YouTube Backstage: Google’s next Social Media move?


A recent article by VentureBeat has fuelled speculation that Google is about to re-enter the social media space, via YouTube.

According to an article by Harrison Weber, Google is planning to allow users to add text, photos and polls to YouTube as part of a project internally known as Backstage. Weber adds that Backstage is expected to launch by the end of the year on mobile and desktop, “initially with select popular YouTube accounts and with limited features”.

And the reason? Google’s concern, according to VentureBeat, is that it is losing out to platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat when YouTube fans are directed to subscribe to these platforms for updates.

Why should you care?

Asked for comment on the VentureBeat report, a Google spokesperson replied that “we don’t comment on rumour or speculation.”

But, following Facebook’s overwhelming success with video, it’s likely that Google is planning something of this sort, even if the project is still in early development and the details are still to be publicly announced.

But does this really mean that Google is still trying to engineer a social platform to rival Facebook? Not necessarily — despite conjecture, we think the intent is far more modest. And only after Google has confirmed the details will the implications for businesses with a YouTube presence be apparent.

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in the development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he is the head of Paid Search Advertising and oversees the delivery of AdWords and other PPC campaigns. He also helps clients make sense of their website data.