Some users of the YouTube Android app started seeing live view counters earlier this month as the Google-owned video streaming service apparently began testing this particular functionality through a server-side switch. Initial reports suggest that the experiment only affects the mobile version of YouTube, though it's currently unclear whether you have to be running a beta build of the app in order to have a chance of receiving the feature. Likewise, YouTube has yet to issue a comment on the test in any capacity and there's still no confirmation that the counters will eventually make their way to all users.
While the scope of the company's test remains unclear, the feature itself is relatively straightforward as it allows users to get real-time info about the number of people watching the same video they are. The actual figure is rendered beneath the video title and above the toolbar with Like, Dislike, Share, and Add To Playlist buttons. So far, this spot was reserved for total views a video had, with that info now seemingly being hidden in its description, at least in this experimental version of the YouTube app. The current take on YouTube videos with real-time view counters looks similar to live videos hosted by the service, and with the company now placing an increasingly larger focus on this type of content, it's unsurprising that it's also considering redesigning its app's interface in an effort to bring it more in line with how live videos look.
YouTube has recently been hard at work developing new features for its service and looking to introduce new ways to monetize its offerings in an effective manner, something that the firm's head of music Lyor Cohen recently claimed takes a lot of time while asking the industry for more patience. In the past, YouTube has often been criticized by artists and labels over its royalty rates, which is something that the company previously hinted may improve if it manages to identify a better method for monetizing its vast content library which continues to grow to this date, though it remains to be seen whether it succeeds in doing so.