YouTube withdraws private messaging abilities

YouTube will be discontinuing its private messaging abilities to focus on keeping things public


Popular video sharing site YouTube is all set to shut down its private messaging feature on September 18, 2019. The announcement was made in a support post by YouTube. The video sharing giant said that the decision was made after choosing to focus its attention on public conversations like the Stories feature that it had launched in 2018. YouTube had launched its in-app messaging feature back in August 2017, which means the service will have been live since for just two years before being discontinued.

The company has so far not given an explanation on why it is deprioritizing the private conversations. But the fact is that Google has always had problems with having too many messaging apps. Despite discontinuing Allo, Google still allows people to communicate over Duo, Meets, Hangouts, Google Voice and Android messages. Having an extra private messaging service,that a few people are using, confuses the matter more.

The next potential reason can be that, with more than 700 comments underneath Google’s announcements, it has been noticed that it includes posts from dozens from children who were using the messaging feature to get around parental bans on other messaging apps. In recent years, the children’s content on YouTube has been a huge problem for it. The platform had to disable comments on almost all videos that featured children and reports say that it is reportedly considering removing all children’s content from the site completely due to predatory comments that were being posted under them.

Under such context, YouTube’s decision to bring private messages to an end begins to look like more of an attempt to avoid such future controversies. The new features like YouTube Stories are almost excessively public. For instance, if a creator responds to a fan’s interaction with their story, then the comment is visible for all to see. It seems like the video sharing site does not want to take the risk of allowing private messages on its service after it has such high-profile examples of predatory users on its platform in the past.

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