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YouTube goes beyond video with new community features

YouTube looking towards the future of the growing platform, which looks more like a social network than solely a video hosting service. They’re beta testing an expanded community with ‘YouTube Community’ where creators can share GIFs, images, text post, live video, and much more.

YouTube has grown up a lot over the past ten years. In fact, being a YouTuber is becoming an important and common career path for many budding creatives. Sure, YouTubers still get questions of how they make money or if that’s a real job, but it’s a come a long way since the early days.

The Vlogbrothers published a video talking about the changes, and as Hank Green say any changes on YouTube are unwelcomed. These changes aren’t as radical as a new design or demonizing videos, but these changes may have a warmer welcome than others. While they do alter how creators interact with subscribers, it’ll likely go unused by many still. YouTube has had a community comment wall on each channel for years, and it’s become a cesspool of insults and spam. The YouTube Community tab will feel more like a stream of thoughts from creators; that looks a lot like a Twitter feed.

Google could make YouTube the defacto community in the future, ditching Google+ altogether in the long run. Either way, YouTube has a new way for creators to talk with subscribers instead of pointing towards Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. All of that can be shared in-house, whether this is something that will be forgotten about or a great thing that will take YouTube to the next level is yet to be seen. I’m siding on the feature will go unused by creators, partly because it’s more economical for creators to share their thoughts on Twitter or Facebook where the audiences are larger.

Tell us in the comments below what you think about YouTube Community, and whether you’d like to see updates from creators.

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2 responses to “YouTube goes beyond video with new community features”

  1. YouTube should just stick to video-related content. I think they should keep YouTube & Google+ separate projects. They’ve already tried linking and unlinking Google+ and YouTube accounts.

    I think they’re looking at Facebook’s growing video audience. People like a social experience with videos from creators interacting with their audience to news broadcasters wanting to share breaking news and opening up the discussion.

    But isn’t discussion already firmly in the YouTube comments? Perhaps YouTube are thinking that people want a feed of what their subscribers are watching. Although you can do this by visiting someone’s channel, it’s not really brought together in a feed.

    Personally I think people are more concerned about monetization issues. Maybe YouTube are trying to distract people away from that by adding new features.

    • Maybe it’s all a distraction, but YouTube is also feeling the heat from Facebook. The site’s grown the video presence, but hasn’t address how video creators will make money or how they’ll stop copyright problems – all of which YouTube has solutions too, or is trying to fix.

      Google+ was a fail attempt because they forced an outside site and service onto a community that was thriving, and need to fix the issue of harassment. Now that Google+ is uncoupled from YouTube this new community feature is more focused on creators, and not really the consumer. Though the two are one in the same when you really think about it.

      Youtube is trying to add more value for creators that have larger followings by giving them a space to share thoughts and more content than just videos. It’s great for fashion vloggers, daily vloggers, and others who share pieces of their lives. At the same time, it might be a tool certain tubers won’t use. Anyone uploading videos multiple times a day and do it only by themselves will now have more on their plate to keep subscribers happy.

      Are the tools useful? Yes, but to which YouTubers? If the tubers I watch don’t flood my streams with crap I’ll be happy, but as I’m realizing with Instagram stories – I love certain Instagram accounts, but they post to darn much on their stories.