YouTube has added some new tools to its service that aim at helping users grow their channels.
The new features are for accounts in “good standing”, according to the Official YouTube Partners and Creators Blog. The features include live streaming, custom thumbnails, external annotations and series playlists.
For example, all channels in good standing with at least 100 subscribers will be able to live stream within the next few weeks. Users simply need to check their Account Features page for an “Enable” button in order to use the feature. In addition, users can now select custom thumbnails for their videos. Thumbnails should be chosen to be representative of the video’s content, but can also be leveraged to make videos stand out.
It is also important to note that among the new features is external annotations, which allows users to link externally to various online stores and/or the users' associated websites. This feature can be used to boost engagement or to help drive traffic to users' e-commerce storefronts. Lastly, videos can now be placed in a series playlist. For instance, if you group videos together, YouTube will show viewers the next episode from the series as well as link to the whole playlist. In order to use this feature, users must mark their playlist as a “series” in the playlist settings.