YouTube mobile live streaming feature is finally launched! But only for a few creators!!
About 3 months ago, there were speculations that YouTube was working on a live streaming app called YouTube connect that would let anyone log in through their Google or YouTube account and start streaming from their mobile phones. Something similar to Facebook Live, Periscope, Meerkat and other live streaming platforms out there.
The mobile live streaming space already had so many established players! My first impression was that YouTube was a little too late to enter the race and was already lost in a crowded space.
Mobile live streaming announced at vidcon
It was just a matter of time before the official announcement and it finally happened yesterday at the largest online video conference VidCon. During its keynote session, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced the arrival of mobile live streaming to YouTube. Before giving away the stage to Kurt Wilms, product lead of immersive experiences to show off the new feature, she claimed that YouTube was investing heavily in the format.
Should the other live streaming platforms start worrying? Will the arrival of the video giant into the arena shake up things?
It’s pretty early to say actually. The feature is currently rolled out only to a select few creators – The Young Turks, AIB, Platica Polinesia, SacconeJolys, and Alex Wassabi. When it is launched for everyone on YouTube, it surely can rattle a lot of others in the ecosystem. The exact date for that has not been disclosed though.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing how everybody here uses these creative tools,” – Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube
How it is going to look like:
The best part about this feature is that it is embedded right into the YouTube app. All one has to do is hit the red capture button in the corner, select an image as thumbnail, start broadcasting and chat in real time with their fans.
The UI looks pretty close to that of Periscope showing live interactions with the fans moving up from the bottom left corner, in the form of speech bubbles. There are icons for views and likes count and also a button that lets you switch between the front and the rear cameras.
Just like on Facebook and Periscope, the live broadcasts will be available for viewing immediately after they finish, so that those who missed it can lap it up. And those who are subscribed to the channel will get notifications when the channel is about to go live.
The leader became the follower?
Back in 2011 when no other platform had even thought about building a live streaming strategy, YouTube was already on it! The first big event that was covered live was the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The next big landmark was Felix Baumgartner‘s supersonic freefall in 2012.
Note: The landmark event nicknamed Red Bull Stratos was watched live by over 9.5 million viewers – roughly equivalent to 1/6th of the online population back then!
Despite being a thought leader in the space, YouTube somehow held back on developing its own mobile live streaming platform. That’s weird right?!
How this might impact other live streaming platforms
In the world of online video, YouTube is the undisputed behemoth. Facebook of course is giving a run for its money; but YouTube still is the place where most people go, to find videos before they even think of other platforms. So, when it announces something as big as this, there will be repercussions that would affect the other platforms.
Here are a few:
1 . The fact that YouTube already has a powerful technical infrastructure to support live streaming can give it an extra edge over its competitors. YouTube is quite vocal about it as well – it says that its live streams will be faster and more reliable than ‘anything else out there’.
2 . YouTube already has an audience of 1 Billion users who watch 40 minutes of its videos on their mobile phones every day! Apart from Facebook, no other live streaming app can even come closer to this level of audience penetration.
3 . The biggest differentiator probably is that YouTube is already a den for thousands of popular creators. Even Facebook would need years to catch up with this!
There was another interesting development on the first day of vidcon. Facebook – the only platform that can dethrone YouTube from the online video pedestal – announced that it would add 3 new updates to Facebook live:
1 . Two person remote broadcasts: It will work like a remote interview where a second person can drop in on a live broadcast and join the conversation.
2 . Users can pre-schedule live streams and create a virtual waiting room for the viewers. Here, people can just hangout and chat before the Live broadcast starts.
3 . Video filters: Broadcasters can use virtual face masks adding a bit of fun to the whole experience.
Tumblr recently launched live streaming, YouNow is growing in popularity, Facebook is coming up with new features every quarter, Periscope has its own success stories. YouTube definitely has reasons to worry. These are exciting times for online video buffs though!
An online junky who can't get enough of memes, movies and music. I'm a marketing specialist at Vidooly.