YouTube has evolved to become a place as much about engaging conversations as it is about fascinating videos about everything you can search for. No wonder then, that it is the second largest search engine, behind Google. And now it’s getting going to take on social media giants, with the launch of the ‘Community’ feature.
Taking Engagement Further
The need for the new ‘Community’ platform is a logical evolution of what YouTube intends to do. Where YouTube creators could only reply to comments on their videos earlier, now they can do a lot more. How much more? In their own words, this is how YouTube describes it –
Now you can do things like text, live videos, images, animated GIFs and more, giving you easier, lightweight ways to engage with your fans more often in between uploads, in real time.
So, rather than asking their fans to follow them on Twitter or like their Facebook pages, creators can have a single place to interact. This makes engagement more simplified and keeps the conversation under YouTube’s roof. The ‘Community’ tab will show up for each channel that a user follows and is in the beta stage for a number of channels like John & Hank Green, The Key of Awesome, Vsauce3 and others.
Speaking of John Green, here’s him explaining the feature in his own cool way.
This seems like the beginning of larger step that YouTube is making to move in a direction that will see it moving further to audience engagement. You don’t have to rely on Tumblr for posting graphs and getting specific feedback on that, or creating charts that can easily be shared within a single app/platform.
The Look and Feel
At the time of writing this post, I could already see the ‘Community’ tab in the shortlisted YouTube channels which are part of the beta program. Here is a cool gif that will give you a better idea of how it will look on your smartphone.
It’s hard to see what ‘new’ has YouTube brought to the fore with this new announcement. But, we have to remember that is just the beginning. Google’s vision is surely on something bigger and there is no doubt that this can be taken further than merely increasing comments for videos or additional posts that creators add on their channels (like John Green has already added a Book Review on his Community on the vlogbrothers channel).
Yay or Nay?
What do you make of this feature being introduced? Hate it or love it? Leave a comment to let us know.