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YouTube Live’s new geotags allow world exploration from your couch

YouTube Live is now on the map — permitting viewers to partner with creators via a list of new live updates. The updates include such options as geo-tagging live videos and using Super Chats to trigger internet-connected devices like pet feeders. On Monday, February 26, YouTube launched a handful of new features for live-streaming, including automatic captioning, geo-tagging, and chat replay.

Adding an optional geo-tag before live-streaming from a smartphone allows YouTubers to share their location. Geo-tagged videos also open up another option for exploring the video platform since clicking on the location will navigate to a page with videos shared from the same location. The tool also introduces a new search filter allowing YouTubers to search for a specific video by location.

Another new feature brings the automatic captioning that’s been around since 2009 to live videos. YouTube says its live automatic speech recognition (LASR) brings that feature to live videos in real time. As far as the accuracy of software translating live speech, YouTube says that it’s “approaching industry standards” and that the accuracy will continue to improve. The feature rolls out over the next few weeks for videos in English.

Captioning on live videos was previously only possible when the creators provided the captions themselves, a process that involves expensive set-up. YouTube says that auto-captioning will bring the feature to more videos, inexpensively.

Users chatting on those videos could soon also send chats that actually make something happen in real life. Super Chats, or the paid chat messages, can now be integrated with If This Then That and a number of physical products. Using Super Chats and IFTTT, creators can code the Super Chats to trigger an action — like changing the color of a smart light bulb. YouTube says over 600 devices that are connected to the internet can now be used with the new Super Chat feature, including pet feeders and confetti canons. Along with the new potential to trigger a real reaction if the creator sets up the feature, the Super Chat option will roll out on iOS devices beginning today, after previous availability on Android and desktop.

Chats during a live video can now be replayed after the stream has ended. YouTube says the messages appear at the same time-stamp as when those messages came in during the stream.

Chat replays, Super Chat triggers, and location tags are already rolling out, while the auto-captions will arrive “in the coming weeks,” YouTube says.

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