Live Streams have become more and more popular. People already loved them before, as proven by platforms like YouTube and Twitch. But the pandemic has strengthened netizens’ love for this type of content.
The best thing about Livestreams is they allow the viewers to interact with the content creator. They can ask questions and immediately get an answer, and they can also affect what happens on the stream. Therefore, watching one is like hanging out with friends. That’s something the pandemic took from us through the social distancing measures and lockdowns.
Even now that things are starting to calm down, people’s love for live streams is not yet fading. They are just so good and entertaining. And the social media platforms are not blind; they see and notice it. And so, in recent years, they have done things to improve their Livestreaming offerings.
YouTube, the biggest video-sharing social media platform, is among them. That’s to be expected. If it wants to keep that title, it has to keep up with the trends.
The YouTube channel Creator Insider gave a sneak peek at five features the team is building for its Livestreaming product.
The list includes: “Go Live Together,” Live rings, Cross-channel redirects, Live Q&A, and uninterrupted split-screen viewing.
Go Live Together
This feature is a collaborative streaming feature for mobile devices.
On Instagram Live, you can go live with another person. That’s coming on YouTube this year. The platform is now doing a small pilot test for this feature they call “Go Live Together.”
So, how does it work? With this feature, content creators can send a link to another person to invite them to guest on their live stream. The host and the guest will share the space on the screen in a split-screen mode, similar to when you video call someone.
There can be pre-roll and mid-roll ads in “Go Live Together” streams. However, please keep in mind that only the host will benefit from them. The guest can’t make money off of those.
Likewise, the stream host can see streaming analytics in YouTube Studio. On the other hand, the guest can’t see the analytics, but overall the feature should vastly increase your YouTube views on the platform and raise awareness across markets.
The guest’s channel and user information will also remain hidden during the stream. So, make it a point to introduce the guest in your live stream to inform the viewers where they can find them.
YouTube takes another page from Instagram’s book. Think of people’s profile pictures on Instagram. When they have posted a Story, there’s a ring around their profile picture. So, people can easily know if there’s content from that user they can see or watch.
When the channel is live, there will be a red ring around the channel’s profile picture. That should increase the discoverability and viewership of a content creator’s live streams. That’s a lot better than before when you could only know through notifications or by visiting their channel page. And the thing is that not everybody is checking their notifications on YouTube.
Tapping on the user’s profile picture with the live ring will redirect you to the content creator’s active live stream.
Cross-Channel Live Redirects
Do you know about the Raid feature on Twitch? It allows streamers to send their viewers to another stream on the platform. That’s coming to YouTube too.
Today, YouTubers can only do “self-raids.” They can send their viewers to another live stream or premier on the platform. However, they can’t send them to someone else’s channel. The feature called “Live Redirect” can only send viewers to live streams or premiers on the same YouTube channel.
Cross-Channel Live Redirects changes that. With it, users can send viewers to another channel.
This feature is a handy tool to help your friends on YouTube. You can increase their viewership, and they can do the same to you. It makes a creators-support-creators environment, which is healthy for the community.
Unfortunately, the feature does not have drawbacks. It is an issue on Twitch that causes some streamers’ love-hate relationship with raids. People with malicious intentions can do hate raids. They will send their viewers and bots to your live stream to overwhelm your chat with negative messages.
That’s an issue that may not come up in the pilot of the feature. So we’ll only see if it will become an issue when it officially launches. Hopefully, YouTube has something in store for that.
As with Live Redirects, you need to have no strikes and at least 1,000 subscribers to access this feature.
You may be seeing a trend by now. It seems like YouTube took inspiration from features from other platforms. Here’s another feature inspired by Instagram Live.
YouTube is looking to launch its Live Q&A feature. It is like what’s on Instagram Live. Streamers can post Q&A prompts where their viewers can send them questions. The streamer can then read them and answer them on the stream.
Answered questions will be temporarily pinned to the top of the live chat. That would encourage other viewers to send their own questions. In turn, that makes your stream more engaging. And that would increase the odds of your viewers coming back and subscribing to your channel.
Last, YouTube is experimenting with different live stream viewing experiences for mobile users.
In the “lean in” video and live chat experience, the chat overlay from the classic view will be gone. The chat engagement panel will sit to the right of the screen instead.
On the other hand, you can view the live stream on full screen in the “lean back” or collapsed live chat experience. You can open the chat box by tapping on the viewer count in the lower right corner of the screen.
Tapping the viewer count icon will bring you back to “lean in” mode.
You don’t have to worry about missing something when in “lean back” mode. YouTube will notify you when polls and other key moments get posted on the chat.