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Youtube Gaming to compete with Amazon’s Twitch


Youtube has launched its Twitch.tv competitor Youtube Gaming, which enables users to search for gaming videos and watch as well as upload live game streams. The platform is currently available on desktop and as a separate app on Android.

Interface: Youtube’s gaming interface is completely different from the regular one. Firstly, the website now displays two ‘pop-up’ sidebars, one listing trending/favourited games, the other listing featured and user subscribed channels. At the centre, a scrollable ‘Live’ channels list is displayed, although the highlighted channel is always on autoplay which is kind of annoying. Like Youtube, rest of the page is dedicated to various recommended, recently uploaded and popular channels.

Features: As expected, users can subscribe to channels, favourite games etc., but the most important feature is the ability to stream and view games live. These live streams feature live chat on the sidebar where users can interact with each other. The search in Youtube Gaming has also been customized to provide only game related results. While the interface looks better than Twitch, Youtube’s offering falls short when it comes to broadcast options.

Amazon’s Twitch: Last year, Amazon acquired Youtube Gaming’s closest competitor, the game streaming platform Twitch.tv for $970 million. The platform, which was launched in 2011, has the advantage of having being built up as a game streaming service and consequently, even offers an API for game developers to integrate into their games and enable direct streaming. However we imagine that Youtube, which has also been streaming non-computer games related videos for a while, will provide tough competition to Twitch.

400 hours of content uploaded every minute:

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Last month, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said that over half of YouTube’s watch time was happening over mobile devices. She added that the number of people watching YouTube per day was up 40% since March 2014 to March 2015 and that over 400 hours of content was being uploaded every minute on the platform. Wojcicki also added that the number of users who visited the YouTube home page were three times over last year and that its watch time was up over 60% year over year, the fastest growth rate seen in two years.

Other developments:

– In June, YouTube introduced a data tool called Music Insights to give artists YouTube views insights on their videos, after it launching the YouTube for Artists initiative earlier this year. Music Insights would give artists data on where the artist is most popular, his/her top tracks and the number of views from artists’ official music videos as well as fan uploads claimed using Content ID.

– The same month, YouTube got offline support through an archiving tool which would let users save a video for offline viewing for up to 48 hours. This was especially targeted at developing countries where low bandwidths existed.

– In May, YouTube added buy buttons to TrueView ads, where users could click to buy stuff after being redirected to that product page. YouTube added this feature after it noticed that users were searching for a product seen in the YouTube ad on Google after having watched a video on YouTube.

Our YouTube coverage here.

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