YouTube could bring QR code channel discovery and AI to live streams

YouTube Premium homepage on Android
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • YouTube detailed a few new features it has available in testing for a small cluster of viewers and creators, such as AI live chat summaries in live streams.
  • Only available for English-speaking channels with "active chats," viewers will see a summary based on conversations before they joined.
  • Other tests include QR codes for better channel discovery and Google Lens integration with YouTube's search bar.

Moving into the weekend, YouTube is highlighting a few new features it currently has in testing for a limited percentage of viewers and creators.

As detailed in its "Features and Experiments" post, YouTube states it has kickstarted a test for AI-generated live chat summaries. The platform explains that its AI software will create its summaries based on "published chats" in a live stream's rolling feed.

Viewers can see a snapshot of the most "exciting" conversations to understand them quicker without scrolling a bunch. YouTube adds that a live stream's chat must have a "sufficient" amount of chat data before the AI can kick in and begin summarizing.

This feature is rolling out to a small cluster of viewers who join eligible streams broadcast in English with "super active" chats.

We've spotted YouTube's AI-generated chat summaries during a live stream. The summary appears when first entering the channel at the top of the feed. The text box offers an overview of what's transpired but quickly disappears after a few seconds. Minimizing the chat and re-opening it (or refreshing) produces it again, but with a new summary as the chat continues to evolve.

An example of YouTube's AI live chat summaries.

(Image credit: Nickolas Diaz / Android Central)

The platform's next test involves a new way for users to discover channels through QR codes. YouTube states this is only available through its mobile app, informing creators in the test to navigate to the "You" tab. A new "Share your channel" chip will be displayed beneath your handle, which produces an interactable QR code.

The post states that users can share these codes anywhere and that online and offline users can scan them. Only a small group of creators will receive this test. However, YouTube states that it will detail an expansion if all goes well.

Lastly, YouTube is experimenting with integrating Google Lens into its search bar. The function works similarly to Lens in other apps, as users can capture what they see with their phone's camera and run a search through YouTube's database. The post adds that users can learn more about what they see by tapping "Search on Google."

Those in the test will notice a Lens icon in the YouTube search bar. Note: only a small percentage of Android-based users are eligible.

Team YouTube highlighted a new test that involves creators and viewers the other day. The former will see alternating thumbnails. The company sees the test as a way for creators to gauge what type of photos entice viewers to click on their content. As such, they can upload up to three thumbnails, which will be shown to audiences "evenly" with feedback about which performed the best.

The service also started an AI test for Premium users late last year, involving AI-powered summaries for comments and "Ask" for video-specific questions.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.

  • Mooncatt
    One of the channels I follow has that AI chat summary test and it's currently 100% inaccurate. Not a single summary has been anywhere near correct. No surprise there.