YouTube’s new feature makes handling livestream questions less of a headache

What you need to know

  • YouTube has a new live Q&A feature for creators.
  • It allows them to pin a question during a live chat so everyone in the conversation knows what they are responding to.
  • The new feature is meant to help creators build their community and make livestreams more interactive.

YouTube is fixing its messy live chats with a new feature that allows creators to highlight and respond to an on-topic question during a livestream. According to the service, the new live Q&A tool is intended to make livestreams more interactive and organized.

In a community post (opens in new tab), a YouTube representative announced that the new feature will allow creators to “manage Q&A sessions in live chat during your streams and Premieres right from Live Control Room.” In other words, creators can pin questions they want to answer during a livestream, and viewers will be able to keep track of the topic being discussed even if they joined late.

To start a live Q&A session, creators simply need to click the plus sign under “Live chat” in Live Control Room. Your prompt will then be pinned to the top of your stream’s chat, where viewers can submit questions. These questions will be presented in chronological order, with the most recent at the top. 

You can choose any question you want to answer by hovering over it and clicking the three-dot menu. When you click “Select question,” that question will be pinned so that everyone joining the livestream knows what you’re talking about. When you’re finished and ready to move on, simply follow the same steps as before to pick another question.

When you want to switch back to the standard live or top chat view, you can click the drop-down arrow next to “Question.” YouTube says there’s no limit to how many questions viewers can submit. However, the older ones will disappear after 200 questions have been submitted.

The new feature solves a longstanding problem for creators when answering questions during a livestream. It isolates on-topic questions from the noise of live chats by providing a dedicated space for them. Previously, relevant questions could be easily drowned out by an avalanche of spam messages.

It’s worth noting that the platform uses the same system for moderating live chat. This means that blocked words, hold for review, and reporting messages apply to live Q&A as well.

The new tool is the latest step in YouTube’s effort to beef up its livestream service in order to compete with Twitch and TikTok. It recently announced new fan-funding benefits for Shorts creators, including Super Chat, Super Stickers, and Super Thanks.

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