Apparently as someone with a YouTube channel I can get private messages from viewers and other people on YouTube. Very interesting. But where the heck is my inbox?
There are two distinct mailboxes on the YouTube side, actually, because messages sent to you as a channel owner are treated very differently if the Google algorithm decides they’re legit, not spam. If it’s a spam message, then it gets funneled into your spam folder — which I’ll show you in a sec! — and you get zero notification that anyone’s communicated with you.
If a message is considered legitimate, however, then a copy of it should be emailed to you on your Gmail account. Though Gmail might then decide that it’s spam and drop it into your spam folder without bothering to tell you. Confused yet?
It’s a real hodgepodge and while it’s useful to have a separate message capability on YouTube, it just adds to the many sites that you need to check sporadically for private communication, be it Facebook, Twitter or even Pinterest (sort of). Part of the fun of this moment in the Web’s evolution, I suppose.
Let me show you the fast, official way to get to your messages by starting out with my own AskDaveTaylor channel:
There are lots of false paths, but what you want is the link for Video Manager along the top.
Click on “Video Manager” from this page on YouTube and you’ll be put on a page that has thumbnails for your latest videos and, on the left, a heirarchal menu:
The “Video Manager” section is not what you want, however. Instead click on “Community” just a bit below it.
The menu reconfigures and shows you a lot of interesting options:
Fan Funding? That’s worth exploring, but don’t get your hopes up, it’s only for a small subset of YouTube channels…
Instead, click on “Messages” to find your inbox:
Ahh, here they are! You can see this first message from “Sam” with a prominent Read more link. Below it are other email messages from other YouTube users and producers.
More importantly, check Filtered and Spam messages here on YouTube too: I find that about 75% of my spam messages are actually legit and interesting messages to have received. Fortunately, they’re easily “approved” so they show up subsequently in the Approved messages area, for reply, etc.
That’s it. Not sure why YouTube makes it so tricky to find, but at least now you know…
And I invite you to subscribe to my own YouTube channel: AskDaveTaylor on YouTube.