A new feature that could change the way users engage with YouTube is currently in the works. At the start of the year, the world’s most popular video sharing platform began experimenting with uploading videos with multiple camera angles. The idea behind this new technology, if proven effective, is that viewers will be able to switch between various camera shots of a single event while said video is playing, all without any interruption. This feature would obviously require additional production by video makers, necessitating the shooting and editing of a single video be done multiple times from a variety of cameras and angles.

As of now, there is only one video available on YouTube which utilises the multi-camera feature: a live performance by musical artist Madilyn Bailey. While watching this particular video, multiple views appear as thumbnails on the side of the main video. By clicking on said thumbnails, YouTube users can switch between camera shots as the video continues to play. Camera angles can also be changed using keyboard shortcuts, with the arrow and number keys linking back to individual views. The present technology is not perfect, with the keyboard shortcuts causing some small flickers in playback, but the Madilyn Bailey video as been otherwise successful.

YouTube is not the first to experiment with this new technology. In recent years, multiple startup companies and applications have attempted to develop multi-camera video platforms with little to no success. Although the feature has not yet been made available to the YouTube masses, content creators who want to be considered for the experiment are able to apply through an official online form.

So, could multi-camera viewing be the future of online video, or will most YouTubers ignore the option in favour of traditional, single-shot or edited uploads? Although the feature would guarantee audience interaction and engagement with channel content, it would also require a great deal of additional work for YouTube creators. If and when the technology is made public, it will be interesting to see just how much of an impact it has on the online video industry.

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