As Facebook and other tech companies increasingly turn to video, YouTube has added features like 360-degree live streaming and native messaging — just in the past year alone. A report by Venture Beat today describes an upcoming effort to keep the platform competitive by allowing YouTubers to share status updates, photos, and polls to subscribers…

Codenamed Backstage, it is quite similar to Connect in Apple Music with the same posting features already found in Google+. Users will be able to write text posts, share photos, and create polls in addition to videos. Additionally, Backstage-only videos will provide a way for YouTubers to share exclusive content with fans.

In turn, subscribers can comment with “rich replies” that include photos, videos, and more. YouTube channels would feature a new Backstage tab with posts also appearing in subscriber’s feeds and notifications. Unlike the mobile messaging feature, Backstage content would be available on both desktop and mobile.

By adding more social features, Google is likely hoping to incentivize content creators and their fan bases to remain on YouTube for all their needs. Despite this, Backstage content can reportedly still be shared on other social networks. Venture Beat reports that a launch for select partners could come as soon as this fall.

While YouTube is the de facto place to watch and share video, it has yet to fully launch a mobile live streaming feature to compete with Facebook Live and Periscope. Content creators on the platform are upset with monetization issues, while the music industry is continually upset over compensation.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: