“Don’t read the comments.” That is a common refrain concerning YouTube as the comment section continues to hold out as a bastion of the darker side of the Internet even as other platforms continue to step up efforts to weed out undesirable activity. The struggles that Google and YouTube have with comments does not mean they do not recognize the need for YouTube to become even more social in nature. To accomplish that, YouTube is launching a new beta version of a feature called YouTube Community to help content creators strengthen the bonds with their viewers.
YouTube Community essentially introduces a timeline or feed feature to YouTube channels. This means content creators can do things like posts announcements and invitations, images, live videos, animated GIFs and more. These are all posts that creators can make in between the actual uploads of videos. The concept is to help creators stayed connected with their viewers without having to resort to other channels, notably competing social platforms.
For creators who make use of YouTube Community, they will find they have a new tab available in the YouTube app called Community where they can post all of these additional items. For viewers, the updates will show up in the Subscription feed tab and if they want, they can opt in to get notifications anytime a content creator makes a new post, not just when adding a new video.
Initially, YouTube is only releasing the new beta version of YouTube Community to some of the highest profile content creators on the platform. They include John & Hank Green, AsapSCIENCE, The Game Theorists, Karmin, The Key of Awesome, The Kloons, Lilly Singh, Peter Hollens, Rosianna Halse Rojas, Sam Tsui, Threadbanger, and VSauce3. Following this initial rollout, YouTube will open the program to other content creators. YouTube eventually plans to make the Community feature available to any content creator no matter how big or small their contributions may be.