According to YouTube, emoji reactions during a broadcast are a new response option the company is testing as part of live streams. Of course, YouTube already offers additional ways to express your support during a live stream, such as stickers and Super Chat donations.
As per YouTube:
“We’re starting to test a new way to react to what’s happening on live streams. If you’re in this experiment, you’ll see options to react on a stream with [one of five emoji reactions].
Your reactions are anonymous and other viewers in the chat won’t be able to see who used what reactions. To help you keep up with these test features, our Team YouTube Community Managers will pilot keeping this forum thread updated with cool and interesting ones that we think you’ll want to know about!
While this post won’t include every experiment, it’s a good place to start if you’re curious about what we’re testing out, or whether or not you’re currently seeing an experiment.”
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But soon, just like the live-streaming features in other applications, you’ll be able to respond in real time with an emoji. The current response set includes a heart, the laughing-until-you-cry expression, the shocked reaction, and more.
In fact, it’s remarkably identical to the reaction set YouTube launched earlier this year for its “Timed Reactions” feature.
Users can add an emoji reaction to a particular video playback frame using Timed Reactions, which other viewers can then see. Emotes were just added to YouTube, another method of expressing your answer in the chat stream.
Reactions in Live are another way to express interest in something without having to write a lengthy remark, and they may help YouTube improve response to streams and enhance engagement.
According to YouTube, the new Live reactions are now being tested with a select few channels.