For many, accessing YouTube on their mobile devices is a pain due to the amount of data it would take to stream a video. Though internet data is somewhat cheaper than some years back, not everyone can afford to “waste” his mobile data on YouTube vidoes.
Mid this year, Google launched YouTube Offline which basically cache a video of your choice on your phone for easy playback when you are offline. Unfortunately, this feature worked only on Mobile and not Desktop. On Wednesday 18th November, Google announced that it’s introducing offline playback of YouTube in four new markets, namely Ghana, South Africa, South Africa and Nigeria.
“For videos where this feature is available, you can choose to save the video for offline viewing by tapping on the offline icon,” product manager Matthew Darby said in a post on the Google Africa blog.
“Once saved offline, videos can be played without an Internet connection for up to 48 hours, so you can enjoy them without worrying about slow connections.”
Music videos are the most watched content on YouTube and unfortunately, Google excluded offline access to music videos from the content that can be stored for offline playback.
YouTube, Now With Offline
“Many of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa have proven themselves to be a part of the fast-growing, mobile-first world in terms of smartphone adoption, but access to high-speed, affordable data remains a big challenge,” Darby said. “In response, we’ve been working on ways to lessen the demands of speed and data for people using our products in places where there are challenges to access.”
He said offline playback of YouTube is only the first of a number of ideas it has planned for the product. “We are working on even more ways to make video content more affordable and accessible to our growing base of mobile users in the region,” he said.