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YouTube expands live video streaming tools

The company has new tools for game makers to add live video streaming to their software.

SAN FRANCISCO--YouTube today added a way for developers to publish live videos from their mobile applications.

A new set of application programming interfaces, or APIs, introduced today by the company at the Game Developers Conference, lets developers push out a video stream of an app for live viewing.

In practice, this means game developers can add some code into their existing games, then publish gameplay live from a smartphone or tablet.

Such a system has been in place for a handful of desktop gaming titles, including Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and has resulted in hundreds of thousands of videos made by players, and "millions and millions of views," the company said in its presentation today.

To make it all work on portable devices where there may be less horsepower, Google says it's doing all the heavy lifting on things like resizing for various resolutions, and also the quality of the video, on its servers. That goes from 240p content, all the way up to 1080p.


YouTube began its efforts in live streaming in 2011 with the launch of YouTube Live, which continues to be limited to certain YouTube partners and accounts. The company also uses the technology extensively to broadcast its own news events, including its conference calls with Wall Street analysts, product launches, and annual developers conference.

Google says more than 72 hours of video are uploaded to the service every minute, and that a quarter of what's actually watched is from mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. The company also pointed out that YouTube is the second largest search engine because of all this content.