American video-sharing website YouTube announced the launching its Community, a new social networking feature aimed at helping creators connect with viewers. The community which arrives in the form of a new tab that sits apart from the videos page on a YouTube channel is currently in its beta stage. The social networking tool basically allows creators to share more content with fans, including photos, images, animated GIFs, and live video. Users can set up notifications to alert them every time their favorite creator shares a post. On mobile, Community can be accessed within the subscriptions feed.
While the reports regarding the launch of a YouTube social network first emerged in August, and recently the platform confirmed that it has been testing the feature with select creators over the past few months.
Kiley McEvoy, senior product manager, YouTube, in a blog post said “Community is a special release for us because it represents the deepest product collaboration we’ve ever done with creators like you. We started by inviting creators in early to develop, in partnership with us, the tools they wanted to better engage with their fans.”
It is also been said that the interaction options are limited to comments and likes for viewers and subscribers, although YouTube assures users it will roll out new features and functions in the months ahead. Community itself will be limited to creators selected by YouTube — whether or not the platform will open it up to everyone probably depends on its success in regard to engagement.
Until recently, YouTube likely felt at ease with its position as the internet’s leading video platform. However, the growing threat of live video on Twitter and Facebook is slowly changing the game.