You’ve Got a Friend on YouTube

YouTube (s GOOG) announced Wednesday that it will roll out a new social feature to recommend video channels of people you may know. From the YouTube corporate blog:

How will we make the suggestions? If you’ve logged in to YouTube and sent a video to a friend’s email address, or if you have your YouTube account linked to a Gmail account, we will use this information to help identify your friends who already have YouTube channels. You’ll only see channels whose owners have allowed themselves to be found by others who have their email address.

All summer long, YouTube has been going after this low-hanging fruit to eek out a few more plays from its massive audience. In June the company integrated Facebook Connect to allow people to directly share videos they publish with their friends and last month the company talked up its development of unexpected recommendations to stimulate viewer interest and keep them watching.
Credit Suisse analysts estimate YouTube makes 35 percent margins on its ad-carrying video streams, so making these small tweaks and wringing out a few more plays per user at YouTube’s scale combined with new monetization efforts will (ideally) translate into more ads and more moolah for the company.