YouTube’s Snapchat sharing feature sounds cool – but is it just a gimmick?
YouTube's latest social feature is letting users share videos to Snapchat as stickers. If you liked a video that a friend or family member might be interested in, you can immediately share it via Snapchat in the form of a sticker slapped onto the snap.
The social feature, available on both iOS and Android smartphones, pulls up the Snapchat app when you select it from the 'Share' menu on a YouTube video. A handy box containing the video's thumbnail and title will appear on your snap. And after you've taken a photo, you can adjust the thumbnail's size, angle and location on the snap. Then, when you've sent your snap to a friend, they can open the YouTube video by simply tapping the link embedded in the thumbnail.
The new sharing process eschews the need to directly copy a link from YouTube for pasting into Snapchat. Instead, one tap of that Share button is all you need to transfer the video to your snap, with all info and the link contained in one convenient snippet.
Analysis: Improvement or gimmick?
Within the confines of Snapchat, this new YouTube video-sharing feature sounds great. It requires fewer taps and link management and means Snapchat doesn't have to rely on your clipboard for copied content. Being able to customize the embedded video's placement, size, and angle is nice, too. But are Snapchat users really going to be impressed by this feature, and more importantly, will people use it?
The real issue here lies in whether or not Snapchat is the most convenient social platform with which to share YouTube videos. While this overhaul to sharing YouTube videos via Snapchat is an improvement, it's really just a nifty addition to what is still a cumbersome process.
You still have to create a snap to host the YouTube snippet. That in itself could be a decently lengthy process, depending on your own preferences and attention to detail when it comes to taking snaps. In this case, it would be much quicker and easier to simply share a YouTube link through more conventional social platforms, like Whatsapp, Discord, or even Twitter and Facebook depending on the group of contacts you wish to reach.
It's still a win for avid Snapchat users, of course, especially those who use it as their primary social platform. We can even see there being some particularly creative uses of this YouTube video sharing feature. One example that comes to mind would be an online merchant taking a snap of their product and inserting a YouTube snippet that the user can open and learn more about the product.
Therein lies what we feel is the biggest issue with this update. It's harmless, and definitely doesn't detract from the Snapchat experience. However, it's also very situational, will work better for some more than others, and isn't something we see a swathe of Snapchat users flocking to in order to share their favorite YouTube videos with friends. There are quicker ways of doing that, even if those methods aren't quite as fun or creative.