From a live video call with a NASA astronaut to a gamer playing Minecraft in their bedroom, YouTube livestreaming lets people share what’s happening in their life.

You can easily livestream your experiences to your audience with the help of your computer or smartphone. If it’s your first time streaming on YouTube, there are some additional steps to follow, but it’s smooth sailing from there.

Preparing for Your First Livestream on YouTube

Before you can create a livestream on YouTube, you need to enable it for your channel. The procedure takes up to 24 hours, so think ahead and get your channel ready before you actually have something to stream.

Once the feature is enabled, your streams will go live as soon as you create them. Here’s what you need to do before you can dive into YouTube streaming:

1. Get Your YouTube Account Verified

Verifying your YouTube channel reassures YouTube that you’re not a spam account. In return, YouTube enables features like livestreaming for your channel. You may have done this already to get the ability to upload videos longer than 15 minutes. If you haven’t yet, verifying your account is easy:

  1. Go to YouTube’s verification page.

  2. Select your country and verification method (call or text).
  3. Enter your phone number.
  4. Click Submit.
  5. Enter the 6-digit verification code you receive by text or via an automated call.
  6. Hit Submit.

You’ll get a success message saying your account is now verified. That means you’re eligible to stream on YouTube, but if you try to stream now, you’ll see a screen saying that livestreaming will be enabled in 24 hours. You’ll have to wait this out before you can stream on YouTube.

2. Make Sure You Have No YouTube Livestream Restrictions

YouTube broadcasting may be disabled even for a verified channel if the channel has violated YouTube guidelines in the past. Here are the restrictions that make you ineligible to stream live on YouTube:

  • Your channel got a Community Guidelines strike. This could mean you violated YouTube’s Community Guidelines or rules of conduct. Your first strike will restrict some YouTube features, including streaming, for a week. If you don’t resolve a YouTube copyright strike, a second strike within 90 days of the first one limits these features for two additional weeks.
  • A previous livestream on your channel has been blocked or taken down. If any stream on your channel has been blocked, violated YouTube copyright rules, or is suspected of violating the copyright of another livestream, you won’t be able to livestream for a week after the strike.

In other words, if you haven’t ever been in trouble with YouTube, you should be good to go. However, if your channel has a history of getting warnings or complaints, YouTube may prohibit you from livestreaming.

How to Livestream on YouTube Using Your Computer

You can livestream on YouTube with a webcam or livestreaming software. The easiest way to go live on your computer is by using your webcam and browser. Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Click on the camera-shaped Upload icon in the top right corner.
  2. Select Go live from the dropdown menu.
  3. Choose whether you want to stream right now or schedule a stream.

  4. Select Built-in webcam.
  5. You’ll likely get a pop-up in the upper left-hand corner with YouTube asking for access to your camera and microphone. Click Allow to grant access.

Now that you’ve selected your streaming method, it’s time to focus on the specifics. There are two required fields here:

  1. Enter a title for your stream. You can also provide a description for your viewers if you want.

  2. Select a category. If you can’t decide, the default People & Blogs category covers everything.
  3. Select whether your stream is made for kids. This is different from age restriction. Choose Yes if your primary audience is children.
  4. Click Show More to see more settings, such as subtitles, paid promotions, and more.

  5. Once you’re done, click Next.

Selecting that your content is made for kids won’t prevent adults from joining your livestream. However, it will limit some features like live chat. You can read Google’s guide on determining if your content is made for kids.

On the next page, you’ll get to decide what features to enable for your stream.

  1. Check whether you want your stream to have Live chat and Live chat replay. The latter records the live chat, and it’s replayed whenever someone watches a recording of your stream.

  2. Select who can participate in your stream. This can be Anyone, Subscribers, or approved users in your Live community.
  3. Check whether you want to enable Live reactions.
  4. Enable Slow mode if you want to keep participants from rapidly sending messages. Once you enable this, you can pick a delay duration between 1 and 300 seconds.

  5. Click Next.
  6. Set your stream’s visibility so that other people know you’re livestreaming on YouTube. Ignore the schedule timer if you want to stream right away and click Done.

  7. You’ll now see an overview of your settings and devices. Make sure these are correct, set a thumbnail for your stream, and click Go Live to start streaming.

You are now live! Whenever you’re done, click End Stream to finish. A recording of your livestream will be available in your dashboard.

How to Livestream on YouTube Using Your Smartphone

Livestreaming on YouTube from your smartphone has an additional requirement. Your channel needs to have at least 50 subscribers for you to broadcast live on YouTube from your phone. Once you meet this requirement, you’re allowed to stream, albeit with some limitations:

  • The number of participants in your stream is limited to 25 + your subscriber count. If you have 60 subscribers, your livestream will have a viewer cap of 85.
  • Your archived livestreams are set to private by default.

You’ll need to reach 1,000 subscribers to lift these limits. YouTube will lift these limits from your channel once you have that many subscribers, but these conditions are always in effect. If your subscriber count drops below 1,000, your livestreams will be limited again, and if it drops below 50, you won’t be able to livestream at all.

In short, if your channel is verified, has over 50 subscribers, and you haven’t been in trouble with YouTube, you’re good to livestream from your phone. Whether you’re using Android or iOS, the process is similar to livestreaming from your computer.

  1. Open the YouTube app.
  2. Tap on the Recording icon from the menu at the top.
  3. Select Go Live from the options.
  4. You’ll see a screen informing you of YouTube safeguards. Tap Get Started.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to give YouTube access to your phone’s microphone and camera.

Once you grant the required permissions, you’ll see a new screen on the YouTube app. This is where you set the details of your stream.

  1. Give your livestream a title and choose the audience. The other fields are optional. You can disable chat and set up paid promotions in Advanced settings.
  2. Tap Next.
  3. Powder your nose and tap Go Live!
  4. Rotate your phone to landscape to start the stream. If you want to livestream in portrait, hold your phone as it is and then tap Stream in Portrait.

Now you’re live! You can end the livestream by tapping the cross in the top-right corner.

YouTube Livestreaming Offers Endless Possibilities

From hosting an Ask Me Anything session with your viewers to streaming a video game, livestreaming on YouTube offers endless possibilities. And it’s fun too!

There are some requirements you need to meet to livestream on YouTube from your computer and some more to stream from your phone. But once you check these off, you can stream your camera or screen effortlessly.

If you got a taste of livestreaming and liked it, it might be a good time to invest in some equipment and take your livestreams to the next level.

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