Back in February, YouTube gave people the ability to live stream directly to their channel from their phones… with one catch: it was only open to folks with 10,000 subscribers or more.
If you’ve been dying to hop on the live streaming train but haven’t hit that 10k mark yet, good news: they’ve dropped the requirement to 1,000 subscribers as opposed to 10,000. It’s still not open to everyone, but that’s a considerably smaller hurdle.
The change quietly happened sometime in the past few days, but got swept up amongst the April Fools’ noise that comes with changing anything near the beginning of this month. A support page confirms the change, and a rep from YouTube confirmed that it should be open to everyone with 1,000 subscribers or more — not a random pool.
So why not just open it to everyone, regardless of subscriber count? A few possible reasons:
- Boring content is the bane of live streams, and a lot of people just aren’t consistently enthralling enough to watch live/sans editing. Having some relatively high number of subscribers suggests that the creator at least has some idea what people want to see.
- Stress testing. Live streams introduce new technical challenges, and limiting the number of people who can participate lets YouTube work out the kinks without disappointing everyone.
- People are presumably less likely to stream illegal content when they’ve got an established channel to lose