YouTube is reportedly developing a new feature that’s currently being called internally as Backstage. The new feature will allow users to share photos, text posts and polls to their subscribers.
YouTube’s Backstage feature is expected to launch by the end of 2016 for both the desktop site and the mobile app. The feature will first be available to popular YouTube accounts but with limited features, according to VentureBeat.
Backstage will be YouTube’s way of being a lot more competitive against the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, where fans are able to further engage with their favorite internet celebrities beyond videos and livestreams. When it launches, Backstage will live alongside the Videos and Home tab within YouTube channels. Posts on Backstage will be shown in reverse chronological order much like how Instagram used to work.
The feature is also quite akin to the Facebook Timeline and a Twitter profile. Posts on Backstage will appear on subscribers’ feeds and notifications. VentureBeat also notes that Backstage will eventually enable users to post regular YouTube videos and videos that are exclusively available to watch on Backstage.
Posts on Backstage will also let subscribers comment in other ways besides just texts. Like in the comments section of Facebook posts, subscribers would eventually be able to post photo or video comments on Backstage posts.
Speaking of posts, YouTube is also planning on making Backstage posts available to view on other services much like how Twitter shows previews of Instagram or Vine posts. Overall, Backstage seems like YouTube’s solution to making its service a lot more social. The video sharing site attempted to provide social feature by integrating Google+, but that never really caught on with most users.
YouTube’s end goal here is to make sure that content creators stay put on the service. Majority of YouTube personalities would make Facebook or Twitter pages to keep in touch with their fans. If Backstage is able to provide a feature that’s similar to its rivals, then there would no longer be a need for YouTube creators and subscribers to keep going to other social media services.