YouTube announced Tuesday (Feb. 7) plans for mobile live streaming, giving content creators another avenue to share their thoughts and lives with their subscribers.
The Google-owned video-sharing service is not new to live streaming (the company has supported the feature since 2011), but now the option to “go live” will be available in the YouTube mobile app. All you have to do is open YouTube, select capture and you’re broadcasting live.
However, it’s important to note the feature will initially only be available to creators who have more than 10,000 subscribers. The company promises that the entire community will have access to the feature “soon.”
Streamed videos will have the same features as the videos that currently populate the service. Viewers can find live videos via search, recommendations, playlists or links made available by the creator.
The announcement has been portrayed as a direct challenge to the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat – rival social media services that have recently incorporated live streaming to great success. The biggest draw to YouTube’s option, however, is the ability to earn revenue through a monetization tool called Super Chat.
Viewers can pay to have their comments pinned to the top of the chat ticker during a broadcast. The color of the message, amount of time the message remains pinned and the message length are all determined by the amount paid, which can range from $1-$500.
“Super Chat is like paying for that front-row seat in the digital age: it lets any fan watching a live stream stand out from the crowd and get a creator’s attention by purchasing chat messages that are highlighted in bright colors and stay pinned to the top of the chat window for up to five hours,” the company wrote in a blog post.
The support site for Super Chat states revenue will be received in the same manner as Adsense revenue, which is a 55-45 split between Youtube and creators. That makes it even less likely for popular YouTube creators to live stream on other services because there is no need. They can continue to make money the same way they are accustomed to and their audience is already in place.
The company also said it has been working with “hundreds” of creators in order to fine tune the mobile streaming experience. Based on their feedback, it made changes such as slowing down the chat and improving streaming quality across devices – both of which are significant elements of any live stream.