YouTube is creating a new Gaming destination. The video site serves game-related content to more than 200 million people each day, according to YouTube. So the company is aiming to improve their experience within YouTube.com. This means it is ending the YouTube Gaming app. It will retire that separate, dedicated download in 2019.
While the app is going away, the core of that experience is going to live on at YouTube.com/Gaming. This revamped take on the gaming channel will highlight content that YouTube thinks you’ll like. It also spotlights the top active livestreamers. Like Twitch, it even has carousel at the top to show who is online. YouTube has struggled to balance its massive gaming audience that watches more than 50 billion hours of content each week with the desires of advertisers. Game-related videos are often the target of “demonetization,” which strips ads and revenue from a video for featuring a nebulous idea of violent or vulgar content.
“We’re always working to make the gaming experience on YouTube better,” YouTube product director Christina Chen wrote in a blog post. “Over the past few years, we’ve focused on building tools and experiences that the gaming community has been asking for. That’s why in 2015, we launched YouTube Gaming.”
That app works differently than standard YouTube. It has features like official Game Pages. The idea is to make it easy for people to find content that they’re interested in based on games that they like. This is also where YouTube tested ideas like tipping livestreamers using its Super Chat function.
“The response to these features has been so positive that we brought them over from the YouTube Gaming app to the main YouTube experience,” said Chen. “We also want to do more to help our smaller creators grow on YouTube too. So we’ll be highlighting gaming creators who are ‘On The Rise’ on the Gaming destination and in Trending.”
Chen says that YouTube will scour its creators to bring a new crop of up-and-coming gaming channels to viewers each week. If you’re in the U.S., you’ll start seeing this experience today. YouTube plans to roll it out in other regions at some point in the future.
YouTube is huge due in part to gaming, but it’s obviously still trying to navigate how to best serve that audience. These moves suggest that it is still trying to figure that out.