Live streaming has been all the rage this year. Not only has just about every major social platform entered the arena, but brand new services have been popping up like wildfire. In just the past year and a half, people have witnessed the emergence and popularization of Meerkat and Periscope, Blab, Facebook Live, Snapchat Live Stories, and several other platforms; and everybody from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to Grant Cardone are getting in on the action.
Amidst all the pandemonium, YouTube has quietly developed its own live streaming service, which will be baked directly into the existing YouTube application. No more will creators need to record, upload, and then interact with fans through the comments section. Soon, any brand with a YouTube channel will be able to broadcast and engage with their followings in real time.
Let’s check out exactly how this new feature will work, and what benefits it might have over competitors.
How to Broadcast
Using YouTube Live is extremely user friendly and intuitive. Since the live feature is accessible from the current application, there is no need for a separate download; just an update to the app.
Once this feature goes live for all to use, there will be a “capture” icon located in the bottom corner of the app. Clicking this will prompt the app to give you the option of taking a photo to use as the thumbnail, although that is not required. From there, simply enter a description of the broadcast you wish to create, determine if viewers should be allowed to chat over the top of the video or not, and start your live stream. Additionally, notifications can be sent out to subscribers to inform them that you are going live.
YouTube Live is set to look similar to Periscope in that as a stream broadcasts, chat bubbles will scroll upward, over the video, displaying a person’s profile picture and comment in real time. During a stream, broadcasters will also have the ability to switch between front and rear-facing cameras.
Appearance and functionality wise, it seems that the feature isn’t too different from currently existing services. There are significant benefits, however; this is where things get interesting.
YouTube Benefits v. Other Platforms
YouTube Live presents some major benefits in live streaming that cannot be achieved by others in the market. Firstly, YouTube is the second largest search engine in use today and the app has been downloaded over 1 billion times from the Play Store alone. This means that there is a massive audience already built in to the platform; something that others like Blab and Periscope have had to struggle with. This means that you have access to scores of individuals who already have the app on their phones.
YouTube Live also provides the advantage of replay value. After a live broadcast has ended, the stream is simply converted into a normal YouTube video, which can then go on to have a limitless lifespan acquiring traffic and views. YouTube also allows for cards to be overlaid on a live stream, which means that you can send users to your website, to make a purchase, promote other videos, and more with this clickable link.
Possibly the biggest advantage to YouTube Live, however, is that the platform is owned by Google. Since it is owned by the biggest name in search, live broadcasts will be searchable content inside the Google search engine; something that Periscope and Facebook cannot proclaim.
YouTube Live has a genuine shot at trumping all other competitors. In all likelihood, services like Facebook Live will still have its place in the competitive space, but YouTube is a formidable force. Be on the lookout for the global rollout of this feature and get in on the action before the competition.
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