YouTube is best known as a video streaming platform, but that has not stopped the leaders of this division within Alphabet Inc. to try to implement elements of social networking into the site. Recently, YouTube channels were given the opportunity to post articles with photos and text in the feed, as well as stories similar to those on Snapchat or Instagram. Two years ago, they even received a chat component, similar to Facebook or WhatsApp. The latter seems to have been a wrong step, as the platform will stop the possibility of sending and receiving private messages.
YouTube platform has always had a messaging component, but it was more like an email service than a chat service. The new messaging solution, introduced in 2017, works as a dedicated chat application, allowing users to send text messages, emoji, video clips or photos, as well as YouTube video links. It even received a dedicated tab in the application called “shared”, but very soon it will be retired.
The representatives of the streaming service announced that starting September 18, the ability to send private messages between YouTube users will be ditched. There was no reason for this, but most likely, it was not used as much as the company expected. The truth is that it is quite difficult now for a new chat application to surpass the success of those already established, especially when it is linked to a platform that mainly encourages public interaction, by commenting on published clips.
Of course, this is not the first chat platform that Google/Alphabet has closed in recent times. Only in the last year has the company decided to opt-out of Google Plus, Allo, and Hangouts and still have services like Google Voice.
Already, there are negative reactions to this decision from the community, mostly from the youngest users. Many say this is the only online chat method they had access to, as parents forbid them from using social media or giving their phone number to others. On YouTube, they are able to communicate with friends in a safer environment, or as an alternative to other platforms that they do not have access to.