Hangouts On Air Out, YouTube Live In

The world of live video is in an extremely volatile place. With Meerkat switching gears earlier this year, Blab saying ‘Goodbye’ earlier this week and all the come-and-go apps in between, it’s no surprise that we now see Google nixing their On Air extension of Hangouts.

Many people have seen this coming for a while — especially those of us with our thumb on the pulse of Google+ and it’s evolution. In my humble opinion, YouTube was always the final destination of the live streaming capabilities that Hangouts pioneered. To my surprise, though, there hasn’t been much in the way of advancement thus far.

In its current state, YouTube Live Events leaves much to be desired. With the current state of apps such as Periscope and Facebook Live making it dead-simple to start live streaming, YouTube has a lot of work to do in simplifying and streamlining its interface. Not to mention the fact that they still need to integrate it into their various apps.

It’s as easy as tap, tap, type, tap. via

Pericope, for example only requires two taps, type a title and tap the “Start Broadcast” button.

Facebook is one extra Tap compared to Periscope.

With Facebook, it’s three taps, type your title and then tap the “Go Live” button. One more tap than Periscope.

In order to live stream on YouTube, currently, here are the 18 easy steps:

  • Navigate (in a desktop web browser) to
  • Click on your Profile photo in the top right
  • Click on the Creator Studio button
  • Click the Live Streaming tab on the right
  • Take a moment to go “WTF is that?” when it takes you to the Stream Now [Beta] tab, then click on the Events tab on the right under this awful current tab
  • Click the New Live Event button in the top right
  • Type out your title
  • Skip the time element(because we’re supposed to be live streaming now, in the moment)
  • Fill out your description
  • Add some tags
  • Decide whether you want this to be Public, Unlisted, or Private
  • Decide whether or not you want to write more about this live video (the Add a message box)
  • Decide whether or not you want to share this live video on Twitter and Google+
  • Read the two options titled Quick or Custom, remember how awful that first tab you landed on was, choose to stick with Quick
  • Click the blue Go Live Now button in the bottom right
  • Wait for the “You’re about to…” message to pop up and click Ok
  • Wait for the Hangouts window to pop up and make sure your camera is working and that you look presentable
  • Click the green Start Broadcast button

Whew… anyone exhausted yet? And I didn’t even get into the Advanced or Monetization tabs that allow you further customization of your live stream.

I’m not even going to attempt to screengrab all that for you. Clearly, you can tell — this is a problem.

But I’m confident that not only is YouTube aware of this, but they’re already working on a simple solution and have begun rolling it out quietly to select few creators.


Now this looks promising. And I can’t wait to give it a try. If there is one video platform that could instantly rival Facebook Live, this would be it. And as soon as it’s available to me, I’m going to fully commit to it over Periscope and Facebook Live.

But until that time, Periscope and Facebook continue to solidify their presence in our daily lives.