YouTube rolls out Periscope-style live streaming support on mobile

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Putting itself in direct competition with Facebook and Twitter, YouTube is now in the beginning stages of rolling out live video streaming from its main mobile app.

A handful of video producers like AIB and The Young Turks gained access to the feature on Thursday, and support will open up further in the near future, YouTube said. The Google-owned company didn't elaborate on whether the option would eventually reach the general public, although it will likely have to in order to compete.

Launching a stream starts by hitting the Capture button. Broadcasters must then snap or select a thumbnail photo, and toggle various options like target audience, push notifications, and whether chat will be enabled.

While underway a stream looks much like Twitter's Periscope, with overlaid viewer comments and options like flipping the camera. Real-time statistics show the number of likes and active viewers.

Live video has taken off on social networks not just because of the concept's general popularity but because companies like Facebook see it as a way of keeping customers engaged with their apps and services, and hence exposed to more advertising.