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For years YouTube was the go-to platform for video content and only had a relatively small live-streaming offering. When it came to live videos, we saw a number of platforms enter the arena; Periscope and Meerkat to name but a few. And more recently we’ve seen Facebook’s video proposition go from strength to strength with the introduction of Facebook Live.

In the last year, social media users have shifted to a more immediate form of content consumption and it seemed YouTube had just been sitting and watching the change take effect. Until now, that is.

This week YouTube has introduced numerous updates to its live-streaming capabilities which are currently only available to channels with 1,000 or more subscribers. Its aim is to give channels more ways of interacting and engaging with their communities.

So, what exactly are these updates and how could they benefit you?

Chat replays

YouTube has realised just how important live-chat is in terms of building connections between curators and subscribers, and the new chat replay feature means users can enjoy the feeling of watching a live stream, even if the chat has ended. The original conversation will show up next to the video in real-time, no one has to miss out on your content.

Automatic captions

Time poor and small budgets? YouTube has introduced automated captions for live videos filmed in English. Previously this service was only available when creators provided the captions themselves, an expensive process and often time-consuming.

“With our live automatic speech recognition (LASR) technology, you’ll get captions with error rates and latency approaching industry standards.”

More importantly, introducing this capability to live video makes content accessible to more people and allows channels to continue building meaningful relationships.

Geo-tagging

The addition of fun features such as geo-tagging enables creators to add location tags to their mobile live streams and allows users to explore other videos with the same location tag. This exciting new feature gives users the experience of what it feels like to be in certain place at a certain time. For travel brands, in particular, this could be an interesting feature to test – it could be a really unique way of showcasing a destination.

It has become evident that over the last year or so, YouTube hasn’t just been sitting quietly idle while Facebook ramps up its Live proposition. YouTube has been taking note on what has and hasn’t worked in the world of live-streaming so far, and this week has shown the world just how good live-streaming can really get.

Live-streaming is a more intimate and spontaneous way for producers, creators and the like to share their thoughts, values and creativity. And, with YouTube’s updates this week there’s nothing stopping you, so get streaming!

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