YouTube is reportedly building a standalone livestreaming app called YouTube Connect for both iOS and Android devices that would compete with the likes of one-year-old Periscope and Facebook’s nascent streaming service, Live.
The app could launch as soon as May, according to VentureBeat, which was first to the report the news, ahead of Google’s I/O developer conference.
Users will reportedly be able to log in to YouTube Connect through their Google or YouTube accounts and stream directly from their phones. The app also features chat and tagging capabilities, a save and replay feature for completed streams, and a home feed of sorts listing streams from both friends and the YouTube channels to which users are subscribed.
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Streams will be viewable on the app as well as on creators’ respective YouTube channels, according to VentureBeat — though there are no integrations with other social networks like Facebook or Twitter that would allow creators to alert audiences that they are live.
YouTube does currently offer livestreaming through its Creator Studio, a set of tools for that enables creators to either ‘Stream Now’ or schedule future events. However, a standalone app would make the capability much more ubiquitous for creators and viewers alike.
As the forefather of online video and the homestead for some of the Web’s most influential creators, it seems only natural that YouTube would seek to make its mark on the buzzy livestreaming category — though it may have some catching up to do. Twitter, for instance, which launched Periscope last March, listed livestreaming as its top priority for 2016 in an annual report, and Facebook has amped up its own platform, ‘Live’, with several new initiatives in recent weeks, including an algorithm change and a bid to pay certain celebrities to start streaming.