Man the torpedoes: Google said to be taking on Periscope, FB Live with new YouTube service


Google, Inc. want’s a slice of the live streaming video market and is said to be building a new service to take on the likes of the Twitter, Inc. owned Periscope and Facebook Live, according to multiple reports.

VentureBeat claims the new service will be called “YouTube Connect” and will deliver the same functionality as the existing players in the market.

Users will be able to log into a dedicated YouTube Connect app and immediately begin streaming from their mobile phones, and the service will also support chat, tagging, and a “news feed” that features clips from friends or others a user is following on YouTube.

Live streamed videos will be viewable from the app or from YouTube directly, with previous broadcasts being stored for later viewing, however in its current form there is no social networking integration for sharing live streams on services such as Facebook or Twitter.

YouTube has had a live streaming product since 2011 when it launched YouTube Live, but that service has been limited to partners wishing to live stream content such as television channels and similar, or from a desktop computer, whereas the new service would allow anyone with a mobile phone to live stream themselves on the site.

Too little, too late?

The move by Google to enter the live streaming market comes after Meerkat, Inc., the first to market in this current live streaming wave, announced earlier this month that it was abandoning live streaming as the market wasn’t strong enough to support a standalone service, and that instead, it had become commoditized as an additional feature on existing social networks.

YouTube is still by far and away the biggest player in the online video market, with a 75.1 percent marketshare, but the live streaming business is not traditional video given where it has been successful so far is within the scope of social networks alone, something Google and YouTube simply isn’t able to match, at least at scale; YouTube celebrities would certainly be able to find a willing audience of in some cases millions on YouTube itself, but without the social bonds of Facebook in particular a more average user would struggle instead.

As YouTube already offers live streaming for gaming and television stations, adding the service is a no brainer, but they are late to the party and this new product may be a case of too little, too late, to make a serious impact.

Image credit: Duncan Riley.