What is this Community Tab doing on my YouTube channel?

Two-way discussion capability finally arrives, making life much easier for content creators and bringing followers closer than ever to the channels they love.

It’s ironic that one of the biggest purveyors of communication in today’s society has historically had such a struggle making it a two-way street. It looks like that’s finally changing with the release of the new Community tab on Youtube. Developed in consultation with some of the top channel creators, this sorely needed feature fills such an obvious hole that one really must wonder what took them so long.

The Community tab is, in simplest terms, a host-initiated discussion forum for their channel. Only the channel owner can start a topic, but anyone signed in can post a response. YouTube is touting this as a way for creators to connect and interact with their community. Whereas the comments section under each video will still be for discussing that specific content, the Community tab will be for anything that needs interactive feedback or relates to the channel as a whole. It’s really everything the Discussion tab should have been, but wasn’t — and heads up, that will be going away.

With the implementation of this tab, creators no longer need to go outside YouTube to reach their followers. Subscribers to a channel will get notifications in their subscription feed when the channel posts something on the tab. Thus, they are drawn back to the channel to view the content or post a response.

The Creator Academy offers an in-depth explanation of how Community posts can be used to connect with your subscribers.

That’s not all, though. How many times have you heard your favorite host say, “if you like this episode and want to see more, post a comment down below”? It’s a horrible way of getting feedback, as the host must then scroll down every single comment and tally the results in order to gauge popularity.

Well, with the new system, the creator simply posts a poll and waits for the results. Yup — this new forum does that, too!

So what kind of content can you as a creator post on the Community tab? Well, videos for a start, just like a regular post. The idea, though, is to make posts that do not fit into your regular content. Bonus material, behind the scenes, channel updates, schedule changes — that’s where you’ll find this especially helpful. You may want to recognize and call out some of your subscribers who go above and beyond. Here is the place to do it. Images and GIFs are also fair game.

As expected, the community will be able to “Like” or “Dislike” posts, and creators will be able to “Heart” favorite posts and otherwise moderate as usual, as well.

Consider the feature in pre-release. At the moment, it’s only available to channels with 10,000 or more subscribers. Even then, rollout has been slow, meaning your channel may qualify, but you still may not be able to turn it on. We’ve also found that many channels that have been granted access have yet to take advantage of it.

As with anything, we’ve noted some quirks. As mentioned before, the misnamed Discussion tab is done for — and good riddance. There will be a limited time where users who have posted there will be able to move their messages over. Right now that stands at 30 days from when the channel gets the new feature. However, if it’s one of those channels who haven’t used the Community tab, they might miss that opportunity; again users can only post after the host does. Still, that may be a small price to pay, and some channels may welcome the clean slate.

We’ve also seen no talk of posting audio only, but you can always post a still image with your audio and call it “video.”

On the bright side, there are hints at even more features to come. As it stands now, though, this new feature is already as far from the Discussion tab as a forum is from Facebook’s Newsfeed. Look for the Community tab on your channel soon, and take advantage of it as soon as you can. Both you and your subscribers will be glad that you did.

The Creator Academy offers an in-depth explanation of how Community posts can be used to connect with your subscribers.

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