Google is putting a horse in the live-video race, to compete against Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live, a report Thursday suggested.
Live-streaming service YouTube Connect will work on iOS and Android devices, according to the report in VentureBeat. “There are chat and tagging features, and a ‘news feed’ that features the latest clips from your friends or those that you’ve subscribed to on YouTube,” according to the article, which appears to be based on a single unnamed source.
Users will be able to save live broadcasts so they can be re-played, the article said.
If the VentureBeat report is accurate, it indicates that Google shares the goal of its rivals to ramp up live video streaming. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a February conference call put “being a leader” on live-streamed video second on his list of five priorities for this year. At Facebook, the engineering and product teams working in video “have made Live their top priority,” according to Recode.
The rise of live-streamed video can also put users up against data caps, with expensive results, as video broadcasting uses large amounts of data, and if it’s done via a mobile device, most service providers charge hefty fees for exceeding the cap. But an executive at live-streaming firm Ustream hypothesized to VentureBeat last year that the service providers will adapt to the demand for more mobile data.
“They will formulate plans that will (allow unlimited data usage) at prices that work for them,” David Gibbons said. “I think the mobile carriers will like it, because they’ll be able to get more revenue from consumers.”
YouTube Connect has been under quiet development, and will likely be released before the Google I/O developers conference in May, according to VentureBeat. The website speculated that Google might enlist major YouTube stars to glamorize the launch. Fans of dancing dubstep violinist Lindsey Stirling, who has been viewed more than 675 million times on YouTube, and members of profane Swedish gamer Felix Kjellberg‘s “bro army” of 42 million YouTube subscribers may want to take a couple fingers off their keyboards or consoles and keep them crossed.
In any case, it appears YouTube stars, and celebrities of the Hollywood variety, may soon have a means to communicate with fans and perform online in real time.
Photo: Visitors stand in front of a logo of YouTube at the YouTube Space Tokyo (REUTERS/Shohei Miyano)