YouTube just launched what we’ve known for several years from Instagram, their direct messaging service and InstaStories: on August 7th, YouTube introduced their new in-app messaging feature on the official YouTube blog. Users can now share videos with friends and discuss about it in a private chat, without having to leave the video platform.

With this new feature, YouTube makes it easier for users to share videos. Until now, it was only possible to copy a video link and send it to friends and family through other apps likes WhatsApp, Facebook or the phone’s regular messaging service. The new tool allows you to add contacts from your phone book and invite them to YouTube. Once they’re invited via the link, they can use the messaging service. At the same time, the in-app messenger gives users the opportunity not only to discuss a video but to answer with another video or to add more people to join the conversation (source: Official YouTube Blog).

Got a video your friends have to see? Just hit the share button, choose some contacts, add a message and hit send.
Official YouTube Video

The new feature has been in development for quite some time. A chosen group of users got to test the new functions and gave feedback, upon which YouTube revised the service once more before rolling it out worldwide. The offered messaging function is quite simple and strongly focuses on videos. The chat only allows sharing the video, texting about it and sending emojis. Sending pictures is not possible. Only giving ‘hearts’ to shared videos in the group chat, to show that you liked the video, is possible (source: Engadget).

The new feature could lead to more activity happening on YouTubes, leading to more interaction with the videos on the platform. By being able to directly share and discuss a video with friends on the platform, users are no longer single viewers which could lead to YouTube evolving into a real social media network. If you’re not yet able to find the new feature in the app, it may just take a couple more days before the roll-out is completed.