YouTube Live stole one of Twitch’s best features and managed to make raids better

    A few years ago, YouTube added Live Redirects as a way for creators to hold livestreams that ended by pointing viewers to another video on their own channel for premiere events, like BTS engaging fans before showing off a new music video. Now it has adjusted Live Redirects so that live streamers on the service can bounce their audience to another livestream when they go offline. A premiere launch event for the film Top Gun: Maverick on Wednesday will be one of the first big events to take advantage of the new addition.

    On Twitch, this behavior is called a raid. On one hand, it’s a good way to help grow audiences and find new content, but it has also been a conduit for harassment on the platform as “hate raids” would target marginalized streamers with abuse from hundreds of accounts at a time.

    YouTube Live Redirect example flow

    YouTube Live Redirect example flow
    Image: YouTube Support

    YouTube clearly took note of the issues Twitch has struggled to contain and is launching Live Redirects with settings that could make bot-fueled harassment something streamers don’t have to worry about as much.

    On Twitch, by default, channels are set to allow raids from anyone, and while users can change that setting to only allow raids from “friends, teammates, and followed channels,” many don’t do it. From the start, however, YouTube Live Redirects can only point to channels that subscribe to the streamer or that have explicitly added that channel to an allowed list. In addition, only channels with more than 1,000 subscribers and no active community guideline strikes can send a Live Redirect.

    Now that the feature is live, we’ll be able to see how streamers use it, but building in default settings that give streamers one less thing to worry about should be a good start. YouTube previewed Live Redirects in a March video along with several other new features that are coming as it tries to convince creators that this is the platform they should use instead of competitors like Twitch, Facebook, or TikTok.

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