You’re talking with a friend, and the conversation turns to something that a YouTube video perfectly encapsulates,now YouTube is making a move to let you take those offline moments online directly, without copying and pasting links into emails, texts, apps, or other IMs. Instead, YouTube wants you to chat and share with friends right in YouTube.
YouTube announced this week that it’s testing a new feature with a subset of its mobile app user base that will allow them to easily share videos with family and friends. Users with the feature can chat about those videos in a new tab in the app, the company says.They can then spread the feature to their friends by inviting them into conversation threads. Friends can chat about the shared video right inside YouTube’s mobile app. They can also reply with another video.
YouTube is smart to try to capitalize on that behavior, in order to increase usage of its own app as well as the time its users spend engaged with its service on mobile.Its mobile usage has been steadily climbing over the years, and now sees average mobile viewing sessions of 40 minutes. It’s also bigger than any single U.S. cable TV network with the key demographic that includes those aged 18 to 49, the company has previously said.
The messenger feature is still in beta testing, and not all users have access to it at this time, YouTube notes. However, it is being trialed on both iOS and Android.Friends who receive a video in the chat-like interface can choose to respond by sending a video of their own, or they can just type out a response or use emoji.
This messenger feature pushes it to become even more of a social network than it is today, while also acknowledging that a lot of socializing today is done on our smartphones through messaging, instead of more public social media.Its a place where you can watch original series and movies, listen to music even when offline, watch e-sports, kids’ videos, and more.YouTube did not confirm when the messaging feature will reach its wider user base.