In their latest blog post on December 4, Vessel announced that they will be rolling out “Threads.” Consider Threads to be like the video response feature that YouTube discontinued in 2013. With Threads, creators can pose questions to their viewers and receive answers directly. They create hubs for discussion. It’s another way to have more viewer-creator interaction and bring the community closer together.
Almost a year ago, Vessel started out as a low-cost video subscription service at $2.99 a month. Founded by Hulu’s former CEO, Jason Kilar, Vessel’s original goal was to be decidedly more niche than other video platforms, such as Netflix. Vessel’s target audience is people who prefer watching YouTube creators rather than network television. They give viewers early access to their favorite creators’ content and promise creators more earnings. Creators post their videos on Vessel first and they get a bigger share of the royalties in addition to what they make on YouTube.
In late October, YouTube inaugurated a comparable service called YouTube Red. YouTube Red members pay $9.99 per month for ad free content. Included in the deal are videos from creators made exclusively for YouTube Red. Members also receive a complimentary subscription to Google Play. Other benefits included are offline video play, and multitasking support–meaning you can keep listening to a video even when it’s not on the screen. While Vessel’s deal is easier on the consumer’s wallet, early access to videos became their only other benefit over YouTube Red.
When YouTube took away video responses, they claimed it was because the feature was hardly used, based on clicks. Its removal caused backlash from the fan community from the beginning, with many negative comments left on the announcement page. The great thing about Vessel’s Threads is that they are accessible to everyone. Anyone can join in the conversation with their favorite creators, even without a paid subscription. It will be interesting to see how it takes off and influences the platform.
Editor’s note: Sama Askari is half of a YouTube collaboration called Past Sama, Future Sarah that began in part due to the removal of video responses. They are about to reach the end of their first year.