In a new blog post, YouTube's chief product office, Neal Mohan, revealed additional details about the streaming video platform's upcoming Web3 ambitions. This is part of the company's forthcoming push into on-site retail commerce and other goals for 2022.
For creators, YouTube explained its goals for its Shorts, Live, and video on demand (VOD) video formats.
First up, YouTube reiterated its plans to help creators better monetize their Shorts content. This includes an expansion of the existing YouTube Shorts Fund, added support for its BrandConnect functionality, and access to "fan-funded features like Super Chat" via Shorts.
Live videos will soon gain a new collaborative livestreaming feature that lets multiple creators go live together, which the company hopes will "open up streams to more casual conversation and interactions with other creators, making it easier and more fun to go live."
Lastly, YouTube's traditional VOD pages will also be getting a new feature in the form of gifted memberships, which allows users to buy Channel subscriptions for other users for the first time.
YouTube also revealed plans to revamp its comment system with a new feature that allows posters to tie their statements to a specific timestamp within the video they're commenting on. This will likely launch around the same time as the ability to set channel guidelines for commencing parameters. YouTube believes this will "better shape the tone of conversations on their channel" (reduce the notorious toxicity many of its comment sections suffer from).
Perhaps the most important component of YouTube's ambitions for its creators is its continuing efforts to delve into Web3 technology. The goal was first mentioned by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki in her own blog post on upcoming plans for 2022.
In this message, Mohan delves further into the specifics of YouTube's Web3 strategies, revealing specific plans for "a verifiable way for fans to own unique videos, photos, art, and even experiences from their favorite creators." The language essentially confirms that YouTube intends to begin minting its own NFTs for not only the videos posted on its site, but other forms of media as well.
Mohan notes that YouTube is "making sure we approach these new technologies responsibly," likely trying to stave off the same kind of backlash that so many companies have received upon revealing their plans for NFTs or other blockchain-based technologies. The environmental impact of such technology, as well as the fact that some see all NFTs and other digital tokens as a scam, has led to many Web3 enthusiasts suddenly losing their fervor once their customer base reacts.
For views, YouTube plans to reveal "a new way for viewers to use their phones while they watch YouTube on their TV." Although the language is vague, it seems viewers will soon be able to leave comments and share video clips via their phones while watching the content in question on their TVs.
Also on the docket is a revamped interface for the company's YouTube TV livestreaming service, including new content organization features.
Finally, YouTube revealed that it, like seemingly every other company right now, is exploring ways to take its content into the metaverse. That push will apparently first focus on gaming, where it hopes to "bring more interactions to games and make them feel more alive."
YouTube's plans for its partners this year revolve around one thing: shopping. The new Shopping feature will be a multifaceted initiative that will introduce things like shoppable videos and Live Shopping.
Shoppable videos promise to let users purchase the products featured in a video directly from the same video page, with the products appearing curated by the Channel owners themselves.
Meanwhile, Live Shopping essentially sounds like QVC or Home Shopping Network for the streaming video generation, focusing on a way for creators to "drop new products, unveil exclusive deals, or discuss their latest shopping haul," with monetization running throughout.
YouTube did not provide any specific timeline on when any of its 2022 ambitions might reach the general public.