YouTube has made it much easier for users to livestream directly from their computer. While this was possible before, it required encoding software to act as a go-between. That requirement is now gone, with YouTube adding a new “Go live option” to their browser-based software.
The feature has been in beta and looks a lot like Facebook Live. Once you start streaming, by clicking the “Go live” option on the Youtube header bar or going straight to to Go Live site, you can share your thoughts, online training or whatever directly to whoever you can convince to watch.
You may need to verify your YouTube account in order to activate the Go Live feature and it only works in Chrome at this stage. You’ll also need to give the service access to your camera and microphone.
Once you’re streaming, your audience can provide comments and feedback which appear alongside your stream.
With Facebook facing significant negative publicity over the Cambridge Analytica incident and the #leavefacebook movement getting some momentum, YouTube’s move is quite timely. It provides an alternative to a popular Facebook service at a time when the social media giant is under intense scrutiny which has resulted in a significant loss of share value, the likely ousting of their security chief and Mark Zuckerberg being asked to testify in London on how to “fix” Facebook.
I don’t know of youTube was planning on cutting into Facebook’s market this week, but pushing the Go Live feature out this week seems like a smart move.