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People love to share YouTube videos among their friends, which is why in mid-2017 YouTube launched a new in-app messaging feature that would allow YouTube users to private send their friends videos and chat within a dedicated tab in the YouTube mobile app. That feature is now being shut down, the company says. After September 18, the ability to direct message friends on YouTube itself will be removed.
The change was first spotted by 9to5Google, which noted that YouTube Messages came to the web in May of last year.
YouTube - Announcement - Closure - Insight - Decision
YouTube, in its announcement about the closure, doesn’t offer much insight into its decision.
While the company says that its more recent work has been focused on public conversations with updates to comments, posts, and Stories, it doesn’t explain why Messages is no longer a priority.
Reason - Course - Feature - People - Today
A likely reason, of course, is that the feature was under-utilized. Most people today are heavily invested in their own preferred messaging apps — whether that’s Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, iMessage or others.
Google, meanwhile, can’t seem to stop itself from building messaging apps and experiences. When YouTube Messages launched, Google was also invested in Allo (RIP), Duo, Hangouts, Meet, Google Voice, Android Messages/RCS, and was poised to transition users from Gchat (aka Google Talk) in Gmail to Hangouts Chat.
Comments - Google - Post - Closure - YouTube
However, based on the nearly 500 angry comments replying to Google’s post about the closure, it seems that YouTube Messages may have been preferred by many young users.
Young…as in children.
Number - Commenters - YouTube - Place - Friends
A sizable number of commenters are complaining that YouTube was the “only place” they could message their friends because they didn’t have a phone or...
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