YouTube creates messaging service, hoping you’ll never leave its app


While the social media giants have expressed an interest in tackling video, it looks like the undisputed king of video is going after social.

As several companies, such as Facebook, attempt to integrate video into their platforms, YouTube has begun rolling out its own native messaging service.

What YouTube is calling native sharing will go live for a small number of users today, who can then invite their friends into chat threads, allowing users to chat about a video without ever leaving YouTube’s app.

The messenger service allows users to communicate with friends through text, pictures and links inside the app. Furthermore, users can share a video with friends and chat about it, or respond to a friend with another video. YouTube reportedly hopes that this program will prompt users to share more videos with others.

It’s been suggested that the attempts made recently by Facebook (and Instagram), Snapchat and Amazon to lure away YouTube’s growing audience have influenced this new feature.

At Facebook’s recent F8 developer conference, the company stressed that video was the way of the future. Noticeable changes have been made to Facebook’s main interface, such as placing the LIVE tab, Facebook’s live video feature, up front and centre.

While Snapchat has captured the millennial market with a ten-second video model, Instagram has gone on to lengthen its video feature as well. However, what’s probably the most oblivious attempt to poach YouTube subscribers came from Amazon earlier this week with the launch of Amazon Video Direct.

Amazon Video Direct is a video service that plans to attract creators by paying them half the royalties earned from their videos. Just a few weeks ago, Amazon alsolaunched a streaming service that was projected to rival Netflix.

YouTube, however, still has a clear monopoly on user-generated video. According to YouTube’s press page, the average viewer spends approximately 40 minutes on the app, and that statistic only applies to mobile. It appears that YouTube is also in little danger of losing creators, as the number of channels earning above six figures is up 50 percent year over year.

In theory, though competition is beginning to rear its ugly head, it would be almost impossible for emerging upload services to make a dent in YouTube’s over 1 billion active users. However, based on the Google-owned video company’s actions as of late, that dent might be bigger than we thought.

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