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YouTube now supports HDR videos, playback only on Chromecast Ultra for now

High Dynamic Range, or HDR for short, is quickly gaining ground in the media industry. In a nutshell, HDR videos have a much higher contrast and color range than standard video content - essentially making the video more true to real life. Google's Chromecast Ultra, the PlayStation 4, Xbox One S, some Blu-ray players, and various other devices all support the playback of HDR video.

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YouTube now allows creators to pin comments, add moderators, blacklist words and phrases, and more

The YouTube comments section - you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Part of the reason comments can be so unbearable at times is the dreadful moderation tools, but YouTube is seeking to fix that. Today on their Creator Blog, they announced a number of changes to how comments can be moderated.

YouTube creators can now blacklist certain words or phrases, with comments violating the list requiring manual approval. In addition, creators can now opt-in to YouTube's almighty algorithm determining which comments are "potentially inappropriate," and holding them for approval.

There are some public-facing changes to YouTube comments as well.

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Premium indie web video service Vessel gets gobbled up by Verizon, closing down this month

Verizon has a serious appetite for video content as of late. In addition to promoting the heck out of GO90 and its various American sports partnerships, the company bought AOL and Yahoo, which has media aspirations of its own. The latest horse to arrive at the stable is Vessel, a sort of alternative YouTube for creators who try to make "premium" videos that are good enough to warrant subscription payments from users. The service started up last year with channels from notable YouTube creators.

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YouTube makes End Screens official after quietly testing the feature for months

If you follow some of the more popular YouTubers, you might have noticed some spiffy new screens at the end of their videos as of late. Those are video End Screens, and now they're available to everyone. End Screens provide a handy interface for linking to other videos and sites inside your video without all the clunky workarounds people were using before.

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YouTube Kids v1.91 shows plans to support Daydream VR and allow parents to block videos and channels [APK Teardown]

If you're taking care of a little one and updates to the YouTube Kids app are actually opportunities for excitement, you've probably been feeling a little let down by the last few version bumps. It's not that anybody really needs it to keep up with the likes of Google Maps or the core YouTube app, but a few big features are surely welcome. This version isn't actually packed with anything notably new for users today, but it brings promises of some things to come. A teardown shows that kids will be able to enjoy videos in VR and parents will be able to block videos and channels right from within the app.

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Google acquires 'influencer marketing' company FameBit

Getting up and running with an audience on YouTube isn't an easy thing to do, especially if you're trying to make a living off of it. Despite the breakout success of the "YouTuber" culture and some notable successes, creating a reliable base of viewers is hard work, to say nothing of getting paid. Google is trying to make that easier, according to the latest post on the official YouTube blog. The company has acquired FameBit, a tool for connecting content creators with sponsors and promoters, to help reach this goal.

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YouTube Music v1.46 enables sharing tracks from the queue, prepares for full playlist support and setting max resolution [APK Teardown + Download]

With so many things happening this week surrounding Google's new hardware, it's easy to overlook some of the software updates rolling out. The latest version bump to YouTube Music doesn't include much in the way of visible changes, but a teardown of the apk also reveals some worthwhile additions in the works for the future. As always, the apk is ready and waiting at the APK Mirror link below if the Play Store isn't already serving the latest version to you.

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YouTube v11.38 prepares double-tap to seek and a setting to limit max video resolution [APK Teardown]

Many of Google's most recent updates have been relatively light on features, turning instead towards cleaning up bugs. However, that doesn't mean there aren't still new things in the works. A couple of recent YouTube updates have been preparing some new features and we've got a teardown to reveal what users can probably look forward to in the future.

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[RIP YouTube Gaming] Twitch now supports video uploading through Uploads Open Beta

YouTube Gaming, Google's direct competitor to Twitch, has had something of a lukewarm response from the gaming community. Many streamers opt to stay on Twitch's site, the advantages over the standard YouTube app and website are minimal, and YouTube's infamous Content ID system can result in channels receiving copyright notices for seemingly anything.

But Twitch is first and foremost a streaming site - broadcasts can only be watched for a few days after the air date before they are removed. Twitch users wishing to upload permanent content had to look elsewhere, primarily YouTube. But today, alongside Twitch Prime, they have announced the Uploads Open Beta.

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YouTube Go is a data-friendly version of YouTube, rolling out gradually in India

The YouTube team has been making lots of efforts over the past couple of years to bring its service and millions of videos to more users worldwide. This involves those who have access to fast internet connections and plenty of data, but also those who have very little data bandwidth and are still limited to 2G or congested 3G. Video, by default, doesn't fit well with the latter, but through conscious efforts like YouTube Accelerator and YouTube Offline, it can reach more of those devices and people who would seemingly be off-limits.

YouTube Go seems to be the culmination of these efforts.

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