YouTube recently introduced new features that give generations of video content creators new ways to connect with billions of viewers every day.

The first is YouTube Direct, an open-source tool that lets users embed the upload functionality of YouTube directly into their own sites. YouTube Direct is designed to bridge closer connections between individual users and news, media, and business organizations.

youtube direct
Image via Now Public

“Almost any event that takes place today has a chance of being captured on camera,” a statement reads on the Google blog. “As YouTube has become a global platform for sharing the news, media organizations have been looking for a good way to connect directly with citizen reporters on our site….”

That’s why YouTube direct lets users upload videos directly into the application, such that others can request, review, verify, and rebroadcast their clips. Of course, these videos stay live on YouTube, so that users can reach other viewers while getting a chance for broader exposure and editorial validation.

Speaking of editorial validation, YouTube also recently introduced Automatic Caption – or “auto-caps”. This new feature combines Google Voice’s voice recognition algorithms and automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology with the YouTube caption system, all in order to translate videos. The result? Automatic, machine-generated captions. Auto-caps, in short. These not only help users with hearing impairments; they also enable a global community of YouTube users and viewers to gain access to video content in as much as 51 languages.

Youtube Captions Transulate
Image via Matt Cutts

The company admits that YouTube’s automatic captions are still in development – translation isn’t always perfect. But the helpfulness of this new feature cannot be doubted. Captions can improve the process of searching for something on YouTube and even enable users to jump to parts of the videos they are looking for.

So there: automatic captions and YouTube Direct. Not only do these open more possibilities of viewing and being viewed; they also introduce new ways of connecting via video.