YouTube opens up mobile live streaming to more users

8 Feb 2017

YouTube. Image: Issarapong Suya/Shutterstock

Do you create videos on YouTube? Is your subscriber list growing? You might be able to avail of YouTube’s live streaming tool.

Last June, YouTube revealed a live streaming service for mobile in what seemed, at the time, to herald a new age for the online video company.

With numerous sporting occasions live-streamed prior to the 2016 reveal, it appeared that YouTube was ready to dominate.

However it’s only now, about seven months later, that the company is extending the service, and it’s limited to creators with more than 10,000 subscribers.

YouTube claims there are “hundreds of thousands” of such creators, with a general release coming soon.

What has taken so long? Well the June release, which saw users such as The Young TurksAIBPlaticaPolinesiaSacconeJolys, and Alex Wassabi act as guinea pigs, has helped the Google-owned video giant hone its offering somewhat.

Building the live streaming on its “rock-solid infrastructure”, the company has tweaked the original version to add features, such as slowing down live chat – “it turns out receiving 2,000 messages per second is a little too fast”.

Another tweak is pushing better streaming quality across devices, something that would surely be a necessity for any success in this field.

A complementary tool called Super Chat was also created, as a way for creators to monetise their live stream.

Fans pay fees so that their feedback is more prominent and, theoretically, this encourages the creator to engage directly with them. This is available to creators in more than 20 countries, and visible to users in more than 40.

Of course, streaming from desktop is available to all but the world is now mobile, so a full release is overdue.

Google’s parent company Alphabet recently said that revenues for the fourth quarter surged 22pc on the back of mobile search and YouTube.

“Our growth in the fourth quarter was exceptional – with revenues up 22pc year-on-year and 24pc on a constant currency basis,” said Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet.

“This performance was led by mobile search and YouTube. We’re seeing great momentum in Google’s newer investment areas and ongoing strong progress in Other Bets,” Porat added.

YouTube. Image: Issarapong Suya/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic