YouTube rolls out Super Chat updates, automatic captioning for live

YouTube is rolling out a number of updates to its live streaming platform, the company announced on Monday morning.

YouTube Live now offers chat replay

First, archived YouTube Live broadcasts will now preserve the live chat that accompanied the stream. Starting today, viewers watching the on-demand archive of a stream will see the chat replay in real time, scrolling alongside the video as it did during the actual event.

YouTube Live's new automatic captioning feature

The company also announced an accessibility update: live streams will soon feature an option to enable automatic English captioning. This is a huge step towards making online video more accessible by the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. Captioning for live streams has traditionally been very expensive and technologically complex to integrate, resulting in an infinitesimal amount of broadcasts going live with captions.

“With our live automatic speech recognition (LASR) technology, you’ll get captions with error rates and latency approaching industry standards,” the company wrote. Automatic captions will be rolled out “in the coming weeks.”

Additionally, the live platform now supports location tagging while streaming on mobile. Viewers can discover and search for streams by location, similar to most other mobile-first live streaming apps.

Finally, the company has announced IFTTT integration into Super Chat. IFTTT, which stands for If This, Then That, allows users to set up cause-and-reaction type ‘recipes’ – in this instance, triggered by messages posted to Super Chat. Streamers can set up the service to have fan donations trigger real life events and interact with physical devices. For example, a streamer could set up an IFTTT recipe that triggers a strobe light whenever they receive a Super Chat above $10, or blasts a confetti cannon for donations of at least $25.

Super Chat launched in January 2017 on desktop and Android devices, but is finally rolling out to iOS devices beginning today.