YouTube is going offline with the launch of a new app, YouTube Go.
The app “reimagines” the video sharing site for “the next generation of viewers”, with the aim of making its content more accessible to people all around the world – not just in the US and UK, where powerful smart phones and 4G connections are widespread, but in countries where 2G is the norm.
YouTube highlights India as a particular market where users are experiencing a poorer streaming experience for such reasons.
YouTube has long waged war upon connectivity issues. In 2014, it launched YouTube Offline so users could watch videos without “suffering from buffering”. Earlier this year, it rolled out Smart Offline, a feature that allows users to schedule videos to be saved offline later at off-peak times, when there’s more bandwidth so data is faster and cheaper.
Now, though, the site has “reimagined the YouTube mobile app from the ground up”. YouTube Go is designed to be offline first and work even when there’s low or no connectivity, providing transparency in data usage.
It will place an emphasis on video recommendations, with a user interface that is made for each individual. As part of that, a new preview function shows users what to expect before choosing to save or play a video, as well in which resolution to watch it. Users can also share videos to friends nearby, without using up any data.
The app will be rolled out gradually over the coming months, before launching it widely early next year. If you’d like to be among the first to find out when the app is ready, you can sign up at www.youtubego.com/signup.