Demand for mobile live streaming on YouTube appears to be strong, given the fact that YouTube shot up to the top of the App Store a position it hasnt held since December 2015 following reports ofYouTube opening up this featureto more users. Earlier this week, YouTube was spotted having relaxed its earlier restrictions on mobile live streaming, which was initially only available to creators with 10,000 or more subscribers.
YouTube recentlydropped the requirement down to only 1,000 subscribers. The company didnot make an official announcement about thechange, but YouTube confirmed the details withTechCrunch noting that the featureis now broadly open to all users with 1,000+ subscribers, not a random pool.
The iOS app then subsequently flew up to the top of the App Store yesterday, according to Sensor Towers data. It continued to sitat number one, as of the time of writing. (By time of publication, it dropped to #2).
We should note that YouTube is nowhere nearly as highly ranked on Google Play, where itsa #2 video player, but #210 overall app. But thisspeaks more to the fact that YouTube comes pre-installed on many Android smartphones, and doesnt require a separate download.
The folks at Sensor Tower were the first to notice the App Store jump, and App Annie has also confirmedthat YouTube had not ranked #1 for Overall iPhone downloads in the U.S. since December 2015.
The third-party firms data may vary from the actual App Store listings, but we checked the App Store directly several times yesterday as well asthis morning, and saw YouTube at the top.
YouTube is already a highly ranked iOS app, of course its lowest Overall ranking this month so far was #9, for example, and it hasnt really dropped below that all year. But it still takes a sizable amount of momentum to climb up the ranks when youre in the top 10 indicating that there was an increase in downloads and the velocity of downloads over the past couple of days.
There are several reasons that an established app like YouTubecould haveseen a large enough increase in downloads to account for its move to the top of the charts, seemingly overnight.
The company could have changed its ASO strategy (App Store Search Optimization), for example. Like SEO, but for the App Stores search interface, a tweakhere could have helped the app become more visible and highly ranked in the search results. But App Annie says there has been no notable change on this front.
YouTube could have also run advertising or marketing campaigns to boost downloads, or snagged a Featured position in the App Store. But again, App Annie has not spotted anything different here, either. More specifically, YouTube hasnt had any noticeable changes in terms of featuring during the past week, the firm says.
The app may have benefitted from other apps around it seeing a decrease in downloads, which then decreased their rankings. That is to say, not only didYouTube likely see ahuge growth in the number of downloads to make this move, it also had to be growing faster relative to its peers. (It wouldnt have increased its ranking if its surrounding apps had also experienced a similar growth in downloads it only rose because it grew bigger than the other apps around it.)
Thats remarkable, however, becauseYouTubes gain occurred amid a flurry of news from Facebook, which has been holding its annual developer conference F8 this week.
At the event, the company announced a slew of changes coming to its apps, including things like its Camera Effects platform that will bring moreAR features to Facebooks Camera; new chat extensions for Messenger and group bots; QR codes in Messenger and upgrades to its assistant M; an offline mode for Instagram, and more.
One would think that all the Facebook news could havebumped up Facebooks own apps in the App Stores rankings. But YouTube outpaced both Facebook and Messenger, as well as Snapchat, which had tried to head off F8 with an AR lens update of its own.
YouTubes bump up in the charts is indicative of its large and powerful community, and the potential for the mobile live-streamingtechnology to impact the way these video creators reach their audience. This, in turn, will make YouTube a significantthreat to rival streaming services like Twitters Periscope and Facebook Live.
The top 10 apps this morning aremobile games Ballz (#2, then moved to #1) and Blackbox (#7), and Messenger (#3), Snapchat (#4), Instagram (#5), Facebook (#6), Snapchats Bitmoji (#8), Google Maps (#9) and Netflix (#10). YouTube was ranked number one for most of this morning, in addition to yesterday.