In a recent blog post, Google announced that the features of the YouTube Gaming app and hub will be disappearing in its current form. The application’s livestreaming services will instead be repurposed and the content merged onto youtube.com/gaming.
Initially launched in 2015, the app was launched separately from YouTube as a dedicated hub for gamers to watch curated streams and videos.
The repurpose aims to integrate various unique YouTube Gaming features onto YouTube’s main website instead. Now, on YouTube’s main hub, YouTube Gaming will appear as a tab on the left, similar to the Trending feature. Moving forward, youtube.com/gaming will display personalized content at the top of the page, which will include live streams and new uploads from subscribed gaming channels.
Additional features will be included, as specific video games will now contain their own pages, which will display highlights of popular live streams, videos and upcoming content.
A feature that includes the showcasing of smaller content creators, deemed “On the Rise,” will be released as well. The showcasing featured will change and update on a weekly basis, but will only be available in the United State for now, as scaling the algorithmic and human curation will take time.
Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s director of gaming content and partnerships, detailed the rationale behind this merge to The Verge, stating, “There was confusion with the YouTube gaming app.” At the time of launch, users were not provided with clear descriptions regarding the app, meaning they were unaware of what type of content it offered.
In a closing statement, Wyatt noted,
When we launched the YouTube gaming app, I think there was a lot of brand confusion in the market of like, ‘Well, is this just a live gaming app and experience? What’s gonna happen to gaming on YouTube versus YouTube gaming app?’
And so we’re hoping that this time around, with us moving it to YouTube [proper], it’s a clear signal to the community that we care very much about gaming, that we want gaming on YouTube…to continue to thrive and be a big part. I think we had a big misstep and confusion there.
The migration has already occurred, and the YouTube Gaming app will remain in existence until March 2019, when it will permanently shut down.