YouTube speeds up live streaming for creators with ‘ultra-low latency’

Live Streaming


Image: brittany herbert/mashable

Live streaming isn’t always as “live” as you’d think. 

Streaming videos may often look like they’re happening in real time, but technological challenges typically prevent those streams from broadcasting that quickly, resulting in a seconds-long delay.

Not anymore. YouTube now has a solution that cuts down that delay, known as “latency,” to just a couple seconds.

Beginning today, YouTube live-streamers can choose a new “ultra-low latency” setting that ensures their stream is reaching viewers in nearly real time. While streamers previously had latency times as high as 10 seconds, the new setting cuts that time down to “just a couple seconds,” according to YouTube’s product manager for live videos Kurt Wilms.

The faster live streaming does come with a couple tradeoffs, though. Namely, it could come with more buffering for viewers, since there’s less time for YouTube to get the necessary data to users’ phones. 

So while the new ultra-low latency setting may not be appropriate for every live-streaming situation, YouTube says it will be particularly useful for creators who have lot of back and forth with their viewers.

“No awkward silences is the best way to describe what this feature enables,” WIlms says.

Speaking of back and forth with viewers, YouTube is also adding new comment moderation features for live streamers.

Creators can opt-in to a new comment moderation tool that will automatically filter comments and place holds and those that are identified as potential spam or abuse. Creators can go back and manually review comments flagged by YouTube’s system. Additionally, streamers can automatically block certain words and phrases from comments.

Finally, the company is updating its iOS app to be compatible with Apple’s ReplayKit, so that people can stream their iPhone screens directly to their YouTube channel. The feature, will work with any iOS app that supports Apple’s ReplayKit. A similar feature already exists for Android. 

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