YouTube Community: Video site unveils new built-in social network
James R | On 14, Sep 2016
YouTube has made good on the rumours of starting its own social media platform with the launch of YouTube Community.
The feature, which has been buzzed about for several weeks, has been officially unveiled by the site, allowing creators to communicate with their viewers directly through the site – and we don’t just mean in the comments section.
The platform is accessible by the “Community” tab on creators’ channels, giving them a way to engage with viewers beyond videos. Text posts, images, GIFs and live videos can all be posted to the area to give fans more to engage with between uploads. Those who follow the YouTube Channel will see the posts in their subscriptions feed and can opt into getting a notification for any new updates.
“Community is a special release for us because it represents the deepest product collaboration we’ve ever done with creators like you. We started by inviting creators in early to develop, in partnership with us, the tools they wanted to better engage with their fans,” says Kiley McEvoy, Senior Product Manager, in a blog post announcing the release.
Creators who contributed to the project include John & Hank Green, AsapSCIENCE, The Game Theorists, Karmin, The Key of Awesome, The Kloons, Lilly Singh, Peter Hollens, Rosianna Halse Rojas, Sam Tsui, Threadbanger, and VSauce3.
The beta version of YouTube Community is now live with those creators, but YouTube plans to roll out the platform to more creators, in addition to adding new features and functions.
Backstage: YouTube to hit back at rivals with new social platform?
26th August 2016
YouTube is reportedly looking to hit back at its rivals with a new social platform.
Rumoured to be called Backstage, the platform would see YouTube take Facebook on head-to-head. Indeed, the social network has stepped up its own streaming game significantly in the last year, with an area of the site now dedicated to video and user timelines frequently full of video uploads. Facebook has paid partners to publish on the site and is also increasingly approaching vlogging stars on YouTube to jump on the Zuckerberg train.
YouTube has long held the advantage over Facebook, with 500 million hours of video viewed per day, far above Facebook’s 100 million, while its creators are also able to earn money easily from their content – something that has been sorely lacking from Facebook’s fledgling infrastructure. With the social network showing no sign of slowing down its plans to attract both eyeballs and talent, though, VentureBeat reports that the site will now take a step in other direction; as Facebook tries to become YouTube, YouTube is looking to become more like Facebook.
Sources tell VentureBeat that “Backstage”, as the feature is internally called, will allow channels to share photos and polls and links with their subscribers – a multimedia feed that will not be unlike a Facebook timeline. Users will also be able to comment with their own videos, GIFs and photos, which are being dubbed “rich replies”.
The move would mark yet another venture into the social media world for Google, which has previously tried (and largely failed) to get services such as Google Plus, Google Wave, Google Buzz going. YouTube’s existing community, though, is fertile ground to grow something new, with a dedicated tab potentially sitting on the video site to direct users to the reverse chronological feed.
“While Backstage is expected to introduce entirely new types of content to YouTube, including tweet-like text posts and topical polls, it also presents new opportunities for video sharing,” notes VentureBeat. “Backstage will eventually enable users to share both traditional YouTube videos and Backstage-only videos, possibly creating an opportunity for more intimate, or even ephemeral, video sharing between YouTubers and their fans.”
YouTube has declined to comment on the report, but the new feature would make sense in a competitive landscape; rather than try to beat or replace Facebook – or, indeed, Twitter, which has its own video plans, thanks to a deal with NFL – Backstage would help YouTube keep users on its site for longer amounts of time. With a gargantuan bank of users, creators and brands all publishing and consuming video every day, perhaps a little extra time away from its rivals is all that it needs.