YouTube has been testing the feature over the past several months with a number of creators from diverse backgrounds and content of styles to gain insight on needs of creators as well as get feedback on what to prioritize before finally launching the beta version.
“Community is a special release for us because it represents the deepest product collaboration we’ve ever done with creators like you. We started by inviting creators in early to develop, in partnership with us, the tools they wanted to better engage with their fans.” Kiley McEvoy, senior product manager at YouTube.
By creating the community feature that offers more tools for engaging with viewers, YouTube aims at having a one stop shop keeping creators from having to use competitor platforms.
Creators and their viewers will gain access to the feature through the new “Community” tab that will be available on their channels.
Viewers will see posts in their “Subscriptions” feed in the YouTube mobile application, and will have an option to receive push notifications when their favorite creators post new content, YouTube says.
The beta version is only available to a limited number of YouTube creators for now but YouTube promises to include more in the future.
Some of the creators include: 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.
John & Hank Green, the vlogger brothers, say they’ll use the Community page to inform their fans about updates to their channels, events, and other fun links and photos they’ve been collecting.
YouTube was already a social community but the Community page takes it a notch higher. Creators now have a social network of some sort on their channel which is a change from the limited interaction from the comments section.
With ability to now directly engage their fan base, creators will be better placed at knowing what their fans enjoy and get better feedback for their work while at the same time driving a social engagement and increasing their views which is YouTube’s goal.
YouTube community is an important move for Google whose previous attempt on creating a social network through Google+ was not so much of a success. This raises the bar and will send other social networks back to the drawing board to come up with ways to keep their creators’ clientele.
The Community feature will however remain in testing for the time being, as YouTube listens to feedback and rolls out new features and functionality.