YouTube Live for Android
My concept of an app Google could develop if they decided to enter the mobile live stream space.
What’s the first website you think of when I say “video”?
For most people, the answer is probably YouTube. Why then has it not entered the mobile live stream space yet?
With the introduction of Facebook Live, it won’t be long before Google releases their version of a broadcasting app. As of today, the space is mainly dominated by three services, Meerkat, Periscope, and Facebook Live.
Rather than create a completely new service, I believe Google would use the existing infrastructure of YouTube and introduce their mobile live streaming service as YouTube Live.
YouTube already has a live streaming feature, however, it’s built for the web and it hasn’t caught on by the general public due to that fact. More and more people are carrying around a smartphone where they are not only consuming content, but creating it too. It would only make sense to target this audience with a mobile-specific experience. And that’s where YouTube Live will come in:
Let’s get the basics out of the way:
When designing this concept, I started with these 3 starting points:
- As a standard Android app, it will follow Material Design guidelines (although I’ve rejected some ideas like the floating action button to satisfy the two points below).
- It will implement a user interface already familiar to users.
- The language and experience will mimic that of YouTube.
Throughout the app, I implemented Roboto, Google’s signature typeface for Android.
I used the three simple and familiar colors that make up YouTube: white, red, and black.
Since YouTube Live would not be a separate entity, but rather a subsidiary of YouTube, I decided its logo would be a variation on YouTube’s logo.
Now, onto the actual interface of the app. It’s highly inspired from the interface of YouTube Gaming, which is an unreleased service that focuses on live streaming online gaming and eSports.
Home is the main feed a user sees when opening up the app. Think of it like your Subscriptions tab on YouTube. Under Home, you can find the live streams of people you’re subscribed to, as well as streams that have already ended.
From here, you can also initiate a broadcast by filling out the What are you up to text field and tapping on the broadcast button to the right. I wanted to make it as seamless and quick as possible to start a broadcast without additional clutter. I will go into more detail regarding the broadcast flow below.
Swipe to the right of Home and you find the Discover tab. As the name suggests, you can discover new live streams here.
The streams displayed here are from people you do not yet subscribe to.
If there are any featured or popular streams, they will appear under the Discover tab as well.
Swipe to the left of Home and you find the Subscribers tab. Here, you can see a list of your subscribers. You can easily subscribe back and see which users you already subscribe to.
Like the flow of current live broadcasting apps, any user who has YouTube Live installed receives a notification when a user they subscribed to goes live. Acting on the notification leads to the Broadcast view above where you can see the live stream and other users’ comments.
When initially creating the broadcast, the user can set the visibility to either public or private, the latter resulting in a link you can share (rather than a notification sent to all of your followers).
After the broadcast is where YouTube Live can differentiate itself from its competitors. Once the live stream has ended, it’s automatically uploaded to YouTube, available to anyone as a replay.
This is just a concept I imagined and designed with many ideas left unwritten and unexplored, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Google entered the mobile live stream space with their own competitive service. There are many potentially great use cases for mobile live streaming (breaking news, political activism, new form of vlogging, etc.) and there’s so much data left to be captured that it would be the perfect opportunity for Google (or Alphabet) to seize.