YouTube Adds Subscriber-Only Chats And Polls For Livestreamers, Expands ‘Clips’ Feature To More Gaming Creators

By 07/15/2021
YouTube Adds Subscriber-Only Chats And Polls For Livestreamers, Expands ‘Clips’ Feature To More Gaming Creators

Creators who livestream on YouTube now have access to three “highly requested” features, the platform says.

First up, all streamers can now choose to limit participation in their live chats to subscribers only, for both regular streams and scheduled Premieres.

Creators can either allow all subscribers to send messages in the chat, or can narrow the window to people who have been subscribed for a specific length of time–from hours to days to weeks to months to years, per YouTube.

This function can be turned on prior to or during streams.

Next, live polls are available to all streamers, too. YouTube says it hopes creators will use polls to “interact with your chat audiences in new ways,” like letting viewers make crucial real-time decisions during video game playthroughs.

And finally, all gaming creators with at least 1,000 subscribers now have access to Clips, a feature YouTube first unveiled in January. Clips gives any YouTube user the ability to highlight between five and sixty seconds of content from creators’ uploads and live streams.

The selection then becomes its own “clip” with attribution for the clipper, and can be shared directly, apart from the full upload/live stream. However, when someone follows a Clip link, they’re still taken to the original video’s watch page, where the Clip will loop until they navigate away or click through to the whole video.

When Clips debuted, a YouTube Gaming product manager said that because Clips play on the source content’s watch page, “all the original monetization settings apply, and the user is one tap away from instantly watching the full video or live stream.”

Creators who do not want their content clipped can disable this feature in YouTube Studio.

YouTube says it plans to expand Clips to all creators in the future.

It’s worth noting that all three of these features are already baked into YouTube Gaming’s streaming competitor Twitch, and have been for a while. YouTube has been positioning itself as a competitor for Twitch since the Great Ninja Exodus of 2019–and the rushed rash of talent signings that followed, as it, Twitch, Facebook Gaming, and now-dead Mixer hurried to snap up big streaming names. Whether it will eventually add features that innovate above Twitch’s established tools remains to be seen.