what is the algorithm for youtube asking if I’m still watching?

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I can’t discern any pattern in how it decides to ask if I’m still watching and prompting me to push a button. It’s so random, to where I wonder if real people somewhere are deciding to limit my usage.

In: Technology

I’ve never seen this on youtube and youtube definitely does not want to limit your usage. Are you talking about Netflix?

We can’t know for certain exactly how it works. In my experience, it seems to be fully random. My best guess is that it works like random checks at an airport.

As for why: YouTube makes money from ads, and ads don’t work if nobody is there to see them.