YouTube is testing a messaging feature in its smartphone app so people can share and discuss videos without resorting to other ways to connect with their friends and family.
The messaging option announced Friday initially is only being offered to a small group of people with YouTube’s app installed on an iPhone or device running on Google’s Android software. If all goes well, messaging will be included in a future app update available to everyone with an iPhone or an Android phone.
YouTube, part of Alphabet’s Google, is examining whether the messaging feature will encourage its audience to spend even more time inside its popular video app. Currently, people typically copy links to YouTube and paste them into other messaging apps such as Snapchat, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.