A week after its logo refresh and latest redesign, YouTube is now updating its livestreaming service. YouTube Live is getting the ability to live stream in real time with very little latency, the ability to live stream directly from your iPhone screen, and easier chat moderation.
The ultra-low latency option makes it possible to stream video with just a couple seconds of latency, letting YouTube creators answer fan questions and get viewer input faster than before. Switching to the more demanding option doesn’t require any special software or encoders. Just pick your stream option: Normal latency, Low latency, or Ultra-low latency, and you’re good to go.
YouTube Gaming already leverages Apple’s ReplayKit to let you livestream directly from various iOS games. Now the feature is coming to the main YouTube app for iPhone and iPad so you can livestream from within apps and games while using your phone’s microphone and front-facing camera to add your own video and audio commentary.
Livestreaming wouldn’t be livestreaming without real-time chat messages. And of course, comments need to be moderated. YouTube is thus introducing three new chat moderation tools:
- Inline moderation: Press and hold the “alt/option” button on your keyboard to pause the chat feed, and then you can hover over messages to remove or approve them with a single click.
- Hold potentially inappropriate messages for review: You can now opt-in to having questionable chat messages identified by YouTube’s moderation system. They will be held from posting on your streams, and you can decide whether to approve, hide, or report them (just like with comments). As you review more messages, the system will get better at identifying the types of messages you want to hold for review. If you want to block certain words or phrases, you can do that too.
- Shared hidden user lists: Moderators can use the same hidden users list across comments and live chat. In the future, hides will work in both live chat and comments, regardless of where you take that action.
These are iterative improvements, but they’re all very welcome ones. YouTube is sending a clear message to Facebook and Amazon’s Twitch: The Google-owned company is in the livestreaming game for the long haul.