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YouTube Adds New Live Stream Features, Including Live Guests, Full-Screen Mode and More

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YouTube Adds New Live Stream Features, Including Live Guests, Full-Screen Mode and More


YouTube has previewed some coming updates for YouTube Live, including live stream guests, new notifiers for when a channel is broadcasting in the app, and updated viewing options.

First off, on live guests – similar to other live options, YouTube will soon launch a pilot of what it’s calling ‘Go Live Together’, which will enable creators to invite a guest to their live stream by simply sending a link.

As explained by YouTube:

“The host creator will be able to create a live stream, invite and screen their guests before going live to their viewers. Note that the guest channel and user information will remain hidden during the live stream.”

Hosts will also be able to see streaming analytics, as you would with any other live stream, but guests will not have access to this data, at least at this stage.

The added capacity to go live with a guest can reduce the pressure on a solo creator – because going live when it’s just you talking to your camera can be intimidating. Adding the capacity to invite others will help to get more people streaming, which could then lead to more creators monetizing their content through YouTube’s evolving ad tools.

YouTube’s also adding new ‘live rings’ which will help viewers identify when a channel is going live.

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YouTube Live rings

As you can see in these examples, the new ‘Live’ ring is much like Instagram, providing a specific identifier when a channel is live, so you can tap through to view the stream.

YouTube’s also looking to add a new feature called ‘cross channel live redirects’.

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“Today, creators with at least a thousand subscribers can use a feature called live redirect to direct their viewers from a live stream or premier to another livestream or premier on their own channel. But they can’t send their viewers to a livestream or premier hosted on another channel. With this launch, creators with at least a thousand subscribers and no active community guidelines strikes will be able to direct their viewers to a livestream or premier hosted on a different channel.”

That adds more capacity for collaborative promotion in the app, and could become a valuable tool for influencer partnerships.

In addition to this, YouTube’s also working on full-screen more for Live, while it’s also developing a new Q and A feature, which will enable viewers to submit questions during a live stream based on the creator’s question prompt.

YouTube full screen live

As it works to build out its broader content offering, and provide more avenues for creators to expand and monetize their presence, Live offers another means to connect and engage with fans, which could be a valuable lure for YouTube in swaying stars away from other apps.

These new tools are largely in line with features we’ve already seen in other live stream offerings, but they could arguably be even more beneficial on YouTube, and it’ll be interesting to see how creators respond to the additions as they become more widely available.

Go Live Together and Live Rings will go live in the next couple of weeks, while the other features are coming soon.  



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‘Crime not to help’: South Korean ex-SEAL has no Ukraine regrets

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South Korean Navy SEAL turned YouTuber Ken Rhee told AFP he has no regrets about his decision to fight in Ukraine

South Korean Navy SEAL turned YouTuber Ken Rhee told AFP he has no regrets about his decision to fight in Ukraine – Copyright AFP Jung Yeon-je

Cat Barton and Kang Jin-kyu

A former South Korean Navy SEAL turned YouTuber who risked jail time to leave Seoul and fight for Ukraine says it would have been a “crime” not to use his skills to help.

Ken Rhee, an ex-special warfare officer, signed up at the Ukrainian Embassy in Seoul the moment President Volodymyr Zelensky asked for global volunteers and was fighting on the front lines near Kyiv by early March.

To get there, he had to break South Korean law — Seoul banned its citizens from travelling to Ukraine, and Rhee, who was injured in a fall while leading a special operations patrol there, was met at the airport by 15 police officers on his return.

But the celebrity ex-soldier, who has a YouTube channel with 700,000 followers and documented much of his Ukraine experience on his popular Instagram account, says he has no regrets.

“You’re walking down the beach and you see a sign by the water saying ‘no swimming’ — but you see someone drowning. It’s a crime not to help. That’s how I see it,” he told AFP.

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Rhee was born in South Korea but raised in the United States. He attended the Virginia Military Institute and planned to join the US Navy SEALS, but his father — a “patriot”, he says — convinced his son to return to South Korea to enlist.

He served for seven years, undergoing both US and Korean SEAL training and doing multiple stints in war zones in Somalia and Iraq before leaving to set up a defence consultancy.

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“I have the skillset. I have the experience. I was in two different wars, and going to Ukraine, I knew I could help,” he said, adding that he viewed breaking South Korea’s passport law to leave as equivalent to a “traffic violation”.

– Backlash in Korea –

But the reaction in South Korea — where Rhee shot to fame as a trainer in the popular YouTube series “Fake Men” — was swift and unforgiving.

“It was instant. People in Korea, they just criticised me about breaking the law,” said Rhee.

His critics claim the 38-year-old’s decision was criminally irresponsible, and point to his posting of war footage on his YouTube and Instagram accounts as evidence of showboating.

Rhee says he tries not to let the furore get to him. “I think it’s pretty obvious who the good guys are and who the bad guys are,” he said of Russia and Ukraine. 

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On his first day on the frontline in Irpin — which he describes as “the Wild West” and “chaos” — he says he witnessed Russian war crimes.

“I saw a civilian get shot. He was driving… and they shot him through the windshield and he died in front of us,” he said.

“It was like: there’s my proof. There’s definitely war crimes going on. It reminded me and my teammates what we were doing and why we were there,” he said.

Because of his military training, Rhee was told to set up his own team, so he recruited other volunteers with combat experience and set up a multi-national special operations group.

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“I was eating Canadian MREs. My gun was from the Czech Republic. I have a Javelin missile from the United States. I have a rocket that’s from Germany… but nothing is Korean,” he said.

He tried to take his Korean-made night vision goggles but was not given government export permission. Seoul has provided non-lethal aid to Kyiv, but Rhee said they could do more.

“Korea has state-of-the-art equipment… they’re very good at making weapons,” he said.

– ‘See you in Taiwan’ –

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Russia said this week that 13 South Koreans had travelled to Ukraine — including four who were killed. Seoul said it was trying to verify the claims.

Although Rhee did not know the fate of all his teammates, he said “a lot of my friends have died”.

“I don’t want my friends’ sacrifices to be forgotten,” he said, adding that he plans to write a book — and maybe a screenplay — about his team’s experiences.

But first, he needs to deal with the official repercussions of his trip. He is quietly optimistic South Korea’s new conservative administration won’t put him in jail.

Rhee is not allowed to leave the country until his case is resolved, and is receiving treatment for his injuries. But he hopes one day to fight alongside his teammates again, for a cause they believe in.

The joke as people left the frontline was: “See you in Taiwan,” he said, referring darkly to the risk that Beijing will follow Moscow’s lead and invade a neighbouring democracy.

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