YouTube's updating a crucial service to better compete with Facebook and Amazon

YouTube’s Live service is getting a major update to bring it in line with similar services offered by the likes of Facebook and Amazon.

YouTube LiveYouTubeFelix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg regularly streams ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ on YouTube Live.

Three major updates are coming to the service on Tuesday:

  1. The ability to stream whatever you want, directly from your iPhone/iPad, through the YouTube app itself.
  2. A much-shorter delay between stream and viewer — a new “low latency mode” offers “just a couple seconds” of latency.
  3. Moderating chat is getting easier with the ability to pause and moderate as you wish. You can also designate moderation to someone else.

These updates are especially important as YouTube Live attempts to compete with Amazon’s Twitch service — a livestreaming service primarily focused on live video games. Twitch has over 1.5 million broadcasters and over 100 million monthly visitors, the company announced in 2015.

YouTube’s recorded and produced gaming content is by far its most popular, though that popularity doesn’t extend to livestreaming. Amazon’s Twitch continues to dominate in that space, and Facebook Live is making moves in the same direction.

TwitchTwitchWhile somewhat cumbersome, Amazon-owned Twitch has become the dominant platform for livestreaming.

Facebook’s live service competes on sheer numbers; more people use Facebook than Twitch or YouTube by hundreds of millions of users. 2 billion people use Facebook every month. Even a slight success for Facebook in livestreaming — like, say, a partnership with a major game publisher — means trouble from Amazon and YouTube.

Still, what brings viewers to these services is livestreams — personalities — that they want to watch. To that end, YouTube’s making smart moves in updating YouTube Live so that it more closely competes with services like Twitch. The more friendly these services are to creators, the better chance they have of becoming the dominant platform in the ongoing livestream wars.

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