YouTube looks to be taking game-streaming platform Twitch head-on with the addition of subscriber-only chat, viewer polls for all channels, while the Clips feature is arriving for channels with over 1,000 subscribers.

This move is clearly aimed at those using the suite of YouTube live-streaming tools and broadcasting predominantly gaming-focused content and was announced over on the @TeamYouTube Twitter account and subsequent YouTube support pages overviewing the features:

  1. Clips – allow your viewers to share the best moments of your content with new audiences, now fully rolled out to all gaming creators with 1000 subscribers or more, with plans to expand to all creators in the future. 
  2. Subscribers-only chat – live chat with just your subscribers, now available to all streamers.
  3. Polls – try a new way to interact with your live stream viewers, now available to all streamers. 

For those unaware, Clips on YouTube allow viewers to select a 5- to 60-second portion of your video — which includes uploaded and streamed content. The short clip can then be shared on YouTube and even third-party platforms.

clips youtube

If you do not like the option, you can deactivate it for your channel within YouTube Studio. When available, a small scissor icon is available underneath the video player pane and will let you select the video portion, which will loop repeatedly. A big bonus for gaming channels is that YouTube Clips add to the viewing figures for your uploaded or streamed content.

Subscriber-only chat is available to all YouTube streamers and has some added controls on a per video or per-channel basis. You’re able to choose how long (hours, days, weeks, months, years) people need to be subscribed to your channel before they can send live chat messages. To activate, head to Live Control Room > Edit > Live chat > “Who can send a message” > Adjust > Save.

Joining YouTube Clips and subscriber-only chat is the ability to start live polls during a live stream. YouTube is framing this as a way to get “real-time decisions during gameplay” and could be a great new tool for when streaming certain game titles. It’s not limited to gaming and might be another way to increase audience engagement on your channel.

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