Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
YouTube is making a concerted effort to keep you using its app for longer. In order to achieve this lofty ambition the Google-owned company is adding messaging to its mobile app. This means that you can now share videos with friends and then chat about them, all from within the YouTube app.
YouTube is, and always has been, a website dedicated to videos. But with so many videos being uploaded every day YouTube needs to do all it can to help the best go viral. And the best way to do that is to make it easier than ever for you to share videos with your like-minded friends.
Share Cat Videos to Your Heart’s Content
The YouTube app has always let you share videos with your friends. However, you previously had to share it via one of the multitude of other messaging apps available. From iMessage to WhatsApp. Now, you can just share your new favorite cat clip right from within the YouTube app.
That in itself would be a dull update. Thankfully, YouTube has also added messaging options that effectively turn YouTube into a chat app. The idea is that you share a video with friends, and then stay in the app talking about said video. And possibly even share a video in return.
To share a video within the YouTube app just click Share, then select a contact or contacts from your address book. Anyone you choose to share the video with will then be able to watch it in the YouTube app and chat directly with you using text and/or emoji.
They can also follow up with their own favorite video, or “heart” the original video. In other words, YouTube is keeping the basics very basic. However, it should be noted that you don’t have to chat about YouTube videos, so this is essentially just another chat app.
YouTube Can’t Compete With Messaging Apps
This feels like a half-measure right now. While the option to share your new favorite video in the YouTube is a good one, this cannot compete with dedicated messaging apps. That is unless YouTube adds more features over time in order to turn itself into a full-fledged messaging app.
Do you use the YouTube app on Android or iOS? Have you ever wished it had messaging features built into it? Can you see yourself using these new features? Or are you likely to just use your usual messaging app instead? Please let us know in the comments below!