Google i/o conference introduces new YOUTUBE feature
YouTube is going to be the first video streaming app which will actually tell it’s users to stop watching.
Google at its I/O conference introduces a series of new features for YouTube that will allow viewers to set a limit on their viewing, and then receive notifications telling them to “take a break”.
This feature will be rolling out in the latest version of YouTube’s app, along with others that limit YouTube’s ability to send notifications.
Soon, the application will give users an overview of their informal behavior so they can make better-informed decisions about their viewing habits.
This feature is available from YouTube’s mobile app Settings screen.
With “Take a Break”, users are able to set a reminder to appear every 15, 30, 60, 90, or 190 minutes. At each reminders time, the video will pause and users can choose to close the reminder and keep watching, or close the app.
By default, “Take a Break” setting is turned off by default so it won’t be having a large impact on YouTube viewing time.
There is also a new feature which will let you disable notification sounds during a specified time every day. When users opt to use this setting then, notification will be disabled from 10 PM to 8 AM local time, but this can be changed.
In addition with this, there is an option to get a scheduled digest of notifications as a substitute. This option will combine all the daily push notification into a single combined notification which will be sent out only once per day.
This feature will be turned off by default, but can be turned on in the app’s settings.
And YouTube is preparing to roll out a “time watched profile” that will appear in the Account menu and display your daily average watch time, and how long you’ve watched YouTube videos today, yesterday and over the past week, along with a set of tools to help you manage your viewing habits.
While these changes to YouTube are opt-in, it’s an interesting — and arguably responsible — position to take in terms of helping people manage their sometimes addictive behaviours around technology.
What are the other Major Changes besides “Take a Break” ???
That’s not all the major changes Google is rolling out on the digital front, the company also announced a series of Android features.
These features will help you get a better handle on how often you are using your phone and apps.
It will also give you tools to limit distractions — like a Do Not Disturb setting, alerts that are silenced when the phone is flipped over and a “Wind Down” mode for night-time usage that switches on the Do Not Disturb mode and turns the screen to gray-scale.
Google is not the only company which is rethinking its role with regard to how much technology should infiltrate our lives. Facebook, too, recently re-prioritized well-being over time spent on the site reading news, and saw its daily active users decline as a result.
But in Google’s case, some are cynical about the impact of the new tools — unlike Facebook’s changes, which the social network implemented itself, Google’s tools are opt-in.
That means it’s up to users to take control over their own technology addictions, whether that’s their phone in general, or YouTube specifically.
Google knows that the large majority won’t take the time to configure these settings, so it can pat itself on the back for its prioritization of digital well-being without taking a real hit to its bottom line.
Still, it’s notable that any major tech platform is doing this at all — and it’s at least a step in the right direction in terms of allowing people to reset their relationship with technology.
And in YouTube’s case, the option to “Take a Break” is at the very top of its Settings screen. If anyone ever heads into their settings for any reason, they’ll be sure to see it.
The new features are available in version 13.17 and higher of the YouTube mobile app on both IOS and Android, which is live now.
The changes were announced on May 8 during the I/O keynote, and will take a few days to roll out to all YouTube users. The “time watched profile,” however, will ship in the “coming months,” Google says.
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