The ability to watch YouTube videos offline has always been one of the more requested features from users around the world. Alongside Indonesia and the Philippines, India was one of the few lucky regions where users originally got a taste of offline YouTube back in 2014, when the Silicon Valley tech giant started allowing some videos to be saved locally for offline viewing. That took care of two things; firstly, it allowed users on slow, legacy connections to watch videos on YouTube without any buffering, but also save users from the hassle and the expense of having to stream their favorite videos multiple times. So it isn’t a wonder that the YouTube app became significantly more popular in the country with the rollout of the feature.
While that was back in 2014, the world’s most popular video sharing service has now announced the rollout of yet another new feature for its users in the South Asian country. With effect from today, the YouTube app will try and save its users in India a bit of money in case they’re looking to download a video on their device for offline viewing later on. With differential tariffs between daytime and nighttime data implemented by many Indian carriers, netizens in the country often choose to download their media and software at night to take advantage of lower data rates during those off-peak hours. With the latest update to its YouTube app, Google is rolling out a feature called ‘Smart Offline’ that will allow users the option to download their videos during the night when mobile data charges are typically lower than during daytime.
One thing that’s important to remember is that the latest feature won’t immediately be available to all mobile users in India. Only Airtel and Telenor subscribers in the country will be able to take advantage of it right now, but the video sharing giant does say that it hopes to eventually roll out the feature to “all users” in the country sooner rather than later. Either way, it will be interesting to see how this little experiment pans out for Google, and if other regions, too, will get to experience this new feature any time soon.