Following months of testing, Youtube has launched a new chat feature. It’s being rolled out in Canada first, then in other countries later.
This marks an important step for Google especially seeing that they missed the social and mobile messaging train when Google+ flopped. Since then they’ve had to watch as the likes of Messenger, iMessage, Snapchat and Whatsapp capture hundreds of millions of users.
But finally, they have a chance to get a piece of the pie.
Google+ may have failed to offer a distinct value from what other social networks were offering at the time but Youtube is likely to succeed.
There are three major reasons why a chat proposition on Youtube will be markedly more successful than a chat proposition on Google+:
– Youtube already has a massive audience of over a billion users. Unlike Google+, it will not have to direct as much focus to convince people onto the platform first. Thus, it can focus more on optimizing engagement on a platform that already works.
– Messaging on YouTube solves a clear problem, as this feature simply wasn’t available before, other than in form of static comments – which start to look as a real dinosaur-age solution when thinking about the rise of mobile messaging, live videos and other media & communication elements, positioned for more real-time interaction.
– Using videos as a common social qualifier for the Youtube consumer segment, gives users something concrete to chat about from the start– and therefore a reason to join. Read more…
If the feature augurs well with users, it will present a number of benefits for Youtube and Google’s Mobile Life Ecosystem.
It will increase time spent on Youtube and present an opportunity for potential bot play in the future, or any add-on service. Another advantage would be that users would be encouraged to open Youtube accounts which would mean that Google would be able to tread into the waters of being able to offer quality social graphs – just like Facebook does.