YouTube recently announced its new in-app direct messaging feature, much like Instagram, and YouTube’s owner Google has been testing and previewing to users this feature for over a year now. Now, they are ready to launch this YouTube Messaging and Sharing feature to people across the world.
As mentioned, the YouTube direct messaging feature is similar to Instagram’s similar feature, which was launched in late-2013. When you tap the share button on a YouTube video, you’ll now have the option to send it directly through the YouTube app to your contacts. The share pane shows people you’ve recently chatted with, as well as some suggestions for people to add to your list. When tapping the “add contacts” button, the app asks if you want to send an invite link or pull in people from your phone book.
It would be extra cool if the app could recognize which of your friends are on YouTube, but sadly, it doesn’t. The app, however, does come in iOS and Android versions, and YouTube is very interested in keeping the conversation going on its own platform.
YouTube’s messaging feature makes it easy to get started sharing things. With those people, you can send and confirm invites within the app itself, and without an SMS. Those suggestions take into account which people you interact with on YouTube and other Google services, so now, people that you email or chat with in Hangouts will presumably show up in the YouTube Messaging feature. Once the invite is accepted, you can share videos back and forth, and chat about it in YouTube, whether just one-on-one or in a group.
There’s a button right in the compose area to drop another video into the conversation. Pressing it pulls up your most recently viewed videos, and you can also tap a search button to find and add a video to the conversation.
Because YouTube is video-focused, you can only add other videos to the conversation. Otherwise, you’re limited to emoji and text. The new YouTube Messaging and sharing feature will probably be most utilized by heavy YouTube users, but even the casual YouTube user will probably find themselves using this new feature pretty quickly. The in-app option is now the default way to share YouTube videos.
Google’s real motivation with this new YouTube Messaging and Sharing feature is to keep people sharing video on its platform. YouTube has developed this feature in a way that makes sense and is easy to use.