While YouTube has hosted live streaming since 2011 – a simpler time of royal weddings and people jumping from space – it will now be offering live mobile streaming and a new revenue channel for its biggest creators.
The video platform giant has officially launched its mobile live streaming feature for all users with 10,000 or more subscribers in hopes of spurring “a more intimate and spontaneous connection between creators and viewers.”
Hundreds of thousands of creators will be able to use the new feature, which can be accessed with just a few clicks, the company says in a blog post from Feb. 7. It will become available for users with fewer subscribers “soon”, the company adds.
“Mobile live streaming has been built directly into the YouTube mobile app,” YouTube says. “All you have to do to start streaming is open YouTube, hit the big red capture button in the corner, take or select a photo to use as a thumbnail, and you can broadcast live to your fans and chat in near real time.”
The mobile live streaming feature was initially released at VidCon 2016, a conference celebrating online video that was held in Anaheim, Calif. from June 23-25, in a beta testing program for select creators, including Canadian creator UnboxTherapy, which saw early success with the feature.
And to help creators earn revenue from live streaming, YouTube has also launched Super Chat, a new monetization tool that allows viewers to purchase chat messages that stay pinned to the top of the chat window for up to five hours. The chat bubbles are brightly coloured to let the viewer stand out, while adding “visual flair” to the chats and a new way for users to earn some money.
However, Super Chat is only available to creators in 20 countries, including Canada (though it’s available to viewers in more than 40 countries), as of Feb. 7.