Since its 2005 launch, YouTube has become the largest video provider in the world, reaching more than a billion users. However, as social networks like Facebook and Snapchat catch up to it, YouTube is diversifying its range to maintain its heavy user base.

Cheerful young man using laptop in coffee shop.

YouTube has released three apps distinct from its original app—YouTube Music, YouTube Kids, and YouTube Gaming. Each one caters to what YouTube sees as a unique user base. For example, YouTube Kids has a largely voice-activated interface and features only “kid-friendly” videos. This set-up keeps kids engaged without their parents ever having to worry about them accidentally wandering into inappropriate content.

Splitting itself into different areas of interest solves one of YouTube’s long-standing problems: keeping people on the site for more than one video. In the past, the company tried various solutions, including an in-app messaging feature and a sophisticated video recommendation algorithm to keep users engaged. But, by building specific areas for each of its major user bases, YouTube acts more like Facebook or Snapchat, who show videos based on the network in which the user operates. The result is that the user keeps himself engaged, simply because the app serves his specific needs.

YouTube has given itself the opportunity to capture the attention of niche audiences for longer periods of time. This could be a huge boost for advertisers, and a way for YouTube to multiply its reach across each generation of internet users.