. These partnerships only succeed with constant creator marketing, and Sephora was right to wind these down. 

Dyson and Lululemon lead record-setting influencer sales$3.6b in creator-driven sales from a single shopping platform. Unreal number, that only projects to grow. 

YouTube announces Brandcast 2023I'll be interested to see how Shorts monetization impacts brand ad buying down the road. Will be watching the messaging here.