A little over two years ago, YouTube jumped into the private messaging space by adding the feature to its YouTube app. Unsurprisingly, YouTube has decided to kill off the service. According to a YouTube support page, the direct messaging system will shut down after September 18.
YouTube has not shared any numbers regarding the popularity of the direct messaging system on its platform, but we can’t imagine that the numbers are very high. While YouTube users are very active, the overall platform isn’t great at allowing people to connect and share content or even connect with friends. Sure, you might have 20-30 friends on YouTube, but that number is significantly lower than what most people have on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. On top of that, the feature was never a real priority for YouTube. Messages were grouped together with subscription notifications under the Inbox tab, but the app was never really good at notifying users that they had a new notification or message.
For now, YouTube claims that its priority will be to continue to improve its comments, stories, and posts. All of these features are public-facing, allowing broader community interaction which plays a huge role in the YouTube algorithm.
With you be among the select few who will miss YouTube Messages or will not even notice that it’s gone, simply because they never knew it was there in the first place?
Two years ago, we launched a feature to enable you to share videos via direct messages on YouTube. Since then, we’ve also focused on public conversations with updates to comments, posts, and stories. We’re constantly reevaluating our priorities and have decided to discontinue YouTube’s native direct messaging feature while we focus on improving public conversations.