Live streaming by users on mobile devices started in 2014 with Meerkat and Twitter’s Periscope but never really took off until Facebook joined the party in 2016 with Facebook Live. Now Google has made its live streaming service called YouTube Live, available to mobile users who have more than 10,000 subscribers. It will be available on both Android and iOS and users won’t have to pay a dime to use it. The only cost incurred by a user will be that of broadband connection. Users can broadcast in up to 1080p resolution, provided the phone’s camera allows it.
While YouTube Live on desktop has been around since 2014, access to it was restricted to very few.
How does it work?
To go live, open the YouTube app, tap on the capture button, choose the broadcast mode (vertical/horizontal) and add a filter (YouTube offers eight filters) before starting a live broadcast.
Creators can share the link of the live stream with friends and followers on social media. Users can also look up for a live broadcast by typing the relevant keywords in the search bar, or by simply browsing in the live section in the Trending section of the YouTube homepage.
Like other live streaming services, YouTube Live also supports live chats. These live chats allow subscribers to chat with creators during a live broadcast.
What makes their live chat a bit more interesting is a feature called Super Chat. It is a paid service which provides preferential treatment to super chat users by pinning their chat messages at the top of the chat window for five hours. Usually, a chat is pushed down in a few seconds if too many people are watching and chatting during a live broadcast.
The chat tab of Super chat users will also be highlighted in bright colours. This will allow viewers to connect to creators more elaborately and can help creators make some money from their live streams. Super Chat is available to creators in more than 20 countries and viewers in more than 40 countries.
Who can use it?
The feature will be available only to YouTube Creators who have over 10,000 subscribers.
YouTube Creators is a term given by Google to the users and channels which are actively creating and posting new videos. Restricting access to only creators with 10,000 subscribers does restrict its useability, but it will also keep out the clutter of random live streams.
While Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are immensely popular with users, they are not originally a video streaming service like YouTube and this gives it a slight edge over them. Also, YouTube Live provides its users the option to make some money through Super chats.