Video streaming service YouTube is testing a messaging feature to enable its users to chat and share links natively. This feature aims to let users share YouTube videos with friends without leaving the app, and ultimately spend more time browsing.
This in-app chat service is currently being rolled out only to a small group of people with no information on a mass rollout. This feature allows users to chat with each other and share videos within the app. It even has a heart icon for social expression. Google confirmed it was testing the new feature to Wired. The chat service only allows sharing of videos and cannot be used to share photos or other data. Like other messaging services, there are no stickers or gifs for adding flair in conversation.
The new chat service also allows you to share YouTube videos with multiple people at one time. After opening the video you want to share on the app, all the user needs to do is select the people it wants to share with, and hit the red arrow on the bottom right. The chat window then opens up with your video successfully sent. The users in the conversation can then choose to reply with another video or just ‘heart’ it.
This feature aims to discourage users from copying and pasting links on emails or other IM apps, and make them share through YouTube itself. It is obvious that Google is introducing this feature to increase the time spent by users in the app. Only time will tell whether this service gains popularity, or users will prefer to still share links via mobile through other methods.
Furthermore, there is another feature that YouTube is testing, and it could prove to be a useful one for all avid mobile video watchers. If you come back to complete a half-watched video, the app will show a thin red line below the video frame indicating where you left off. Users often leave the app to attend to a text, IM or a call, forgetting where they left off. When they return to the video, they have to browse through the timeline, and recall the part they saw last. However, this feature looks to relieve the user from its misery and show them exactly where they should begin buffering. Android Police reports that this feature has also been rolled out to a small percentage of users only.