YouTube, has been testing a new in-app messaging feature, where users are able to share videos and send messages with other users from within the YouTube application. Well today, the YouTube team set the feature free. They debuted it in Canada. That may seem a bit odd, but according to YouTube, those in Canada share videos about 15% more than most other countries. The feature is currently invite-only for other regions, so they appear to be doing a somewhat limited test on the feature at the moment, but that will likely change in the coming months. There's currently no set date for when the feature will be available for more users.
The way that this new sharing feature works is that you go into the Sharing tab that is located in the app, from there you are able to add your friends and family members as contacts. Of course, these people will need to accept, and then you are able to start sharing videos with them. YouTube is allowing you to share videos with people as individuals or as groups. It's pretty simple, and from there you are able to chat with people about the video, or really anything you want. This gives users a way to share videos with others and chat without it being public. This feature is available on both Android and iOS.
Now if you aren't one of the lucky ones that live in Canada and you do want to try out this feature, you'll either have to wait for an invite, or have a friend that does have access to this new feature add you to their contacts, and you'll then have access. So ideally, access to this new in-app messaging feature could become much more open pretty quickly. You can take a look at the video below to see how the messaging feature works. This is another attempt by YouTube to get users to use YouTube a bit more and compete with the likes of Facebook and Twitter – both of which are adding more and more video features to their platform and encouraging users to create more video.