Advertising giant Google has added new functionality to its would-be Twitch killer YouTube gaming, including a crowd-funding feature and the ability to stream from Android-based devices.
Launched back in August
, YouTube Gaming is Google's response to its failed bid to buy game streaming specialist Twitch, picked up by Amazon in a deal valued at $970 million
. Like Twitch, YouTube Gaming offers the ability to live-stream game content, as well as access to recordings of previous streams and non-live, edited gaming content.
The new YouTube Gaming features, announced late last night, include the ability to record and optionally live-stream video and audio from an Android device - including tapping in to the front-facing camera, if available, to record your reactions during play. Additional changes to the app include notifications when live streaming has begun on games in which you are interested, improved performance on the web client, improved search on iOS, and the ability to import existing channel subscriptions from the main YouTube site.
A change with an even bigger potential to disrupt the market is the addition of Fan Funding, allowing viewers to directly contribute a monthly payment to the streamer to fund future content. If that sounds familiar, it's the Patreon model of crowd-funding - but direct through Google, giving the advertising giant a cut of the proceeds. Available in beta at present for selected channels, viewers taking advantage of Fan Funding will receive access to exclusive chat sessions with channel creators and a live chat badge chosen by the streamer - along with the pleasure of having financially supported a content creator of their choice, of course.
More information on the changes is available in Google's official announcement