YouTube prides itself on being able to support its members, including businesses. From promotions to channel management to content optimization, the company provides you with resources and programs to support creators. Now even more creators have access to tools like live streaming, custom thumbnails, external annotations, and series playlists.

As part of Google’s latest update, the video-sharing platform is granting accounts “in good standing” access to popular and highly requested features. The most noteworthy addition is live streaming, which was previously limited to channels with at least 1,000 subscribers. Now channels with at least 100 subscribers will be able to live stream.

This ability is rolling out gradually over the next few weeks so you might not have access to it right away. If interested, check your Account Features page for an “Enable” button.

With the update, you’re also getting access to other features that were previously off-limits, such as custom thumbnails. Before this announcement, YouTube told creators to shoot videos with thumbnails in mind so one could be selected directly from the video. Now you can upload a custom thumbnail as long as you follow the Community Guidelines.

Additionally, you can now use annotations to link externally to online stores and websites. This is a huge opportunity for brands and retailers. Even if you don’t use annotations on your product or demo videos, it’s a great feature to inform your ambassadors or brand enthusiasts about.

And finally, you can help viewers watch more of your videos by placing them in a series playlist. This option gives you more control over the content that gets promoted as a related video. When you group videos that belong together, YouTube will show viewers the next video from the series and link to the whole playlist. All you have to do is mark your playlist as a “series” in the playlist settings.

Except for live streaming, all of these previously unavailable features are now accessible. For more information or tips on how to use any of the new tools, visit the YouTube Creator Playbook.

[Via: The Verge, Image credit: Vancouver Film School]