As part of Area 120 incubator, Google engineers are allowed to spend 20 percent of their work time building side projects. One of the pet projects to reach commercial roll out is an app called Uptime. This app allows users to watch or share YouTube videos with friends along with the ability to interact and chat while watching their favorite content. Consider it as a video sharing and networking platform, albeit limited to iOS users in the US only. Also Read - Free COVID-19 vaccine: Today’s Google Doodle urges all to get vaccinated, wear maskAlso Read - HP Chromebook 11a review: Great for students, not so for professionals
To be able to use Uptime, one needs to be logged in with the Google account. Once in the app, you can watch YouTube videos, add stickers, sparkles, comments, etc. while watching. Similar to Twitter, Uptime allows users to follow one another and see content liked or shared by friends on their app homescreen. Also Read - Happy Father's Day 2021: Google Doodle wishes dads with cute pop-up greeting card
According to its FAQ page, the app will show you real-time engagements each time you watch a video with others. These engagements include Comments, which disappear once the comment moves off screen; Sparkles which show temporarily as you touch the screen; Stickers that can be posted on a desired segment of the video; and Hearts, a reaction available in many popular apps such as Instagram and Facebook. All the engagements which are posted in real-time are visible and attributed to the people who are watching it on a sharing basis. Additionally, some of these engagements are also visible in the activity history of the video post on homepage.
If you have multiple accounts, Uptime allows one to switch between accounts from the Settings menu. With video at its core offering, the app also has in place some tools to report offensive content. For content, one can long-press the video and choose Flag this video on YouTube. ALSO READ: YouTube users are watching billion hours of videos everyday: Google
Once you choose the option, the reporting of the video is done through the normal YouTube flow. One can also report comment or username. You can also mal-intentioned users by reporting them from their profile page. By doing so, you will no longer be shown their activity or content. The app further offers daily video recommendations from friends or people you follow.
One of the notable features is that Uptime does not allow users to watch and share paid and premium content such as movies and YouTube Red. It doesn t support videos with music, restricted content, or private videos.
Although the app works like a facilitator between users while watching or sharing videos, its prime features might serve as a welcome addition to the original YouTube platform. Currently, YouTube allows sharing of videos but not collaborative viewing or real-time engaging. However, adding features such as reactions and Stickers, it would make YouTube visually quite identical to Snapchat. But if that is what millennials ask for, we can t complain.
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