YouTube un­veils video fea­tures

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS BEAT - By Ethan Var­ian ethan.var­ian@la­times.com

YouTube CEO Su­san Wo­j­ci­cki an­nounced new fea­tures to the com­pany’s mo­bile and desk­top plat­forms Thursday at the eighth an­nual VidCon con­fer­ence in Ana­heim.

Wo­j­ci­cki in­tro­duced two new mo­bile ca­pa­bil­i­ties, in­clud­ing a fea­ture that au­to­mat­i­cally re­for­mats videos shot ver­ti­cally or in square to ren­der nor­mally on a viewer’s smart­phone. Users with at least 100 sub­scribers will also have the abil­ity to live-stream to the site.

YouTube users now spend more than an hour a day on av­er­age watch­ing videos on mo­bile de­vices, Wo­j­ci­cki said, no doubt prompt­ing the com­pany to in­crease its mo­bile ca­pa­bil­ity.

She said the plat­form has also seen a four­fold in­crease in live-stream­ing over the last year.

“We think there’s lots of room to get peo­ple to watch even more YouTube,” Wo­j­ci­cki said.

YouTube now has 1.5 bil­lion logged-in users visit­ing the site ev­ery month, she said.

Wo­j­ci­cki also in­tro­duced VR 180, a vir­tual real­ity for­mat that allows users to film just what’s in front of them. The new for­mat is aimed at mak­ing it eas­ier and cheaper for YouTube cre­ators to shoot VR video.

“We want to make VR avail­able to ev­ery­one,” Wo­j­ci­cki said.

In ad­di­tion, Wo­j­ci­cki un­veiled a cleaner re­design for YouTube’s desk­top in­ter­face, and a na­tive shar­ing fea­ture al­low­ing users to share videos via their YouTube ac­counts.

The Google-owned com­pany also touted the growth of YouTube TV, the new stream­ing part­ner­ship with pop­u­lar ca­ble net­works. It will now be avail­able in 10 mar­kets, up from five, in­clud­ing At­lanta, Mi­ami and Dal­las.

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