YouTube now supports in-app sharing

Google’s ambitions for venturing in the social media space has been no secret. After multiple attempts in the form of Orkut, Google+, a revamped Google+ and a connection of Google+ and YouTube accounts, Google has taken a backseat of sorts although it still refuses to give up completely. This latest feature in the YouTube app feels like Google approaching the social media problem through another angle.

As if recognizing that sharing is the most important social media activity, YouTube recently enabled sharing videos to other people within its app itself. The way this works is, when attempting to share a video, you’ll be presented with an option that allows you to share it with your contacts within the YouTube app. Once you’re done sharing, a messaging thread opens up where the different people involved can respond with their own video shares and talk about the video or pretty much anything else. While it’s not a full-fledged messaging app in that it lacks support for emoticons or friend lists, it’s still a start.

That said, some of the choices made are baffling to say the least. For one, as Techcrunch is reporting, it’s seemingly possible to share a video with any random person which risks you suddenly being included in multiple random threads of strangers attempt to share their own or some other unwanted videos with you. There should ideally be an option somewhere to switch off being included by strangers although as of this writing, we’re not sure if it exists. Second, the entire move itself seems to hint that Google just won’t budge or drop out on social media and, with the previous inclusion of Discussions on YouTube, now seems to be adding social features into YouTube as well. Does Alphabet’s prime earning company harbor ambitions of inserting video ads in between these messaging streams down the line is something we’ll have to wait and see.

The change is one of many that YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has been rolling out for the video-sharing platform. Earlier at Google I/O, a paid promoted live-stream chat feature was announced that would highlight chats for a small fee whereas a few weeks back, YouTube revamped its Desktop site and launched a thumbnail preview feature to glimpse videos before clicking on them to play. The in-app sharing feature was spotted in early stages of testing last year and went live in Canada on Jan 2017. It is exclusive to the YouTube app and will be rolling out gradually over the next few weeks.