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YouTube to get reactions and ad management for livestreaming

Following in the footsteps of Facebook and Instagram lives, YouTube adds new options for live reactions for livestreamers to toggle.

A desk with a fancy desktop computer and multiple monitors with keylights around it, and a feature image of YouTube reaction emojis for livestreams.

The social media community (I almost wrote social media society, but that sounded culty…which social media kind of can be, but, I digress) in recent years has become accustomed to accessing the work of other users through use of livestream. This has taken off as more and more brands use this tool to engage with customers in real time. 

Facebook and Instagram users are familiar with sending reactions – emojis in the form of hearts, clapping hands, etc. – that appear on screen in a thread format as the stream is happening. Now, YouTube is hopping aboard this train. 

YouTube announced the update earlier this month and will implement the reactions as a means to boost community engagement during live streams. The decision to enable reactions comes after an experiment where YouTube used timed reactions on long-form videos. It was popular, thus the decision was an easy one. 

Within that experiment, YouTube found that real-time engagement fosters community engagement overall. YouTube users watching a stream from an iOS device can now react in real time and can select from a variety of reactions. Creators and viewers can see reactions, however the users behind them will remain anonymous (which is something this writer thinks could be dicey, but time will tell). 

Channels that are eligible for live streaming will have reactions enabled through a default setting, but the setting can be disabled through the live control room. 

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Two new features will help manage the live stream, including ads automation and the aforementioned live control panel. Ads automation allows YouTube to determine the best time to insert mid-roll ads during a stream. This feature is optional, with the option for creators to mid-roll manually.

The live control panel provides stream statistics and ad-serving capabilities in a smaller display space. 

Also announced is that YouTube will be furthering its reach to Android tablets and will provide insight into the types of content that viewers watch on other channels from other content creators. 

Android tablet users can now create posts directly on their tablets, and YouTube’s current experiment is making posts viewable on Android tablets. There are plans to bring this to iPads in coming months.

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Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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