YouTube has in recent times faced intense competition from Facebook Video. The competition has particularly intensified with Facebook continually optimizing its platform for video consumption. Facebook has particularly seen increased video consumption from mobile devices, which has fast become the core mode of internet access across the world. Even so, YouTube still has clout in its space with over a billion active users who spend an average of 40 minutes per session.
In a bid to attract more users to the platform, YouTube has been looking to turn itself into a sort of social network. The first step in this direction involved the launch of a feature which allows a user to chat and share with people right on YouTube. The feature allows people to invite their friends into conversation threads where they can talk about a certain video right within YouTube. In the spirit of conversation, the friends can also reply within the thread with another video.
YouTube is set to add other features aimed at taking closer to this direction if an internal project called Backstage materializes. According to VentureBeat, Backstage will see YouTube add different types of content including text posts, polls appearing in a reverse chronological order. In addition to the normal YouTube sharing modes,Backstage will also allow users to share Backstage-only videos akin to Facebook Live. When a user shares videos they will also have the option of sending it to Twitter, Facebook and other platforms where these forms of content will appear much like how Instagram previews and links appear on Twitter. It will be interesting to see if YouTube actually offers this feature to its users eventually.