YouTube recently launched a beta messenger app on its Android and iOS apps, allowing users to interact on the platform in a friendlier way.
Currently in the testing phase, YouTube's chat function is embedded in the mobile app and lets friends communicate easier with each other while sharing their favorite videos.
Wired reports that dedicated users of social media will find the messenger app very familiar. Texts appear in a window next to the videos shared by friends. As users take a peek at a shared video, they can easily go back to the discussion thread and continue the text conversation. What is more, the app lets users reply to friends by using YouTube videos.
If you like certain posts more than others you may express your appreciation via the heart button. Sadly, features that are commonplace in other messaging apps, such as photo-sharing or stickers, do not appear in YouTube's app.
Google seems to want users to focus exclusively on videos when using the messaging app, and that is likely why it "forgot" to embed the sharing of other file types.
By keeping video clips in its crosshairs, the app saves time and energy that otherwise would go into copy-pasting YouTube links all over chat apps. A streamlined process of sharing video content with friends does contribute to a better experience. However, Google might have another reason for the chat service: the tech company wants users to spend more time in the YouTube app.
A small percentage of YouTube users already have access to the in-app messenger. The good news is that users who have the feature and start a conversation with a friend are delivering the software instantly to their buddy. The not-so-stellar news is that this is the only way to get the app, at least for now.
No official information from YouTube exists pertaining to when the native messaging feature will go live for everyone, but it may not be long now.
Video content is becoming increasingly important, and rival companies are already pedaling to stay ahead. Amazon recently rolled out Amazon Video Direct, a service that gives content creators the ability to share their work to YouTubers and get paid while doing it.
By introducing additional services such as the YouTube messaging app, Google shows that it is determined to jump through hoops to keep the video platform in first place.
Photo: Jorge Gonzalez | Flickr