A Guide to YouTube’s New Live Streaming Features

Last month, YouTube announced a new suite of features to enhance the live streaming video experience. The recent additions include automatic captions for live videos, location tags, and live chat replays after a stream has ended. Here’s a quick overview of the new features and how your brand can use them.

Automatic Captions for Live Videos

YouTube first released live video capabilities in 2011, and since then live streaming has become an integral part of the platform. YouTube started offering automatic captioning for videos in 2009, and it says it has captioned more than 1 billion videos since.

Creating captions in real-time for live videos is a more complex challenge. YouTube is using live automatic speech recognition (LASR) technology to provide English captions to live broadcasts, and the company says the functionality is quick, inexpensive and accurate (with error rates and latency approaching industry standards). YouTube is in the process of rolling out live captioning to users now. This capability is valuable for brands hoping to reach a wide and diverse audience with live videos.

Location Tagging

Content creators can now add location tags to mobile live streams and video uploads on YouTube. Location tags help viewers find other videos from a specific place; clicking on a location tag opens a page with other videos with the same location tag. And YouTube viewers can also use the location filter on the search results page to find more videos from a place. This feature offers similar benefits as geotagged locations in Instagram Stories; it makes it easier for interested or nearby users to find video content.

Live Chat Playback

YouTube live broadcasts automatically enable live chat, which appears in a box to the right of the video player. Viewers are allowed to add up to three comments every 30 seconds (though not using URLs, special characters or tags).

With this latest YouTube update, viewers who watch a broadcast that was recorded live earlier will also see a replay of live chat with the stream archive. While delayed viewers can’t participate in the conversation, this feature preserves the energy and community feeling of a live broadcast.

Interested in live streaming? Read MtoM’s top 5 tips for recording live video.

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