Google is testing a new feature on YouTube called Community, which hopes to create a more ‘social’ network by encouraging more engagement without users having to leave the platform.
Although I was apprehensive at first about YouTube introducing Community, after the launch on 13 September 2016, I must admit I’m quite excited to see how the addition will change the platform.
Although not available to the general public just yet, select YouTubers such as Vsauce3, AspSCIENCE, Peter Hollens, Sam Tsui, The Game Theorists, The Key of Awesome, Threadbanger, The Kloons, John & Hank Green, Karmin, Rosianna Halse Rojas and Lilly Singh have been given the opportunity to test the new Community tab, which is accessible to anyone who visits their channels.
What Is It?
Community is a new feature that allows YouTube to be more than just a video sharing platform. A new tab will be added to a channel where visitors can access a YouTuber’s feed and engage with them in a new way. In an attempt to make YouTube more social, this addition hopes to encourage feedback and interaction between uploaders and their audience. The launch of G+ in 2011 was Google’s first attempt at creating a viable social network to rival Facebook, which was an expensive failure for the brand. With the introduction of Community, Google hopes to make the user experience more seamless and allow for a more social community.
What this means for YouTubers is that YouTubers will now have the ability to upload photos, videos, gifs and share text post with their audience.
What this means for viewers is that you can engage with your favourite vlogger without leaving their channel. Fans can like and comment on posts, as well as receive notifications when a channel publishes a new update to the tab.
Community is in BETA phase at the moment, however, is expected to roll out in the next few months. So far, the response seems to be positive, however, YouTube will be monitoring the public’s response to add new features and functionality.
I’m excited to see how Community will add to the YouTube experience as a subscriber and as a vlogger, and whether or not it will impact any of the other social media platforms. My prediction is that Facebook and Twitter will be used by YouTubers as more of a marketing tool, and their Community feed will be used to connect with their audience on a more personal level. It’s certainly an interesting new venture and I’m sure we’ll all be watching this space.
Check out the Community tabs available on the above mentioned YouTuber’s channels and let me know your thoughts.