YouTube rolls out live video streaming to mobile app

YouTube has added a live video streaming tool to its mobile app for broadcasting footage directly from a smartphone. ― AFP pic
YouTube has added a live video streaming tool to its mobile app for broadcasting footage directly from a smartphone. ― AFP pic

SAN FRANCISCO, June 25 ― Although YouTube has allowed live video streaming from a computer since 2011, users will now be able to broadcast live footage from a smartphone, a function already available from social networks Facebook (via Facebook Live) and Twitter (via Periscope).

Smartphone users will now be able to stream live video directly via the YouTube mobile app for Android and iOS. While some testers already have access to the function, the service will be rolled out to all users imminently by means of an update, Google announced.

The first screenshots to appear online show a service that bears a certain resemblance to Periscope. Plus, like Periscope, users watching YouTube's live videos will be able to comment as they watch and interact with the person filming by means of messages that pop up onscreen. In bid to stand out from competitors, YouTube promises a solution that's “faster and more reliable than anything else out there.”

YouTube's announcement comes just a few days after Tumblr announced support for live videos thanks to partnerships with YouNow, Kanvas, Upclose and ... YouTube.

The idea of streaming live video from a smartphone took off in March 2015 with the near simultaneous launch of Meerkat and, above all, Periscope, Twitter's live video tool that has gained increasing popularity. In one year, over 100 million videos were broadcast by its users. At the beginning of 2016, Facebook followed suit with its own Live platform, a service almost identical to Periscope but bolstered by the social network's 1.5 billion potential users. The huge potential audience no doubt also spurred YouTube into outing its own take on this now must-have service.

The YouTube mobile application is available to download free from Google Play (Android) and the App Store (iOS). ― AFP-Relaxnews

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