Image credit: Tech Crunch

YouTube adds subscriber-only chats, VOD Clips, and polls.

YouTube recently added three new features for live streaming, arguably in an effort to compete with Twitch. Streamers will now be able to limit their chats to subscribers only, create polls inside their chats, and create clips from popular gaming streams. 

Twitch, which has long been the dominant force for live-streaming has had these features for some time and are vital to engagement between streamer and viewer. The ability to have subscription-only chatrooms helps weed out those passing by and trolls, meaning you have your dedicated viewership communicating with you. Polls also help creators decide on what to do next, letting their audience decide, guaranteeing content specifically for your audience. 

Clips are vital for discovery and are arguably how most streamers are discovered. A lot of streamers will stream for multiple hours at a time and there can be some downtime between matches and games. Clips will allow creators to trim down certain funny or memorable moments and then post those, bringing in more views and potential fans. YouTube will limit clips to gaming creators with more than 1,000 followers, however, it will be a feature available to all eventually. 

The dominant platform is still Twitch, but YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming have been making gains. According to Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet, YouTube had a quarter of the market in terms of hours watched at the end of 2020. It’s going to be an uphill battle but adding more features such as these will help YouTube make ground on Twitch’s dominance.