YouTube mobile live streaming is here, starting with channels above 10,000 subscribers

YouTube has been talking about live streaming straight from your phone since mid-2016, and now it has expanded to make it available to everyone ... who has more than 10,000 subscribers on YouTube. Thankfully, this is only a limited-time restriction, as the ability to live stream directly from your phone will expand to everyone very soon.

Live streams can start up right away with just a few taps in the standard YouTube app, and videos that are created live are treated the same as any other uploaded video. They can be found through search, recommendations and playlists — so people don't necessarily have to find them directly on your channel. YouTube also claims to have done plenty of optimization to make sure your feed gets out clearly no matter what network you're on, including slowing down incoming live chat to prioritize your video bandwidth.

Soon everyone will be able to go live on YouTube, no matter the subscriber number.

So, how about that pesky problem of monetizing your time on YouTube live streaming? It's called "Super Chat." Viewers watching your video can pay to get a front-row seat in the chat room where they can stand out from the thousands watching and get the creator's attention. Super Chat messages stay on the top of the chat window for up to five hours. YouTube is describing this as "a little money on the side," so it isn't likely to add up to the type of ad revenue you can see with millions of subscribers on uploaded videos, but making sure live streaming can be worth a creator's time is important.

Not many of us have 10,000 YouTube subscribers so we'll be waiting for a while before we can stream ourselves, but in the meantime you'll likely start to notice live streams from the people you already follow on YouTube — like perhaps MrMobile and Modern Dad!

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.