YouTube may be entering the online-gaming space, according to recent reports. According to an internal email sent out by parent company Alphabet to all Google employees, YouTube has begun testing Playables which would allow users to play games directly within its site on both desktop browsers and mobile devices – with arcade game Stack Bounce among those currently up for testing.
Adding games to YouTube could help the company diversify its offerings and appeal to a broader audience. YouTube previously tried its luck in gaming when they released a separate app dedicated to gamers and streamers in 2015 that ultimately closed after failing to gain any traction; this latest move falls in line with CEO Neal Mohan’s plan of seeking growth opportunities amidst shrinking advertising revenues.
YouTube is currently exploring various methods of integrating gaming into its service, such as offering games as free incentives to both new and existing subscribers. Furthermore, gaming could potentially be integrated into advertisements to increase engagement among viewers and persuade them to watch longer videos. According to an email received by subscribers of YouTube Gaming Services (YT Gaming), they have begun testing different forms of incorporating gaming within the platform and may offer games as free rewards to both new and existing subscribers alike.
Current YouTube games consist of ad-supported titles like Stack Bounce, which has become immensely popular with social media audiences. More complex titles that require players to complete objectives or solve puzzles may attract more sophisticated gamers who could compete for higher scores and rewards.
YouTube’s efforts to expand its gaming offerings come after several other social media platforms have scaled back their previous experiments with integrated games. TikTok recently removed its addictive simple games after they struggled to regain popularity, while Snapchat appears to have reduced investment in games as well. YouTube’s efforts are encouraging as they would give the company additional ways of engaging and retaining users on its platform.
YouTube’s gaming initiative’s success will depend heavily on how simple and enjoyable its experience is for both gamers and content producers alike. If it hopes to gain ground against major streaming services like Twitch and Amazon’s gaming division, YouTube needs to create an unparalleled user experience that outshines competitors like Twitch.