YouTube just introduced a new in-app messaging feature, which has been in testing since 2016. However, you might not find it in on your mobile device just yet, because it’s only available in Canada (for now). Canada has been picked for the introduction of the new instant messaging features, as Canadians share videos 15% more than other countries, according to the latest reports. However, similar to the invite only mechanism for the spread of Gmail services, Canadian users sharing videos with friends and family members from around the world, will allow those users to start using the sharing features as well. In short, if you know a Canadian and you don’t live in Canada, you can also use the new feature, providing that your Canadian friend messages you.
So, how does it work? YouTube app now has a new tab called Sharing. Inside the application, users can add contacts to share their videos, and create groups for chatting. Users can also invite additional people to the group, and share even more videos inside the chat. All these capabilities have been added within the YouTube application itself, for both Android and iOS devices. Users will no longer have to copy and paste the link of a video to another instant messaging app like SnapChat, Messenger or WhatsApp. YouTube itself now provides the functionality of discussions around a video.
It seems that YouTube want’s to make their platform more social, where users actually use it as a means of communication, not just video watching. It’s an interesting turn of events, and one that could result in something much bigger, if the messaging activity ends up exploding as it did on Facebook. There is no official word on when it rolls out more broadly at this stage, but if you’re a contact for a Canadian and they add you to a conversation, you’ll get to check it out before then. So, if you’re interested in this new YouTube feature, make sure to bug your Canadian friends.