YouTube began rolling out live streaming in its mobile app on Tuesday, a move that will make it in direct competition with Facebook Live and other live streaming platforms like Periscope when it comes to going live when on-the-go.
However, YouTube is following in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter and only offering the feature for its top creators.
Mobile live streaming is first rolling out to YouTube creators that have more than 10,000 subscribers. This means followers will start to see most of their favorite YouTube stars go live from their phones.
Along with giving popular content creators first dibs at the mobile feature, YouTube is rewarding them in an even better way—with money.
YouTube will give creators a portion of the ad revenues generated from their live videos. This provides creators with another way to make money on the platform through advertising besides their traditional videos.
The idea is that creators will now produce more content for YouTube now that they can start recording from anywhere at any time. Top creators just have to tap on the camera icon in the app to start recording a live video.
The creator can live stream in portrait or landscape mode, and enable or disable live chat.
Those who follow that creator will get a notification informing them about the live stream.
It also means that YouTube's live streaming for mobile will compete directly against Facebook Live, which is commonly used by many celebrities. However, many social media stars become "Internet famous" from their YouTube videos, so it makes sense that they would want to go live on their home platform rather than on another social network.
Facebook users do not make money from live streaming since there are no ads.
YouTube will eventually roll out mobile live streaming to all users later in the year.
Live video streams functionality launched on the platform in 2011, but only for the computer.
YouTube also launched a new way for users to make money. Called SuperChat, the feature allows any of age viewer (on the web or Android, not iOS) to pay to have their comment highlighted on a live video. Their comment will remain in the spotlight for a set period of time, with a maximum of five hours for $500.
While it's not clear how much revenue the creator gets out of this feature, it also serves as a way to be able to spot their most loyal fans.