youtube livestreaming

YouTube knows livestreaming. It’s been offering live streams since before it was cool. Those are the exact words of Kurt Wilms, product lead at YouTube, who just announced in a blog post that livestreaming will be coming to the YouTube Android and iOS apps very soon.

The “before it was cool” bit is more than a hipster-ish jab. It’s a reference to the two big players in the market, Periscope and Facebook Live. While YouTube has been broadcasting live streams since 2011, its focus has always been on big events like concerts, the royal wedding, and Felix Baumgartner’s edge of space jump from 2012.

Meanwhile, newer players like Periscope (owned by Twitter) and Facebook focused on putting livestreaming in the hands of regular users. User generated live streaming has been booming ever since.

Now YouTube wants to get back in the lead. To do so, it’s integrating livestreaming straight into its ubiquitous app. Users will be able to pick up their phone and start broadcasting to the world with just a couple of taps.

Details are scarce for now, but the screenshots that YouTube shared show an interface that is very close to that of Periscope, at least when it comes to the way comments from viewers are displayed.

Livestreamed videos will be first rank citizens in YouTube’s ecosystem:

Because it’s built right into the YouTube app, mobile live streaming will have all the features your regular videos have—you’ll be able to search for them, find them through recommendations and playlists and protect them from unauthorized uses. And since it uses YouTube’s peerless infrastructure, it’ll be faster and more reliable than anything else out there.

YouTube is first rolling out the feature to a handful of big channels – The Young Turks, AIB, Platica Polinesia, SacconeJolys, and Alex Wassabi – with wider availability to follow soon.

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