Earlier this year, while launching the Android One smartphones in India, Google also announced that it would be launching an “offline feature” for Indian users. Today, the company has launched the feature for Android and iOS users that essentially lets you download YouTube videos and play them back in offline mode when you don’t have data connectivity.
— Rajan Anandan (@RajanAnandan) December 11, 2014
So essentially when you are watching a video on the YouTube app, you will see an offline icon that sits beneath the video frame. Clicking on the button will download the video on your device and you will be able to watch it without a data connection for a period of 48 hours.
There is however a small catch — YouTube has said that the catalog of offline-enabled videos are limited at the moment. These videos include music videos from the likes of T-Series and Yash Raj films, as well as comedy videos made in India. To help monetize this initiative, this feature will be ad-supported, and such ads will also show up in offline mode.
“In a country like India, the future of the Internet is mobile. 85 percent of the Internet population will connect to the Internet with a mobile phone before any other device,” John Harding, Vice President of Engineering at YouTube said.
“Already, we are seeing over 40 percent of our traffic in India come from mobile devices, and we want to make sure we are making YouTube as enjoyable as possible for these mobile-first users. By launching this offline experience on YouTube in India today, we have to help people move past the challenges of data connection, speed, and cost to enjoy a smooth, buffer-free version of YouTube,” he added.