YouTube Uptime: a streaming app for Millennials and Boomlets
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YouTube Uptime: a streaming app for Millennials and Boomlets

YouTube, the massive video hosting site from Google (itself now falling under the umbrella of Alphabet) has launched a new app that brings online video viewership into the social realm. The app, Uptime, lets you watch videos with friends online, and in terms of its design, it borrows features from youth-friendly social sites like Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live.

It works like this: you watch a video online, and your profile icon floats along it; you can make comments or use emoji like the smiley face or heart eyes, and other users can see it all, whenever they choose to watch. If they’re watching alongside you in real time, you can also interact by leaving ‘sparkles’ on the screen. In this way, YouTube has basically added common social media features – particularly those embraced by younger users – to online video hosting.

As of right now, this is it. Although other features, like messaging and live streaming, may well be in the app’s future if it catches on.

This is a pretty clear move to attract the youngest two generations of users, Millennials (which you’ve probably heard of) and ‘Boomlets’ (which you almost certainly have not). ‘Boomlets’ is the colloquial term for Generation Z – that is, people born in 2001 and later. Today, the oldest Boomlets are just 16 – the youngest have not yet been born. But in just a few years, they will become a powerful consumer block – and one that, like their Millennial predecessors, have grown up online.

Disclosure
Dominion holds Alphabet, the parent company of Google, in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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