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YouTube live-streaming gets easier from computers and phones

YouTube live-streaming gets easier from computers and phones


YouTube will also allow live-streaming directly from the camera app of selected Android devices soon

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

YouTube’s new Live streaming feature for Chrome browsers is available now to try for yourself. The feature allows users to easily set up a live stream from their computer without any additional equipment, and the tool is due to roll out to other browsers “soon.” YouTube says it will also allow live-streaming directly from the camera app on select devices from Asus, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and more in the coming months. The ability to instantly create live video streams is a feature users of Instagram and Facebook have long enjoyed.

To access the new live-streaming feature, just go to the YouTube Live dashboard or click on the camera icon in the top header of the site and select “go live.” Before you can use live-streaming, though, YouTube will need to verify your identity with a phone number and make sure you’re in “good standing.” YouTube says it may take up to 24 hours before you get access to live-streaming, but once you’ve been verified, you can go live instantly.

It should be noted that YouTube already has live-streaming capabilities, including through its iOS and Android apps, but today’s announcement makes the process easier, and without the need for an encoder. The new feature means more people can easily stream and become content creators.

Naturally, the prospect of live videos raises questions about the quality of all this new content. The platform has suffered through recent scandals including Logan Paul’s video which showed a suicide victim (sparking a fierce backlash), and inappropriate children’s videos. Those instances call into question how creators will use the new live feature, and if it makes the video platform more susceptible to inappropriate and controversial content, especially when those videos are playing live and unedited.

YouTube says creators who have been testing the new tool have primarily been using it for beauty tutorials, product reviews, and personal updates for their followers. Let’s hope against hope that live videos on the platform will remain this benign.