Engineering and Developers Blog
What's happening with engineering and developers at YouTube
An updated Terms of Service and New Developer Policies for the YouTube API Services
Thursday, August 11, 2016
The updated YouTube API Services Terms and Policies are effective starting today (February 10, 2017)
Today we are announcing changes to the YouTube API Services Terms of Service and introducing new Developer Policies to guide their implementation. These updated
Terms of Service
will take effect in six months so that you have time to understand and implement them.
The YouTube API Services Terms of Service are developers’ rules of the road, and like any rules of the road, they need to be updated over time as usage evolves. As we've grown, so has an entire ecosystem of companies that support users, creators and advertisers, many of them built on top of YouTube’s API Services. We haven’t had major updates to our API Services Terms of Service in over four years, so during the past several months we've been speaking to developers and studying how our API Services are being used to make sure that our terms make sense for the YouTube of today. We updated the
YouTube API Services Terms of Service
to keep up with usage growth, strengthen user controls and protections even further, and address misuse. You can find the updated terms
In order to provide more guidance to developers, which has been a key ask, we are introducing new Developer Policies. They aim to provide operational guidelines for accessing and using our API Services, covering user privacy and data protection, data storage, interface changes, uploads, comments, and more. You can read the full Developer Policies
In addition to the new terms, we're also announcing the upcoming
YouTube’s Measurement Program
. This new certification program will help participants provide accurate, consistent, and relevant YouTube measurement data to their clients and users, thereby helping them make informed decisions about YouTube. We’ll launch the program with a few initial partners before scaling it more broadly. Please visit the YouTube’s Measurement Program
to learn more.
We developed these updates with a few core principles in mind:
Improving the YouTube experience for users and creators.
Every month, we update our app and site with dozens of new features for users and creators. We want to make sure that every application or website takes advantage of the latest and greatest YouTube functionalities. That’s why we’re introducing a
Requirement of Minimum Functionality
, which is designed to ensure users have a set of basic functionality around core parts of their YouTube experience, like video playback, comment management, video upload, and other services.
Strengthening user data and privacy.
Fostering a healthy YouTube ecosystem.
While we want to continue to encourage growth of our ecosystem, we also need to make sure our terms limit misuse. As the YouTube developer ecosystem evolved, we saw some fantastic uses of our API Services. Sadly, with amazing uses, there have also been a handful of applications that have misused our API Services. These updated terms serve to further protect against misuse and protect users, creators, and advertisers.
It's been great to see all the ways developer websites and applications have integrated with YouTube. We are committed to the YouTube API Services and we continue to invest with new features that will improve the product, such as expanding the Reporting API service with Payment reports, and Custom reports, launching later this year.
While we understand these updated terms and new policies may require some adjustment by developers, we believe they’ll help ensure our ecosystem remains strong and poised for growth. Again, to ensure developers have sufficient time to understand and adapt to these changes, the updated
YouTube API Services Terms of Service
and the new
will take effect six months from now, on February 10, 2017. Please do take the time to read and become familiar with them. If you have any questions please get in touch with us via
Posted by Shalini GovilPai, Global Head of Technology Solutions
YouTube's road to HTTPS
Monday, August 1, 2016
Today we added YouTube to Google's
HTTPS transparency report
. We're proud to announce that in the last two years, we steadily rolled out encryption using HTTPS to 97 percent of YouTube's traffic.
provides critical security and data integrity for the web and for all web users. So what took us so long? As we gradually moved YouTube to HTTPS, we faced several unique challenges:
Lots of traffic!
Our CDN, the
Google Global Cache
, serves a massive amount of video, and migrating it all to HTTPS is no small feat. Luckily, hardware acceleration for AES is widespread, so we were able to encrypt virtually all video serving without adding machines. (Yes,
HTTPS is fast now
Lots of devices!
You watch YouTube videos on everything from flip phones to smart TVs. We A/B tested HTTPS on every device to ensure that users would not be negatively impacted. We found that HTTPS improved quality of experience on most clients: by ensuring content integrity, we virtually eliminated many types of streaming errors.
Lots of requests!
Mixed content—any insecure request made in a secure context—poses a challenge for any large website or app. We get an alert when an insecure request is made from any of our clients and will block all mixed content using
Content Security Policy
on the web,
App Transport Security
on iOS, and uses
on Android. Ads on YouTube have used HTTPS
We're also proud to be using
HTTP Secure Transport Security (HSTS)
on youtube.com to cut down on HTTP to HTTPS redirects. This improves both security and latency for end users. Our HSTS lifetime is one year, and we hope to preload this soon in web browsers.
97 percent is pretty good, but why isn't YouTube at 100 percent? In short, some devices do not fully support modern HTTPS. Over time, to keep YouTube users as safe as possible, we will gradually phase out insecure connections.
In the real world, we know that any non-secure HTTP traffic could be vulnerable to attackers. All websites and apps should be protected with HTTPS — if you’re a developer that hasn’t yet migrated,
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