YouTube Announces YouTube Gaming, A Standalone App To Compete With Twitch


YouTube’s been dealing with real competition in the last few years, and today it’s launching a new standalone app and site to maintain its grip on gamers’ attention.

Facebook has filled its News Feed with viral videos, news clips, and anything else its users and the brands trying to reach them are willing to upload. Sites like Twitch now capture a huge portion of time spent watching videos by focusing on specific verticals of content, like gaming.

What’s interesting is that, with the exception of premium sites like Hulu or Netflix, YouTube has a lot of the same content as its competitors. It’s a blessing and a curse: being a one-stop shop means you have to somehow match users with the right content at the right time.

Today’s announcement of YouTube Gaming, a standalone app and site focused on video game related content, shows the company isn’t sitting idly by while outside forces steal attention away from its massive library of content. By building a product around a specific vertical, it can build an experience untarnished by the random viewing habits that can throw off its recommendation algorithms.

Much like Twitch, YouTube Gaming has pages dedicated to specific games — more than 25,000 of them. Each page shows collections of channels, videos, and live streams featuring content from or related to that title. Users will be able to follow these pages to see new videos as popular creators release them or as new creators hit it big, taking some of the difficulty out of finding and subscribing to interesting videos.

In addition to the details released today, YouTube says it’ll be rolling out changes to its livestreaming tool to simplify the broadcasting experience. Streamers will no longer be required to schedule a live video ahead of time, and a single link will point to a user’s live streams so users don’t have to share new links across their social channels every time they go live.

YouTube Gaming will be available in the U.S. and U.K. this summer. The Google-owned company declined to pin down a precise date.

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