YouTube is now going beyond being a video-sharing platform and is implementing a community tab that is meant to strengthen the bond between creators and their viewers. The feature is currently in beta but the company hopes that in the coming months it will be launched to a wider community.
“You’ve grown up together, laughed together, and done incredible things together, from shifting attitudes about gay rights to volunteering millions of dollars toward important charitable causes,” YouTube says.
Up until now, viewers could only interact with YouTubers on the comments section which we all know is a haven for abuse. With the community tab, YouTube content creators can get in touch with their viewers and express themselves beyond the video.
According to YouTube, users can now text, send live videos, images, animated GIFs and more. This will allow creators to engage with their fans in between video uploads and not reply to a long thread of comments. Fans can access the posts in the Subscriptions feed on their smartphones. Like any good social network, viewers can choose whether or not to receive notifications.
“Community is a special release for us because it represents the deepest product collaboration we’ve ever done with creators like you,” YouTube wrote in a blog post. “We started by inviting creators in early to develop, in partnership with us, the tools they wanted to better engage with their fans.”
The creators that YouTube invited to the launch, the company claims, came from diverse backgrounds. The creators included John & Hank Green, AsapSCIENCE, The Game Theorists, Karmin, The Key of Awesome, The Kloons, Lilly Singh, Peter Hollens, Rosianna Halse Rojas, Sam Tsui, Threadbanger, and VSauce3.
YouTube says that the service will be improved over time and will roll out new features and functions as well as include more creators in the months ahead.