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YouTube Goes Local With Location Tagging for Uploads and Live Streams

YouTube now allows creators to tag their video uploads and live streams with locations, which in turn makes it possible for viewers to find videos and streams by location. The new feature was announced together with a number of other YouTube Live updates Monday.

YouTube’s mobile app now automatically suggests to add location tags whenever a user uploads a video or starts a live stream. These tags are based on the phone’s physical location, and can include cities, districts or even local businesses and landmarks. Anyone who doesn’t want to add a location to their videos can still do so as well.

Any submitted location is included in a video’s YouTube page, and users can click on it to find other videos from the same location. “You can also use the location filter on the search results page to find other videos from a specific spot,” explained YouTube’s live video product lead Kurt Wilms in a blog post.

YouTube’s embrace of local search is significant, especially for live streams. Both Twitter’s Periscope and Snapchat have been using location tagging and maps for some time, and the feature has proven to be a great discovery mechanism for spontaneous live events, including the recent nationwide student walkouts against gun violence.

Snapchat even recently used maps as a way to bring Stories to the web. However, a YouTube spokesperson told Variety that there are currently no plans to add a map to the service.

YouTube also announced a number of other features for live streams Monday, including the ability to replay chats when catching up on an archived broadcast, live captioning based on Google’s live automatic speech recognition technology and the ability to connect paid Super Chats to IFTTT.com.

This makes it possible for YouTubers who make use of the service’s Super Chat tipping feature to trigger real-live events whenever a fan tips them a certain amount. For instance, someone could make their internet-connected light bulbs flash every time they get a tip, or build an internet-connected jukebox that lets viewers trigger song playbacks on smart speakers with their donations.

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