YouTube Launches Mobile Live Streaming

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YouTube will soon put the power of live streaming in the palm of your hand.

The video-sharing service this week announced plans to bake mobile live streaming directly into its app. Just tap the red capture button, take or select a photo to use as a thumbnail, and broadcast to fans in near real time.

Because it's built into the mobile app, live streaming comes with all the same features as regular videos: search, recommendations, playlists, and protection from unauthorized uses. "And since it uses YouTube's peerless infrastructure, it'll be faster and more reliable than anything else out there," Kurt Wilms, product lead for Immersive Experiences at YouTube, wrote in a blog post.

Launched Thursday at VidCon in California, YouTube mobile live streaming is initially available from The Young Turks, AIB, Platica Polinesia, SacconeJolys, and Alex Wassabi. Wilms said the service will be rolling out more widely "soon."

"We've been offering live streaming on YouTube since 2011, before it was cool," the blog said, citing the millions of people who tuned in for the Royal Wedding and Felix Baumgartner's leap from space. More recently, it became the first to broadcast a 360-degree live stream during Coachella, capturing 21 million-plus views.

Despite being first on the scene, YouTube live streaming has been eclipsed as of late by mobile options like Facebook Live and Periscope, both of which grabbed headlines this week when Democratic members of Congress used the services to broadcast their sit-in from the House floor.

Yahoo-owned Tumblr also jumped into live streaming recently, too.

Facebook, meanwhile, was also at this week's VidCon, where it "pre-announced" new updates for its live-streaming platform. According to TechCrunch, the company will let users conduct two-person remote broadcasts, pre-schedule streams, create a virtual waiting room for viewers, and broadcast with MSQRD's face masks.

Facebook's Instagram is also exploring video, announcing new "Picked for You" channels in Explore, which groups videos by your favorite topics and interests. "The total time people spent watching video on Instagram increased 150 percent over the past six months," a company blog said. "As video continues to grow, we're adding new channels to Explore to make it easier for you to discover videos you'll enjoy."

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