Is Google having yet another go at the social networking thing? Word on the rumour street is that the company is planning to introduce the ability to add text, photos and polls to YouTube. Seriously.
According to VentureBeat the company is worried about the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat - and how YouTube users direct fans to subscribe to them on other platforms. Given that Facebook is making big moves in video, this could be YouTube's attempt to fight back.
The new set of features are apparently called Backstage, and will let users share text, photos, video or polls - and updates will then be displayed for subscribers in reverse chronological order. In other words, not a million miles away from your Facebook newsfeed. Subscribers will also receive notifications when updates are posted.
The rumoured plans are also not entirely dissimilar to what Google+ was intended to be. Google launched the social network with huge fanfare, but it failed to take off - and since Google has been slowly stripping away features and jamming them elsewhere into the Google eco-system. Backstage sounds like it could be an attempt to do the same thing but in reverse: YouTube already has a tonne of users and social functions, so selling the new features to people should be easier.
And the good news for Google is that even if the changes are controversially received, everyone knows that YouTube commenters are calm, and level-headed, and won't react angrily or in haste to any changes to the platform. Ahem. [VentureBeat]