YouTube Gaming’s playful tentacles are beginning to spread across the globe, the mobile app for iOS and Android this week arriving for keen gamers in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.
The game-streaming site launched in the U.S. and U.K. last summer, with YouTube on Thursday promising imminent app launches in “many more countries” alongside the current six.
An update for YouTube Gaming’s Android app also rolled out today, bringing with it the ability to pop out the player so you can keep it visible over other apps open on your device, and, as with the iOS and desktop versions, support for quality switching, 60 fps playback, and DVR mode.
The desktop version, too, has had a little makeover, with the elimination of sidebars for a cleaner homepage to help you more easily find what you’re looking for. There’s also a new homepage “Live” tab, which highlights top streams, top games, and streams from channels you’re subscribed to.
Finally, you’ll see several new pages designed to help you sort your games and channels, and help you find new ones more easily as well.
The Google-owned service has been steadily adding new features over the last seven months, including the ability for Android gamers to also stream their mobile gaming, allowing them to deliver to dedicated fans between stints at the desktop.
YouTube Gaming has also started letting fans sponsor their favorite channels in exchange for exclusive access to special content and other bonuses.
YouTube created its game-focused streaming platform as part of a more serious effort to grab a piece of the pie that Twitch has been happily scoffing (together with a few other smaller competitors like Hitbox) since it landed on the scene five years ago.
A year after Amazon snapped up Twitch for nearly a billion bucks in 2014, the fast-growing and already lucrative market proved too hard to resist for YouTube, which essentially reorganized its existing gaming content to launch its new platform last August.
A few months ago YouTube revealed gamers are watching more than 144 billion minutes of gaming videos and live streams on its gaming site every month: “To put it into perspective, that’s like watching Let’s Plays for more than 270,000 years straight 24 hours a day – or beating Final Fantasy VII 1,900,000 times a day!”
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