YouTube is a service which already connects people in a vastly impressive manner. Some YouTubers do attract a seriously large number of subscribers and those subscriber numbers can often result in a very lucrative revenue stream. That said, in spite of YouTube undoubtedly being the largest video sharing service around, it is not one which is void or resistant to competition. Which means even services like YouTube need to evolve and offer more than they currently do.
Which if a recent report out of Venture Beat is anything to go by, is exactly what might be happening to YouTube soon. According to the details, YouTube is planning on introducing a new feature dubbed 'Backstage'. The crux of this new feature is that Backstage will be a way for YouTubers to engage with their subscribers even more. Examples provided include the ability to share photos, post links, polls, text posts and so on. In the very shortest of terms, YouTube might be becoming more of a social-focused site in the future.
In fact, the levels to which users will be able to engage seem substantial with the report detailing "rich replies" where the conversation between users can be more intimate and focused. According to the details, these new additions will come as additional features in YouTube and so will be presented in new tabs within the site, along with the 'Home' and 'Videos' tabs. Therefore allowing users to be able to post content to either YouTube (in a traditional fashion) or to 'Backstage' in a more concentrated and focused manner. This includes videos. At the moment all of this is still unconfirmed by YouTube directly, although the report does detail that the service could launch as early as this fall. Although the report also does explain that the initial roll out will be limited at first and only to select and "popular" YouTube accounts.
Of course, whether the new Backstage feature does take off in the way Google and YouTube presumably hopes it will, remains to be seen. Although this does seem to be somewhat confirming the notion that going forward YouTube will become more social in its direction and will expand much further than just being a video site. Which does seem to fit in nicely with the current trends and especially considering that from the other side of the perspective, social sites are becoming more video-focused.