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Google+’s livestream to be replaced by YouTube Live

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Google will discontinue Google+ Hangouts On Air from the September 12th, instead prompting users to use YouTube Live for livestreaming. Events cannot be scheduled on Google+ for after 12th September anymore, and any existing events scheduled to happen after the date will have to be moved to YouTube Live.

The search giant officially rolled out ‘Hangouts On Air’ feature to Google+ users worldwide, allowing users to publicly broadcast the live video feed of their Hangout discussions as well as record the entire session for future viewing, back in May 2012. Launched in 2011, the product was previously available to limited number of broadcasters.

Note that YouTube had also launched its own live streaming section (mostly for one-off events) way back in 2011, with features like analytics and monetization options like in-stream ads and pay-per-view. The company rolled the feature out officially ‘for channels that are in good standing and have at least 1,000 subscribers’ in 2013.

Google has finally decided to merge the 2 features, reducing the user reliance on Google+ even further. The company had recently also added live streaming to all users on its YouTube app. There is currently a tab on YouTube’s app which shows which live streams that are playing and includes a live chat. The live streams are available as videos later.

The end of Google+: The end is nigh for Google+ which has struggled to match up to the popularity of Facebook and other social networks. In 2015, Google+ account was removed as a requirement in order to leave comment on YouTube videos and to access some other Google services. Earlier this month, Google also made it possible to post reviews in Google Play without needing a Google+ account.

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Other developments:

– In May this year, YouTube introduced a new messaging feature called native sharing for a select group of users who can then invite friends into conversation threads.

– YouTube is reportedly working on a new service called Unplugged which will stream cable TV packages for a fee. The service is expected to launch in 2017.

– YouTube is also looking to take on the music industry and is developing musical talent through an initiative called “Foundry”. YouTube is in talks with peers in the music industry to discuss closer collaboration.

– YouTube introduced a new 6 second video ad format dubbed Bumper ads, to increase the reach and frequency of ads on mobile devices. The ads would be sold through Google AdWords on a cost per thousand impression (CPM) basis beginning May. Since the ads would be just six seconds long, consumers are unlikely to have the option to skip them.

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