YouTube is announcing a few new features today meant to improve the experience for viewers watching live streams. First, the company has announced that it’s bringing automatic English captions to live streams whenever professionally provided captions aren’t available. The continued goal is to make streams accessible for more people.
These captions utilize the company’s live automatic speech recognition (LASR) technology, which is “approaching” industry standards for error rates and latency. It’s powered by machine learning, and thus the auto captions are far from perfect. But it’s certainly better than nothing if you want to make things convenient for viewers and maximize your live stream audience. Automatic live stream captions will be rolling out sometime in the coming weeks.
Second, YouTube is now going to preserve and replay the chats that occurred during a live stream. Live chat replays will show up beside the video and play back in sync while you’re watching.
Third, YouTube creators streaming live from their smartphone can now geotag the location they’re recording at. Clicking or tapping on that location tag will show you other videos from that area, and you can also filter search based on location to see only videos recorded nearby. And last, YouTube says that creators can now tie the “Super Chat” feature (which lets viewers pay to have their comment given more prominence) to IFTTT and smart home gadgets.