YouTube has started rolling out its nascent Community feature with more updates and improvements to a wider array of creators whose number of subscribers tops 10,000. The YouTube Community expansion comes a few days after YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan confirmed that the feature was set to hit more YouTube content creators soon. Well, it appears that more creators other than those invited by YouTube last year will now be able to interact with their subscribers through GIFs, photos, polls, and texts, in addition to just videos.
The new update was developed based on feedback gathered from content creators, and one of the changes added to the feature is YouTube's own version of the Stories format called "Reels." The concept of Stories was first introduced by Snapchat and later adopted by many other online platforms including Facebook and Instagram, though YouTube Community's own spin adds some slight variations to it. For instance, YouTube creators can choose to make multiple Reels that do not disappear after a given period, unlike Stories on Facebook that expire after 24 hours. Keep in mind, however, that the new feature is still in a beta phase of development, with YouTube promising to improve the tool before expanding it on a broader scale in the future, according to Roy Livne, the company's Senior Product Manager. Additionally, YouTube Community also allows content creators to easily link to other videos and take advantage of various stickers.
The video sharing platform has also added a new feature that allows YouTube users to view Community posts by a particular content creator in their Home feed even if they have not subscribed to that creator. The goal of this update is to improve the discoverability of Community posts by letting the most engaged viewers see them once they open YouTube. As to the notifications about new Community posts, Livne said that YouTube made sure these won't be annoying to fans by letting them receive notifications for groups of Community posts instead of individual posts. Creators can also turn to the Community tab to tease subscribers about an upcoming video so that they might build additional excitement for their offerings.