YouTube is rolling out a new clips feature in the same vein as Twitch, but seems to have abandoned the features that make clips a success on the streaming platform, and put its own weird twist on it instead.
Twitch streams are pretty lengthy, and users can create short clips from the original video to highlight portions of the steam, which are essentially new, short videos. feature is available on iOS and Android as well as the browser version of the website. A channel's popular clips shows off the most viewed clips to potential viewers, created by the community, that act as a way to draw in new viewership with bitesize morsels of content.
YouTube's approach is very different; for a start, the clips are private and live on your own dashboard under the new Clips tab. The clips themselves are limited to anywhere between five and 60 seconds, and play on a loop on the original video's watch page. Think of them more as a way to share short snippets on social media, than a community curated collection that anyone can view.
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The feature is definitely geared towards live gaming streams, although there are caveats for clips made during a live stream: you can't make them for streams over eight hours long, or for live streams without DVR. The creator also needs to upload the stream as a video afterwards for your clip to work. Other restrictions apply, like not being able to make clips from videos made for kids; you can read about the limitations on the YouTube Help page (opens in new tab).
You also can't create clips on Android or iOS, but YouTube says it's coming soon for Apple devices. Clips is currently in early testing with YouTube gaming creators, and you can swot up on how it works in this video from YouTube's Creator Insider channel (opens in new tab).
If creators are worried about the impact this will have on ads, YouTube says clips are eligible for ads as long as the original video is at least 30 seconds long, although given how short the clips are, this could be quite intrusive.
It's a YouTube spin on a popular Twitch feature, and one that gaming creators have been asking for; it's not as slick as Twitch's answer, and could scupper up ads for content creators, but it's still very early days and it'll no doubt be refined as YouTube gets more feedback on clips.
You can't sign up for the limited alpha, but there are a few channels that have this feature turned on – like YouTube's own video on the subject – so you can head over to have a play and see how you get on.