Last year, YouTube launched a “Community” feature that allows creators to post text, images, GIFs, and other interactive content directly to the video network. It’s designed to allow fans to receive real-time updates in-between uploads. Today, the Google site is expanding creator access to it, as well as adding new features.

Today’s big announcement makes Community available to creators with more than 10,000 subscribers. These accounts will now have the ability to post text, images, polls, GIFs, and host livestreams for their fans. It competes with other social networks to keep content creators and fans locked into the YouTube ecosystem.

YouTube is also adding a Snapchat-like post format called “Reels” for quickly posting videos. However, unlike other offerings, they allow for more control in remaining available indefinitely and linking to existing YouTube videos.

Reels are YouTube’s spin on the popular “stories” format, but designed specifically for YouTube creators. We learned that you want the flexibility to create multiple Reels and have them not expire, so we’ll give you those options. We’re also bringing creator-focused features like linking to YouTube videos and YouTube-y stickers.

This feature is initially launching in beta before expanding to more creators.

Meanwhile, “your most engaged viewers” can now see Community posts in their Home feed, whether or not they’re subscribed to your channel. Notifications are also optimized so that users will not be spammed with every update.

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Abner Li

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