After Snapchat, Instagram, and Skype, Google has joined the ongoing trend of Stories by bringing Reels to YouTube. The search giant is also enhancing YouTube Community, the tab that was launched in September last year for a limited number of channels.
With Reels, YouTube is allowing content creators to have various stories on their channels to preview new updates. The feature, unlike stories on Snapchat or Instagram that is limited to one short video for a day, lets creators develop multiple stories that will last forever (at least, until the creator removes them from their channels). "Reels are YouTube's spin on the popular 'stories' format, but designed specifically for YouTube creators," YouTube Senior Product Manager Roy Livne said in a blog post.
Google hasn't revealed much about how it is planning to implement Reels on YouTube. However, a report by TechCrunch reports that Reels will be available in a brand-new tab. The feature will not be a part of all YouTube channels but is planned only for those that have over 10,000 subscribers. The online report also points out that each of the videos on Reels will have a playtime of up to 30 seconds - with features such as filters, music, and text among others.
In addition to Reels, YouTube channels with over 10,000 subscribers are getting the Community tab that was initially tested with 12 channels. This means that if you own an eligible YouTube channel, you will now be able to share photos, text messages, GIFs, and live videos with your subscribers - all under one single tab that sits in the middle, alongside the Home, Videos, and Playlists tabs. You can also enable push notifications for Community posts to let your fans stay up to date with your announcements.
YouTube's team is also adding features such as linking to YouTube videos and YouTube-y stickers to enhance the community-centric experience on the video streaming site. These features would make YouTube a competitive platform against Facebook, which also recently started focusing more towards video content over text or images.
The Community tab on YouTube is now available for all channels with over 10,000 subscribers. However, Reels will be available to a handful of channels. YouTube is initially experimenting with a beta version of the new feature "to learn and improve" its functionality before making it available to a large number of YouTube creators worldwide.
Earlier this week, YouTube updated its recommendation feature to spotlight videos that are most gratifying in the collection. That attempt was aimed to get user satisfaction and was derived from analysing characteristics of videos and learning the behaviour of over 1.5 billion users on the platform.