YouTube takes on Facebook Live with mobile livestreaming

YouTube is strengthening its position in the livestream sphere today with the announcement that it’s introducing a new mobile live stream feature.

The feature will only be available to "Creators" with more than 10,000 subscribers for now but it’ll be rolled out to all other users eventually.

If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of people with more than 10,000 subscribers, getting a mobile livestream going is a straightforward process as the feature has been built directly into the YouTube mobile app.

All you have to do is open the mobile app, hit the capture button and you’re live. Streamed videos won’t be any different from regular YouTube videos in terms of features – they can still be searched for, found via recommendations and playlists, and they’re also still protected from unauthorized use.  

Coming to you live

YouTube has been working on the feature with creators to refine it before its launch, using their feedback to to make improvements. One improvement, for example is that live chat has been slowed down – perhaps now if you stumble upon a busy live stream you’ll actually be able to read the messages that are posted. 

There’s also another new feature that’ll accompany mobile livestreams called Super Chat. YouTube has dubbed this “a new live stream monetization tool.”

We’ve all seen how quickly the chat section on a livestream can move, with fans desperate to directly contact their favorite creators. 

Super Chat will enable any fan watching a livestream to purchase a chat message that will be highlighted in bright colors and stay pinned to the top of the chat window for up to five hours. 

The idea is that this is the best chance to have your message noticed by the creator that’s doing the livestream while giving them the chance to make some money out of using the livestream feature.

YouTube has been in the livestreaming game since 2011 and it's continued to improve upon its service through offering 4K streams and supporting 360 degree live content. 

However, with Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat all making instant video sharing more mobile than ever with their live services, YouTube really had to do this to keep up with the competition.

Though it’s fairly late to the game with this new feature, YouTube will still hold the edge in terms of attracting high profile creators. 

Not only will they be able to keep all of their video content in one place rather than splitting themselves across several social channels to interact with fans, Super Chat will enable them to monetize their content in a way that other services don’t.

You can see more about livestreaming via mobile through the video below:

Emma Boyle

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.