YouTube is introducing clipping — the ability to make short clips of live streams or videos — starting today with a small group of creators. Those clips can be anywhere between five and 60 seconds in length and will have a new URL associated with them. Creators and viewers will be able to create clips by clicking on the clip icon, though the feature is currently limited to desktop and Android devices.
It’s a smart move from YouTube, because clipping is something of a live-streaming industry standard. You can more easily share live video content via a short video clip that can be passed around social media, rather than requiring viewers to skim through a potentially hourslong stream. Every platform from Twitch to the dearly departed site Mixer has decided that it’s something their creators need.
YouTube adding the feature is just another signal that the online video titan intends to beef up its live-streaming operation. As is the conventional wisdom in streamer spaces, clips help channels grow. A good clip that goes viral can bring in a huge influx of new viewers — and in streaming, where visibility is a big part of creating a sustainable income, that’s half the battle.