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When it comes to the live streaming space, Google is playing catch up to Twitter’s Periscope, Facebook Live and Meerkat.

Google has secretly been working on a live streaming app, the YouTube Connect. This app will be available on both the iOS and Android platforms. If a report by Venture Beat is anything to go by, the YouTube Connect will have nearly similar features as Periscope and Facebook Live.

Users will simply log into the app using their Google account and start streaming right from their smartphone. The app also has features like chat, tagging and news feed where you get to see clips made by your contacts or from YouTube channels that you have subscribed to. Users will also view live videos within the app and on YouTube desktop.

Users will also get the option of store broadcasts in the apps for your later viewing. Meaning if you did not get something clearly during the live broadcasts you could still catch later on the YouTube Connect.

It would have been better if the app had integrated Facebook and Twitter to enable the live streams to be shared simultaneous on those platforms. Perhaps that is something Google should think about.

Although live streaming may not be completely unavailable on Google’s platforms; YouTube does offer live streaming under its Creator Studio offering, but users’ access is limited. With the new app, Google is looking to avail live streaming on its platform to more users without the limitations.

Although Google live streaming is a late comer, you cannot deny that its YouTube platform is perhaps the world leading platform hosting user-generated videos. Now that users will be given the opportunity to connect with their fans in real time, there stands to be a significant boost in engagements on the platform.

Looking at both Facebook and Twitter, the two companies have invested significantly in live streaming services. Back in the 2015 Q4 of Twitter, the company’s CEO Jack Dorsey shared his vision for the company future and how Periscope will play a crucial role. Dorsey even added Periscope services’ CEO to become part of his executive team.

Dorsey said, “Twitter is live, live commentary, live conversations, and live connections, whether it’s breaking news, entertainment, sports, or everyday topics, hearing about and watching a live event unfold is the fastest way to understand the power of Twitter.

On the other hand, Facebook CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg shared about how thrilled he was with Facebook Live. He also predicted the platform becoming more popular as more people gain access to it.

Over the last few months or a year or so, YouTube has been on the losing end in as being the people’s favorite platform for watching other users’ created videos. It has especially lost ground to Facebook and SnapChat, which have recently grown more and more to become a video sharing platform.

By February this year, both Facebook and SnapChat could boast of over 8 billion video views each. In many ways, YouTube is trying to defend its turf, and the live streaming option is seen as Google’s attempt to elicit users’ interest to the YouTube platform.

YouTube Connect will be the latest Google’s tool in the fight to attract more users and maintain current users. Well, that in and YouTube Capture and YouTube Gaming, the latter allows users to record and edit video footage on their mobile devices.

Google has not yet made public details on when YouTube Connect will be released to the public. However, speculators say sometime in May before Google’s I/O is the most likely time for the launch of the app.

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