Google is building YouTube Connect, a livestreaming app that positions the platform to take on Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live. Given YouTube’s existing advantages in online video, the app could help Google maintain its lead in the competition.
While Periscope has a head start in the livestreaming race and has generated significant hype, only 1% of U.S. Internet users actively use the app. In contrast, almost one in three Internet users watches YouTube or has a Facebook account. That suggests that the future of livestreaming – like the larger online video space – could end up as a duopoly.
Despite its late entry into livestreaming, YouTube could have an advantage over Facebook thanks to its impressive roster of vloggers, who enjoy more popularity with U.S. teens than celebrities. Those influencers have an impressive power to drive content: Estée Lauder videos featuring vlogger Chriselle Lim receive three times as many organic views if she links to them from her channel, according to L2’s Intelligence Report: Video. By using YouTube Connect, they could encourage app usage in a similar way, providing the app with a built-in fan base.