YouTube Is Rolling Out 5 New Features for Premium Subscribers

YouTube Is Rolling Out 5 New Features for Premium Subscribers

The free version of YouTube works perfectly well (current ad blocker debacle notwithstanding), but if you use it a lot, a Premium subscription is actually a pretty good deal. Not only do you get to skip most ads, download videos for offline playback, and gain access to YouTube Music Premium, you also have the opportunity to try new features before other YouTube users.

Today, YouTube added five new features for YouTube Premium subscribers—two are rolling out widely now, and three more are experimental features you can enable if you wish. Here’s what’s new.

Jump Ahead

Following a round of testing, YouTube is going ahead with Jump Ahead. The new feature uses AI to analyze the “best” parts of a video, based on where most users scrub to while watching. When you double-tap the player window to skip ahead 10 seconds, you’ll now have the option to “Jump Ahead” to this “best” spot.

YouTube says this feature is rolling out first to YouTube for Android, but it will be available on the iOS app for Premium subscribers soon.

Picture-in-picture for YouTube Shorts

Picture-in-picture is a convenient way to watch videos on platforms like YouTube while switching to other apps. Now, Premium subscribers on Android will be able to use PIP for the TikTok-esque YouTube Shorts as well. I suppose this feature will be helpful for Shorts that aren’t too short, but I can’t really see a strong use case for keeping 15 to 30 second videos in PIP while doing things in other apps.

Smart downloads for Shorts (experimental)

If you opt-in to this experimental feature, YouTube will automatically download new Shorts to your smartphone so you can watch them with or without a connection. The company didn’t specify, but I’d guess these Shorts would also work in PIP mode, as well.

Conversational AI (experimental)

YouTube also announced it’s bringing back its conversational AI to Android devices. When available, YouTube’s AI will appear underneath videos via an “Ask” button. You can ask the bot questions and request similar content to videos you’re watching, even while a video is playing. I doubt this is going to be a game-changing AI by any means, but it’s an interesting experiment nonetheless.

New watch page UI (experimental)

The one change to the YouTube web app for Premium subscribers is an experimental new watch page. YouTube didn’t share much about it, but said the new watch page will make it easier to find new videos and engage with comments.

How to opt-in to YouTube experimental features

If you want to try out these three new experimental features, as well as any other experimental features YouTube is currently testing, head to YouTube’s “New” webpage and opt-in.

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