YouTube Connect: A live streaming app to take on Facebook Live and Periscope
While the world has been busy watching live streams on Periscope and Facebook, Google has been building something new, YouTube Connect. Google’s new venture clearly points out their efforts of entering the world of live streaming apps. Not only that, this will place them in direct competition with Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live. As far as reports are concerned, this new app will be available for both iOS and Android devices.
So now, you want us to cut to the chase and talk about the basics. Functionality for example. Well, as far as that is concerned, it will be more or less similar to Periscope and Facebook Live. You will be able to login to the app with your Google or YouTube account and start streaming from your iOS or Android device. Along with the usual chat and tagging features there will be also a “news feed” sort of thing where you get to see all latest clips from your subscriptions as well as friends. While you will be able to view the videos on the app, you can also view it on the YouTube website in the respective channels. There’s also a possibility that you can save broadcasts after you have finished the live stream. That will give way to watching replays of live streams. There has been no hints regarding integration with other social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.
The Reason behind This
There is no doubt about the fact that Google has fallen behind the live streaming race and have lost ground to Periscope and Facebook Live. However, it would be wrong to assume that YouTube doesn’t have live stream capabilities. It does offer live streaming but through its Creative Studio offering which has limited access. With this new app in development, it will be able to roll out live streaming to a much wider audience. After YouTube Red, venturing towards widespread live streaming seems to make sense when the future of YouTube is considered. YouTube is the world’s largest platform of user generated videos and what better way to improve it but by introducing live streaming? This will give content creators a better way to interact with fans in real time while they stream an event. Even Snapchat has caught up to this live streaming and the number of video views rose to 8 billion in this February. The only logical way for YouTube to pick up viewership is to expand into live streaming services.
YouTube Connect will be the latest standalone app of Google’s YouTube family to join YouTube Capture (allows recording and editing footage on mobile devices) and YouTube Gaming (resembles Twitch).
The app will be most likely launched before Google’s I/O Developer Conference in the coming month of May.
How does this benefit Marketers?
Well, streaming content online isn’t really something new. Many corporations and brands are using live streaming to establish themselves online and you can use it to your own advantage as well. Here are a few benefits that you can derive from YouTube Connect.
1. Audience: You have to admit that every event has a physical restriction no matter where you hold it. But when you start streaming events and content live and online, it makes your event accessible to anyone with a decent internet connection. With YouTube Connect you will be able to overcome every obstacle regarding audience capacity and anyone who is subscribed to you can view your live stream. The greatest benefit that something like YouTube Connect can provide you is increasing the size of your audience eventually as you keep on streaming meaningful content on a daily basis. As you are aware, a larger, relevant audience would only mean more leads and more conversions in the long run.
2. Exposure: As a marketer, one of your primary goals is to establish your brand. But that does not necessarily mean that you have to show your brand to your visitors all the time. With YouTube Connect’s live streaming you can educate visitors and existing customers about your organization and show off your brand gradually. The entire process of establishing your brand becomes so much more interesting as it gives rise to a unique method of promoting your organization, something that will surely be appreciated by all.
3. Richer Content: When it comes to live streaming, you know that people expect to see something from you. You have to offer them rich, tangible content that is highly relevant and something that is informative in nature. If you create dull content for your audience in live streams, you’ll start losing followers. This is a good way to brand your organization with the help of YouTube Connect.
4. Urgency: Live streaming has a sense of urgency attached to it. It is like a live match of football or cricket. You just cannot miss it. It’s a rare entity that requires your immediate attention. Your visitors will be inspired by this sense of urgency to check out your livestream. This limited-time live stream that is a momentary thing will actually help you garner more leads and conversions by providing limited time offers on the live stream.
5. No Restrictions: On a live streaming app like YouTube Connect, there will be no restrictions whatsoever. The only restrictions are your own. The live stream can be as long as possible and as personal as you want. Live streams are the best way for a marketer to establish their organization’s values.
6. Interactions: Live streaming is a great way to boost interactions between your organization and your viewer base, which includes both visitors and existing customers. If your live stream is interesting, it will soon boost your engagement. Not only does live streaming apps like YouTube Connect allow you to reach new people but it will also allow everyone to interact with your organization real time. You can generate a lot of leads through live streaming and it is a great platform to show what goes on in your company.
7. Stand Out: It is quite clear that live streaming will allow you to stand out in your industry. It can actually give your organization a much needed branding boost if you play your cards right. Whether it is an event or a webinar or a product tutorial, it does not matter. If you can attract potential customers and curious people to your live stream, you will be able to set yourself apart from the rest of your competition just like that.
For now, it is just a game of wait and watch. We don’t know for sure when YouTube Connect will be officially unveiled and how everyone will react to it. But, at the end of the day it comes down to the infrastructure to support live streaming and discoverability of content on the app. For marketers, live streaming really offers a new avenue full of interesting and unique opportunities even though live streaming goes beyond marketing. It holds potential for improved customer service, reviews, product tutorials and R&D. Live stream has the potential to bring companies closer to its customers owing to its largely transparent nature.
Let us know what you think about this new app in your comments below!