YouTube may soon launch a feature that will allow users to chat with their friends from within the app itself. According to a report by Wired, the company will start testing “native sharing” with a small group of YouTubers. Those testers can then spread the feature by inviting friends into conversation threads. The feature not only lets them chat with each other, but also lets them reply with videos. The report noted that the message threads will be located in a new tab on the YouTube app.
The move is most likely an attempt to ensure that users spend more time within the YouTube app by sharing natively, and not on other messaging services such as Facebook Messenger. Many other services are starting to include in-app messaging as a way to make users spend more time within the app. In August last year, Flipkart launched Ping, a service that allowed buyers to interact with each other as they shop. It allowed users to share product images, wishlists, carts and chat with each other while shopping.
Last month, YouTube updated its app on Android and iOS devices. The app now offers a redesigned home screen, and offers improved recommendations via deep neural network technology. The company said that this technology allowed it to find patterns by learning from usage, and then offer personalised recommendations.