As TikTok moves to become more like YouTube with horizontal videos, YouTube becomes more like TikTok by offering vertical livestreams.
TikTok began experimenting with offering its user base the ability to upload horizontal videos back in 2022. YouTube took the battle a step further by experimenting with vertical livestreams in the same vein as TikTok and Instagram Live in September 2023.
“We’re running an experiment with a new full screen viewing experience on vertical live streams for mobile viewers,” YouTube said at the time. “This new vertical live experience includes a scrollable live stream feed and easily accessible fan funding features. During this experiment, creators can stream vertically, either on mobile devices with the YouTube app or with desktop streaming software. Vertical streams will be visible to eligible viewers browsing Shorts on the YouTube app.”
Now it appears as though that feature is rolling out to a wider user base, with a few eligibility requirements in place. For a YouTube Shorts user to qualify for the new vertical live feature, they need to have at least 50+ subscribers on their channel and do a one-time verification process. YouTube says this process is different than the verification badge—so everyone who wants to go live will need to complete it.
The new format features chat along the bottom, with colored bubbles set at different price amounts to encourage fan support. Going live with a vertical stream is as simple as tapping the new ‘Live’ tab option (once verified) and entering a title for the live stream.
Users can invite guests to go Live together with them on the stream, add location information, or schedule the live stream to air at a later time (useful for time zone issues). Vertical live creators can still make use of several YouTube features for monetization including Super Chats, Super Stickers, and Memberships. Vertical live streams can also be saved for video-on-demand style replays once they’re complete.