YouTube speaks: We’ll let you all live-stream soon

24 Jun 2016

While Periscope and Facebook Live jostle for early pole position in the live-streaming industry, YouTube is getting ready to dominate in an instant.

There are few true giants in technology, maybe five or six. Apple somehow dominates what constitutes ‘cool’. Google: search. Facebook: social media. Amazon: e-commerce. Spotify: music streaming. YouTube: video streaming.

The latter is, perhaps, the most dominant of the lot and, at the click of its fingers, YouTube could do away with Periscope and Facebook Live faster than it took you to watch the Chewbacca mask masterpiece a few weeks ago.

Future Human

Live streaming has been a feature on YouTube for a few years now, with this year’s Europa League and Champions League finals played over the service last month.

Earlier this year, 21m people watched Coachella – in 360º video – on YouTube, while the company claims “one-sixth of the internet” watched Felix Baumgartner fall from space in 2012.

However, general users have yet to be given the keys to the castle, we can’t live-stream on YouTube. But that could all change soon. “Soon” being the word of Kurt Wilms, product lead for immersive experiences at the company.

Wilms and his team are already working on integrating a streaming service into the general YouTube app, meaning an upgrade soon is pretty much all users will have to do.

“Because it’s built right into the YouTube app, mobile live streaming will have all the features your regular videos have,” said Wilms. “You’ll be able to search for them, find them through recommendations and playlists and protect them from unauthorised uses.”

YouTube Live Streaming

There’s no timeline for the full release, though as of today The Young Turks, AIB, Platica Polinesia, SacconeJolys, and Alex Wassabi are already hooked up to this brave new world.

The news comes less than 48 hours after Periscope enjoyed its finest hour, amid a sit-in at the US House of Representatives. This will all look like small fry once YouTube really gets involved, though.

Smartphone image via d8nn/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic