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YouTube borrows three more features from Twitch

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Subscriber-only chats, VOD clips, and polls

YouTube now supports creating clips from live streams.
Image: YouTube

YouTube is adding a trio of new features for live-streaming today that are all standbys for streamers on Twitch. Streamers will now be able to limit their chats to subscribers only, they’ll be able to create polls inside of their chats, and they and their viewers will now be able to create clips from popular gaming streams.

These features have been around for a while on Twitch, and they’re all important tools to let streamers engage with their community. Limiting chats to subscribers only can help as a moderation tool by weeding out people who are just popping by, and it gives streamers another tool to encourage their viewers to start paying. And polls are useful for engaging with the often-chaotic chatrooms, giving streamers a simple way to ask for input on what they should do next.

Polls are now supported in live chats on YouTube.
GIF: YouTube

Clips are also a critical tool for discovery. Since most people aren’t going to watch a multi-hour live stream, Twitch’s clipping tool allows fans to catch and share highlights, which can help bring new people to a streamer. YouTube is still limiting clips to gaming creators with more than 1,000 followers, though it says the feature will roll out to everyone eventually. Clips, like the chat features, had been in testing with a limited number of creators until now.

While Twitch is still the dominant name in live-streaming, Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming have been growing. According to Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet, YouTube had about a quarter of the market in terms of hours watched at the end of 2020, with Twitch representing about two-thirds of all viewership. YouTube has a long way to go to catch up, but adding in basic features like these can go a long way in supporting streamers and helping them grow.