The YouTube Go app will shut down in August, the company announced on Tuesday. The replacement app will be permanently shut down, as YouTube says its main app has been improved to support low-spec devices and slow internet connections.
YouTube Go was first launched in 2016 in India, with the company describing it as an “offline-first” alternative to the main YouTube app. It became available in Indonesia the following year, before exiting beta and launching in over 130 countries in 2018.
The lightweight app was primarily designed to provide a better experience for viewers who use entry-level phones, have limited data plans, and live in areas where fast internet connections are not accessible. The YouTube Go app allowed users to download videos in standard and low quality, which also meant they needed less storage space. The availability of YouTube Go expanded to other regions a few years after its launch in India.
However, YouTube said on Tuesday that its core app has been optimized to support features offered by YouTube Go. “YouTube has invested in enhancements to the core YouTube app that make it perform better in these environments, best user experience that includes our entire community,” YouTube said. Specifically, we improved performance for entry-level devices or those watching YouTube on slower networks. »
It’s unclear whether YouTube Go users will be able to transfer their downloaded videos to the main YouTube app once the first offline alternative shuts down in August. But the company noted that the core app will also gain more user controls in future updates to allow users to reduce their mobile data usage while watching videos.
It should be noted, however, that offline viewing is currently locked to pay YouTube Premium subscribers, even on the main app. Along with the ability to download videos, the subscription also grants users access to select YouTube Originals content, premium YouTube Music, and ad-free viewing.
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