At Google I/O 2018, the company announced a new initiative called the “Digital Wellbeing”. It offers a new dashboard on your smartphone that gives you information of your usage habits. The details here include, the number of times you unlock your phone, the number of notifications and the time spent on an individual app. It’s designed to help users get less distracted from their smartphones on a day-to-day basis. Google has the same plans for YouTube. It knows how addictive the video streaming service can get, and for that purpose, Google just introduced a new feature called, “Take a break”.
This feature is available on the YouTube app, in the Settings menu. Here, users have the option to choose the frequency of the notification. The options available are 15, 30, 60, 90, and 180 minutes. There is also a “Never” option, which will disable the feature. After surpassing the time set by you, YouTube will pause the video you’re watching, with a notification to take a break. However, it’s up to the user if they want to take that suggestion or simply dismiss the reminder.
At CES 2018, YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan had also stated that an average viewing session on YouTube lasts more than 60 minutes and 70 percent of the time, it is influenced by YouTube’s auto recommendation feature. The new, “Take a break” feature can help reduce that addiction. However, it’s still up to the user to abide by it.
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Besides “Take a break”, YouTube also announced two more features, called “Disable sounds & vibrations” and “Scheduled Digest”. The former lets you disable all the sound notifications from the app and the latter compiles all your notifications, and presents them on particular time of the day, set by you. All the features are available in the latest version of the YouTube app