Youtube has long allowed its users to test new features and products before making them available to a wider audience. However, in a recent change, YouTube's latest trials are limited to those who subscribe to the premium tier of the YouTube service. Currently, paid subscribers are the only ones able to try out several new product features, including one that allows iOS users to watch YouTube videos right on their homescreen.
This is not the same as the picture-in-picture option available to app developers with iOS 14. According to YouTube, this feature will allow users who scroll their YouTube homepage to watch videos with the sound on while they scroll through their feed.
Two other experiments relate to the search. One option allows you to filter topics you are looking for by additional languages including Spanish, French or Portuguese. The other allows you to use voice search to view videos with the Chrome web browser.
However, none of these tests will be very lengthy. For example, two of the three new experiments will be completed on October 20, 2020. The other wraps on October 27th. And they've only been live for a couple of weeks.
In the past few years, YouTube had made it possible for all users to try out new features in the development of a special website called "TestTube". However, in recent years, the YouTube.com/new website has been used to alert interested users to upcoming features before they were publicly launched. For example, when YouTube rolled out its redesign in 2017, users were able to visit the same website to decide to preview before launch.
Now the website is used to advertise other limited time tests.
According to YouTube, the option to test the features was introduced to premium subscribers in the YouTube app a few weeks ago. It's also the first time YouTube has run an experimentation program tied to the premium service.
The company didn't make a formal public announcement, but the addition was only spotted by several blogs, including XDA Developers and Android Central.
opposite to some reportsHowever, it does not appear to be YouTube's intention to complete all experiments for anyone but its paid subscribers. The company's own help documentation points out that this restriction only applies to "some" tests.
YouTube has also made it clear to theinformationsuperhighway that the tests featured on the website are only a "small minority" of the tests performed on YouTube. And they don't include the broader product experiments the company says the company is conducting at all.
In addition, non-premium users can sign up to be informed about additional opportunities to participate in other YouTube research studies. This option will appear at the bottom of the YouTube.com/new page.
According to YouTube, the new experiments have two goals. It allows product teams to provide feedback on various features, and it allows premium subscribers to act as early testers if they choose to.
Premium users who choose to participate can activate and deactivate the new functions individually, but only try one experiment at a time.
This could serve to attract more YouTube users to the premium subscription, as there is some clout to be able to try out functions and products in front of the public. Then think of it as another membership perk – something special on top of the basic premium tier features like ad-free videos, downloads, background games, and more.
YouTube, which today has more than 2 billion monthly users, announced earlier this year that at least 20 million users had switched to a paid subscription service. (YouTube Premium / YouTube Music). As of Q3 2020, YouTube was the third largest app worldwide by consumer spend for iOS and Android according to App Annie data.