YouTube's Mobile App Features A New Messaging Function

By Victor Thomson , May 13, 2016 04:10 AM EDT

On Wednesday, May 11, YouTube has introduced a new messaging feature for its mobile app.

According to Wired, the so-called native sharing application will first be made available to a small number of users. They can also invite their friends into conversation threads and, therefore, spread the application.

YouTube's new feature allows users to avoid those offline moments when they used to copy and paste links into apps, texts, emails or other IMs. The mobile messaging app allows users to chat and share with friends right in YouTube.

The message threads reside on YouTube's mobile app on a new tab so groups can get involved in conversations, add videos of their own or catch up on what they missed. Users can reply to the shared videos with another video.

Director of product management at YouTube, Shimrit Ben-Yair, explained that YouTube's developers team designed the feature after they concluded that a native way to share YouTube videos could lead to more sharing.

According to The Verge, with the new chat feature called native sharing, YouTube seems confident its users can have civil conversation about online video content. However, up to date, YouTube comments have been quite chaotic.

On the other side, social media companies like Snapchat and Facebook have been lately invested great resources into video. Even Amazon has launched Amazon Video Direct, a competing upload service. In this context, YouTube's measure can be considered a defensive move.

YouTube sees its new mobile messaging application as a destination where Internet users can spend some time in, rather than just a place they visit when they are looking for something specific. Even if it is just an incremental move like native sharing, YouTube definitely needs to adapt its market strategy so it can stay competitive.

If users would spend more time inside the YouTube app, then they would spend less time on competitors. YouTube aims to keep users returning to its streaming video service on their mobile phones and prove to advertisers it can come with creative ways to attract audiences.

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