YouTube as a messaging application? Certainly, why not! Everybody’s doing it, all things considered. YouTube reported this week that it’s trying another feature with a subset of its mobile application user base that will allow them to effortlessly share videos with family and friends. With the feature, users can chat about those videos in another tab in the application.
As a great deal of YouTube’s user base already shares videos with their friends, but over SMS, iMessage or another messaging platform. YouTube is smart to attempt to benefit from that behavior, keeping in mind the end goal to build use of its own application as well as the time its users spend connected with its service on mobile.
Not that YouTube is struggling when it comes to mobile. Its mobile usage has been steadily climbing throughout the years, and now sees normal mobile viewing sessions of 40 minutes. It’s also greater than any single U.S. cable TV system with the key demographic that includes those aged 18 to 49, the organization has beforehand said.
The messenger feature is still in beta testing, and not all users have access to it right now, YouTube notes. Nonetheless, it is being trialed on both iOS and Android. Additionally, as those users who can experiment with the messenger send videos and chats to friends, the recipients are then also able to use the new feature, as well.
Friends who get a video in the chat-like interface can choose to react by sending their very own video, or they can simply type out a response or use emoji.
The move to launch messaging comes at a time when YouTube is attempting to reclassify its platform as a spot for user-generated content, as well as a spot where you can watch unique series and motion pictures, listen to music even when disconnected from the net, watch e-sports, children’s videos, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. This messenger feature pushes it to become much more of a social community than it is today while also recognizing that a ton of socializing today is done on our cell phones through messaging, rather than more public social media. The move also follows Amazon’s late launch of its own YouTube-like service, Amazon Video Direct.
YouTube did not confirm when the messaging feature will achieve its more extensive user base.