YouTube has just announced that members of the U.S. Congress will now be able to live stream video, as well as access enhanced features on their YouTube channels.
"Video plays a powerful role in bringing us closer together, especially when it connects people in real time. By transcending borders, empowering citizens, and increasing transparency, it’s one of the many ways technology allows democracy to thrive. Starting this week, all members of the U.S. Congress will have the opportunity to access enhanced features on their YouTube channels, including the ability to live stream video," says Robert Kyncl, Vice President, Global Head of Content Partnerships for YouTube.
Google also made public the letters sent to both the House and the Senate from the Committee on House Administration and the committee on Rules and Administration, respectively. In these letters, the committees outline that YouTube is making live streaming an option, and that it will be free.
The House letter makes a point to liken YouTube livestreaming to Skype or ooVoo, and the Senate letter assures Senators that YouTube fully complies with Senate Internet Regulations, as they have already been doing so under a previous agreement.
Google isn't forthcoming with the exact nature of the other "enhanced features," but the live streaming part is a huge deal. Members of Congress can choose to broadcast speeches, meetings, or any other aspect of their daily routines. If done right, it's a good way for Congresspeople to connect with the American people and for the American people to get a window into the Congressional daily grind, you know, if they so chose.