YouTube appears to be further opening up mobile live streaming by dropping requirements on subscriber counts in order to gain access to the feature, according to reports out today. Google, however, has disputed claims saying the new functionality is now available to all users, instead stating that only a subset of YouTube’s users have access for the time being. That said, mobile live streaming’s launch to all YouTube users appears imminent: the company has just renamed its mobile app on iOS from “YouTube – Watch, Upload and Share Videos” to “YouTube – Watch Videos, Music, and Live Clips.” (Emphasis ours).
The company has been slowly rolling out access to mobile live streaming for many months now. The feature allows users to “go live” from their smartphones in order to stream directly to their YouTube channel.
A report from Android Police had indicated that mobile live streaming was open to all users, as it appeared that Google had dropped the requirement that video creators have a certain number of subscribers in order to access the feature.
Initially, the feature was open to those who had 10,000 channel subscribers or more – making it accessible only to YouTube’s bigger content creators. Then, in April, the company quietly dropped that down to just 1,000 subscribers as it continued the gradual expansion of the service.
That requirement is still officially in place, according to Google’s support page, which is why Google is not yet announcing the feature’s public launch. However, we understand from people familiar with the matter that it has been dropped for some users at this time.
In Android Police’s tests, some were seeing the option to go live, despite not having 1,000 subscribers – confirming that some YouTube users are newly gaining access to the feature. Now, when some YouTube users hit the record button in the app, they’re presented with two options – one to record a video as usual, and another to “Go Live.” The site also noted that users will need to have a verified account with YouTube to gain access to the feature.
Google had not made a formal announcement about the launch, which seemed odd given that the company is in the middle of its I/O developer conference this week where it’s releasing a ton of news.
Apparently, that’s because the mobile live streaming functionality hasn’t quite reached the entire subscriber base, as implied by the initial reports. A YouTube spokesperson confirmed this, saying that mobile live streaming is still only open select YouTube users at this time.
“We’ve been experimenting and expanding mobile live streaming for almost a year now,” the spokesperson said. “However, it is still only available to a relatively small subset of users.”
That said, with the rebranded app on iOS and Android Police’s report that some streamers with fewer than the previously required 1,000 subscribers can access the feature, it seems to indicate that the broad rollout is just around the corner.