In the ongoing race of messaging apps, Google has released a new mobile-only feature on YouTube that allows you to chat about videos instantly while watching them live. The new update is initially designed for the YouTube app on Android and iOS platforms.
You can use the new feature on the YouTube app to share videos with your contacts and start a conversation about them. There is also an option to respond to an existing message in the thread with another video -- similar to the GIFs and videos integration within Facebook's Messenger app. Likewise, you have been provided with the option to invite your friends and family in a conversation.
The new feature is the result of the testing that YouTube started last year and debuted in Canada at the beginning of this year. The YouTube team chose the Canadian market for its pilot programme since Canadians are claimed to share videos 15 percent more often than other global users.
"We've been experimenting with a better way to share videos on YouTube since last year. Thanks to all your feedback, we made some improvements and are now ready to roll out this new sharing feature to all users globally," YouTube product manager Benoît de Boursetty writes in a blog post.
The YouTube app has been upgraded with a new tab that includes all the shared videos under one roof. You can access the same tab to start fresh conversations or participate in an existing one while on the move. Furthermore, a group can also be created by adding contacts directly from the 'Shared' tab to begin a healthy talk around a trending video.
Primarily aiming to enhance engagements
The ability to allowing users to chat is not an entirely new concept for YouTube. It already offered chat support for live video streams on its platform. However, the latest development is appeared to be a move by the Google-owned company to enhance user engagements.
Ever since Google acquired YouTube back in November 2006 (following its original soft launch in 2005), the video-hosting site includes community features such as comments and likes to enable one-on-one communication between uploaders and their subscribers. But that hasn't something that attracts mobile users a lot. Instead, users on mobile platforms are more inclined towards a chat experience.
According to a recent report by market research company eMarketer, more than one-quarter of the world's population will start using mobile messaging apps by 2019. This forecast suggests a big room for YouTube to grow further with its newest feature that lets you say more about videos -- right with videos, text and emojis.