New Features Boost YouTube’s Push to Supercharge Its Live Streaming Capabilities

In an effort to expand the viewer and creator experience, YouTube rolled out five new live streaming features that should make it easier to share content, particularly for online marketers.

From MySpace to Facebook, the growth of social media use over the last two decades has influenced our lives in ways we could not have imagined. The influence is lasting as visual stimulation through video clips becomes the norm. Letter-writing pen pals sharing a few polaroids have been replaced by electronic characters and images on our smartphones. 

As you read this, millions of social media users are sharing electronic content through social media apps. Popular social media apps like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter still get most of the attention. Since 2016, however, TikTok has been steadily gaining popularity, particularly among the 18-49 age demographic. 

The ability to edit and enhance15-second video clips drove TikTok’s rise in popularity. To compete, YouTube stepped up its video editing and enhancement capabilities, including live streaming, a potentially profitable format for some brands. These five YouTube features are either in testing or will be released in a few months. 

Cross-Channel Live Redirects

YouTube already has a feature called “live redirect” which lets subscribers with a minimum of 1,000 subscribers redirect viewers to another premier or live stream on the same channel. This feature helps brands develop a following that can then be redirected to another page or event either live or as a premiere. Sharing capabilities are limited because the redirects only apply to the same channel. YouTube fixed this so now cross-channel live redirect lets content owners send subscribers to other channels

Marketing tip: Use cross-channel live redirects to develop brand awareness among niche market audiences. Niche markets sometimes need other niche markets to network with for maximum advertising effort.

Live Q and A

Once YouTube releases Live Q and A later this year, viewers will be able to post questions during a live stream. The stream creator prompts the Q and A session in real-time at the top of the stream window. Viewers then have the ability to interact with the stream’s creator, bringing audience participation to a truly collaborative level.

Marketing tip: Live Q and A is perfect for rolling out new products that can benefit from introductions that are like media events. Many consumers would appreciate the chance to ask direct questions from a manufacturer. With Live Q and A, you can even host virtual trade shows.

Split-Screen Viewing for Mobile Devices

Smartphones and other mobile devices that can connect to the internet are leading a push for multi-screen functionality. We spend our tech-enabled lives multitasking with several apps running at once. YouTube’s split-screen viewing lets viewers participate and view simultaneous live streams. This feature has two options for viewing–lean back and lean in. In the lean-back viewing option (also known as the collapsed live chat experience) users see a live feed in landscape mode with the chat experience in the lower right corner. 

The lean-in option has a live chat engagement panel at the right of the screen. These options replace the overlays YouTube used to stay engaged. Toggle between screens by clicking the number of viewers. At the same time, the lean-back mode will show teasers and other info for the other feed. 

Marketing tip: You’ve probably noticed our society and culture have moved away from stationary computing devices. You can create content that still has a digital message even in the “lean back” option. In other words, market products that help people multitask where no space on a mobile screen is wasted. 

Go Live Together

YouTube is putting lots of effort into its collaboration features. If you’re fortunate to be a tester, you could already be familiar with YouTube’s feature called Go Live Together. Viewers can participate in a joint live stream with a shareable link as an invite with this feature. Once part of the stream, the stream creator can screen the other live streamer before going live with both streams.

Marketing tip: Collaboration in real-time has expanded from working in digital offices to other parts of our digital lives. Your business can use YouTube to spread product awareness through live customer reviewers. Think Google Business Profile reviews but in live video format with links people share with other people.  

Live Rings

Live Rings is reminiscent of “on-air” signs that appear in live studios. The new feature puts a ring around a profile picture that has a live stream going on. YouTube is working to create ways to discover content through web searches and then easily share it among followers. Clicking on the ringed profile picture takes the user directly to the live feed without clicking through landing pages and other clutter.

Marketing tip: Live Rings bring the live “radio-like” feel to live YouTube feeds. Brands with a public face can use this feature to gain audiences. 

Final Thoughts

Technology has given our culture the ability to live digital lives across multiple mediums with live video streaming and short video clips shared among friends and YouTube followers. Digital media in the form of videos and live streams are like the final frontier of online marketing. Among the more popular social media apps, YouTube is leading the way with updated features that make sharing and collaboration easier.

If your business is considering using YouTube as part of your social media advertising campaigns, you’ll need a digital marketing agency that knows how to make YouTube work for you. Give Web Rocket Media a call today and put the power of YouTube to work for your business. Their social media experts can design a custom advertising campaign that utilizes the power of the internet and collaboration.