YouTube is scrapping its private messaging service to focus more on public sharing.
First introduced in 2017, YouTube Messages allowed users to share videos or short messages with each other, and even a group of up to 30 users. The feature was a way for the online video giant to push back against the competition provided by Snapchat or Facebook or even Twitter, not to mention Instagram.
But the latter has since inspired a different feature: Stories, which allow creators to record and upload short, mobile-only videos that remain publicly visible for seven days. The feature, currently in beta and available to all channels with over 10,000 subscribers, is increasingly the route YouTube is looking to take for users communicating with each other.
As a result, Messages will be turned off on 18th September.
“We’re constantly reevaluating our priorities and have decided to discontinue YouTube’s native direct messaging feature while we focus on improving public conversations,” a YouTube spokesperson to Variety.
YouTube users, however, can download any exchanges they want to keep through their Google account data exporter. To get your private messaging archive, visit google.com/takeout.