Monday 20th August 2018

YouTube Live now features live chat replays and automatic captions

Georgina Elrington
by on 28th February 2018

As of this week, and according to an announcement on its official blog, YouTube is integrating a live chat replay feature to appear alongside replays of YouTube streams. It also announced live streams can now benefit from automatic captioning.

YouTube launched its live streaming feature in 2013 and began rolling out automatic captioning in 2009.

The new live chat replay feature will appear alongside a video exactly as it would during the live stream and will give publishers an opportunity to provide a more immersive experience to users who can only tune in after the event.

YouTube claims that the number of videos featuring automatic captions is now over 1 billion, and in a separate post it also claims people watch videos with automatic captions more than 15 million times per day.

In its official blog it states live automatic speech recognition (LASR) technology will bring “captions with error rates and latency approaching industry standards.”

While anyone can add captions to their video content by uploading a file, automatic captioning will only initially be available to live streams in English (automatic captions for regular video content are available in a range of languages including English, Spanish, Russian, German and Japanese).

In a further development, and possibly in response to the increased prevalence of localised video content on other social networks, YouTube has also launched a feature that will allow publishers to tag their mobile live streams and uploads with a location.

When a user clicks on a location tag they will be able to view all of the video content in that location.

It’s worth paying attention to a note on YouTube’s live streaming page, which states “if you add a video location for a public video, this information will be available not only on YouTube but also on other Google products. It may also surface in other apps or across the web through our various developer APIs.”

In a final development, YouTube also announced that Super Chats can now be integrated with IFTTT (if this, then that).

Super Chat is a feature that was launched in 2017 and allows live chat users to make financial contributions in real-time to their favourite creators. In exchange, their message will be prioritised in the live chat feed for up to five hours.

YouTube announced last year that Super Chat users are now able to trigger real-life events with their contributions eg turn the lights on or off in a creator’s studio or push buttons on their gadgets.

YouTube’s integration with IFTTT, an intermediary service which enables devices and platforms to connect to each other, will expand the range of services and devices Super Chat users can connect to.