YouTube is shutting down the direct messaging feature on its app that launched in mid-2017. As a platform that encourages people to share content, adding an in-app messaging feature made sense, as it would allow YouTube users to send friends private messages.

However, the feature is now being shut down, according to the company. After Sept. 18, the function will cease.

YouTube Shutting Down Direct Messages

9to5Google first noticed the change. YouTube has since confirmed the change, but in its announcement about the removal, the company doesn't offer much explanation behind the feature's shutdown. It does say, however, that its recent work has been more focused on public conversations, with updates to comments, posts, and Stories. It gives no reason why Message is suddenly at the bottom of the priorities list.

Reason For The Removal

A likely reason, as TechCrunch notes, is that YouTubers probably didn't use the feature enough. People these days have a preferred messaging channel — be it Messenger, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. — and most stay loyal to their choice, rarely jumping back and forth platforms. This is perhaps also why Facebook is working on a consolidated messaging platform that will work across its apps. As such, YouTube probably realized it was wasting resources supporting a feature that went under-utilized.

As an alternative, YouTube advises users to share links using other social networks. Thankfully, there are plenty of options already available, from something as simple as Messenger to a more specialized one such as Watch2Gether, which, as the name implies, lets users watch YouTube videos in a virtual space simultaneously.

It's not likely there'll be an outcry over this change, as the feature didn't seem as if it got a lot of traction to begin with. However, users who did find the feature useful don't have to mourn. They can download their YouTube Message archives via Google's Takeout service.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, is not the only service dealing with removal of unnecessary features, and in Google's case, entire apps. Google builds a lot of messaging apps and experiences, and though some of them live on and continue existing as standalone apps, some get subsumed under bigger apps — or worse, get sent to the infamous Google graveyard.

Thoughts about YouTube Message? Do you think it's wise for Google to remove the feature completely? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!

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