YouTube has launched a new feature that allows channel owners to send text messages and links to videos to the front page of their subscribers' YouTube accounts. It's a cool, if logical, feature to offer and one that could make visiting YouTube a lot more fun.
Called Channel Bulletins, the feature is pretty simple. But am I looking forward to seeing little updates sent out between videos from the people I'm subscribed to? Yes, I am.
It would be nice if YouTube allowed channel owners to pipe in RSS feeds, maybe Twitter messages. The personal touch should be nice too, though.
If you aren't subscribed to any channels on YouTube, you're missing out on one of the best ways to experience the site. I'm subscribed to Steve Gillmor, Breaking the News, Social Data Revolution and Brown Man Thinking Hard, among others. (Would love to get your suggestions for video channels to subscribe to, RWW readers.)
Blippy co-founder Phil Kaplan brought this feature to our attention and framed it as YouTube's version of Twitter. It may play out that way for hard-core YouTube users, but I hope more casual publishers will regularly send out bulletins as well. I wouldn't mind getting them as emails, even.
It would be nice for subscribers to be able to reply easily to Channel Bulletins, too. There are lots of ways this could go, but getting it started, offering messaging other than videos and comments, is a good move.
Channels have long been a part of YouTube, Paris Hilton got the first branded one in 2006, and it's pretty far-out to think that text message communication between channel owners and subscribers has taken this long to arrive. Perhaps when you're coming from a video-centric perspective, these things don't always come to mind.
There are many other social features that could be added to make YouTube a more compelling site. Could I please be shown the YouTube channels and favorites of my friends on Twitter, Facebook and Google Accounts, for example? That would be great.