Yesterday, YouTube launched Community, a new tab that enables content creators to engage with their audiences in new ways beyond video.
While many of the major social media networks are actively working toward enabling users to more easily access, create, and publish video content, YouTube is effectively working backward.
YouTube clearly has the video side of things nailed, but are now working to create a more well-rounded space for communities to thrive.
Community launched with select content creators, and according to YouTube, represents, ‘… the deepest product collaboration we’ve ever done…’. Popular content creators were involved in the process of concepting and developing this feature with an aim to provide new ways for creators to engage with their fans between video uploads.
For businesses and brands, there’s not much to do right now other than observe and learn, though it will be an interesting feature to keep an eye on as it rolls out to more content creators, and possibly to all channels in the future.
Historically, many YouTube comment sections are lacking in value and often devolve into toxic forums of people commenting behind a veil of internet anonymity. We are curious to see if Community results in more of the same, or if creators will be able to have a more meaningful dialogue with their viewers and subscribers in this new space.
If Community does in fact become a space for meaningful interaction and discussion, or if future iterations include robust monitoring and moderation tools to help facilitate this, it may present businesses with a great new opportunity to do the same with their targeted audiences.
Regardless of when Community rolls out more broadly, and how content creators and users behave on this new tab, it is a good reminder to businesses and brands that YouTube represents a much bigger opportunity than solely being a place to host irregularly created video content, and pay for pre-roll ads.
With or without this new feature, YouTube is a place to build community, spark and sustain a meaningful two-way dialogue, provide tremendous value, educate and raise awareness, and prove your brand proposition.
Do you think Community will be a meaningful tool for businesses as it rolls out more broadly?
Do you think discussion will be more meaningful on the Community tab than it typically is within video comments?
It would be great to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBsocial