YouTube Adding Chat Replay, Automatic Captions To Live Streams

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Google, via its YouTube blog today announced a number of new features that are coming to YouTube Live. Unlikely to need much of an explanation, YouTube Live allows YouTube creators to stream live broadcasts, and YouTube users to watch those broadcasts. The newly announced features are designed to improve the experience for both parties involved.

From the viewer side, the first of the new features is what Google calls “Chat Replay” and this one is specifically relevant to Live Chat as it designed to allow viewers to view the Live Chat while watching a live broadcast that is no longer being broadcast live. Therefore, bringing the experience of watching previously-broadcast videos in line with the actual experience of watching them as they happen. The second new feature is to do with captioning. While captions have been available on YouTube for a long time there is an inherent issue with providing captions for live content. Although it seems Google and YouTube are overcoming that issue now as live broadcasts will soon (“in the coming weeks”) include real-time captions. Something Google says is being made possible through the use of its ‘live automatic speech recognition’ (LASR) technology. Google does note that while captions won’t be perfect, error rates and latency will be in line with industry standards, and will also improve naturally over time.

As for content creators, Google has now confirmed any video uploaded, or live broadcast, can have a location tag attached to it. This can then be used by a viewer to find more content related to the location tag. Users also now have the ability to filter videos based on location, something which should be of benefit to helping content creators promote local content to those looking for it. This is in addition to Google confirming content creators can now link Super Chats with If This, Then That (IFTTT). For those new to Super Chats, this feature allows viewers to pay to have a comment or message surface at the top of the chat. The new IFTTT integration builds upon the announcement made last year by improving the automated nature of a Super Chat triggering real-world events.