YouTube wins In-App Messenger for mobile chat and video sharing

One night you’re chatting with that cutie you swiped on, and suddenly you remember the perfect YouTube video to share with them. How to share the video? Should I copy and paste the link? Should you post it on their Facebook or Twitter? Should I email it to them?

Now you don’t have to make those tough decisions. Google recently released native sharing for a small percentage of YouTube users. These users can invite friends to conversation threads. Friends can discuss the shared video directly in the YouTube mobile app and reply with another video. Threads are in a new tab in the YouTube mobile app so users can easily follow threads. YouTube director of product management Shimrit Ben-Yair said she created the feature because her team thinks it will drive even more sharing.

The app would ideally cut out the middleman (other chat apps) and make videos trend faster. YouTube currently uses auto-detection techniques that analyze user histories and suggest videos. Referrals from friends and family on the site can increase the application’s stake.

YouTube already dominates the video-watching scene with over a billion users, nearly a third of all people on the internet. The website is available in 88 countries in 76 different languages. The average viewing session on a mobile device is 40 minutes, a 40% increase from March 2014, and YouTube reaches more 18-49 year olds than any cable network in the United States.

Facebook, Snapchat, and even Amazon, however, are chasing after YouTube’s audience. Amazon announced on Tuesday that it would allow people to post videos on its website and earn money through advertising, royalties and other sources. If YouTube can keep users on their app, they might minimize its competition.

Shirley K. Rosa