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YouTube targets livestreamers and gaming with latest update

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Plus, new moderation tools for chats

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YouTube has been pushing its gaming side for some time, but its newest update proves that it’s all in on livestreaming.

In a blog post published today, YouTube’s Live product lead, Kurt Wilms, outlined new features the team was implementing specifically for those who want to stream games. One of the most notable features is ultra-low latency, which allows for streamers to correspond with their audience with minimal delay. This is a concern that YouTube’s main competitor in this sector, Twitch, first addressed in 2015. Since then, however, there have been multiple blog posts complaining that Twitch still has latency issues alongside YouTube.

For those watching the stream, this means there will be less of a delay between an action and a response to it. In other words, the time it will take for a message to be sent, seen and responded to has been cut down to just a few seconds. There are some negatives that come with this, which Twitch was quick to point out when it first announced the option for streamers. Those with poor internet connections may notice longer periods of buffering and there may be some minor service interruptions. Wilms didn’t address those concerns in the blog, but Polygon has reached out to YouTube and we will update when more information becomes available.

Wilms also confirmed that new moderation tools will be available for streamers to implement in the attached live chat section. Streamers on YouTube will now be able to moderate inline, hide abusive or inappropriate messages and share hidden user lists. Twitch has similar moderation tools, but the streaming platform also allows its users to delay the posting of messages and create individual rules that chatters must abide by.

YouTube first launched its livestreaming service in 2013. YouTube has poured much of its resources into building the platform’s livestreaming capabilities and has seen remarkable growth in the past year. A recent report from StreamLabs confirmed that YouTube is seeing growth in viewership and users, especially compared to Twitch, but the latter company is superior at monetizing its viewership.