Live streaming is certainly not a new feature for social media platforms and even YouTube has provided some live streaming options for certain users for several years. The scope of availability expands today as YouTube announced the addition of a live streaming option to the mobile YouTube app. Google and YouTube say they think their option for live streaming will be effective after tweaking it based on feedback from testers over the past several months. Possibly more important for YouTube creators, a new feature will be available to help them monetize their live streams.
The new live stream option for YouTube is not quite ready for all users to take advantage of it on mobile, unlike some of YouTube’s competitors. Instead, content creators have to have at least 10,000 subscribers to unlock the feature. Once available though, all users have to do is tap a button to launch a live stream.
Google says they have made several improvements over recent months during testing. Some of the changes include slowing down the chat feed as they discovered creators could not keep up with the sheer volume of inbound messages. Improvements in areas like better streaming quality and stability have also been implemented. Like regular videos on YouTube, content creators will find they have similar control over live streams, like protecting them from unauthorized use or making sure they are discoverable and can be added to playlists by viewers.
To help content creators, YouTube is also adding a feature called Super Chat. As they describe it, for viewers this is kind of like buying a front row seat at a concert venue. When submitting a chat message, they get moved to the head of the queue and their messages are highlighted to help the content creator spot them. For content creators, this could be a nice benefit as they will get a share of the revenue generated from users buying access to Super Chat. This feature is limited to creators in 20 countries and viewers in 40 countries.
YouTube says these new options will eventually rollout to all users, which will be welcome news to those users who want to live stream content but do not yet have a huge following.