YouTube Go, a mobile version of the YouTube mainly meant for emerging markets, boasting of features like offline viewing and nearby sharing, has recently expanded to over 130 countries worldwide. This wider rollout would make YouTube Go available to a large number of people who are capable of watching YouTube videos, even if they don’t have a good connection, or find themselves offline.

The recent list of new countries includes those in Central and South America, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, and elsewhere.

To look back, this app was first introduced in September 2016, before launching into beta last spring.

Like all the other previous apps designed for emerging markets, YouTube Go also boasts of quite a few features that should be taken into consideration. These include the high costs of data, poor signal strength, and the prevalent use of SD cards on Android devices.

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Image Credit: Tech Crunch

How does it work?

For the ones using the app for the first time, the app lets users control their playback experience by selecting lower quality streams when on slower connections. Also, they might as well opt to save videos for playback when they’re offline. This offline play feature allows users to download YouTube videos to their phone or an SD card.

Another very interesting feature is YouTube Go’s sharing feature that also allows users to show videos to friends nearby. Perhaps, another way YouTube Go works around devices’ that don’t have a much reliable connection.

This feature works by first locating the friend’s phone using Bluetooth and BLE for discovery and establishing a connection, then using Wi-Fi Hotspot and Wi-Fi Direct for transfer. The app also tries to establish a secure wireless channel between two phones using established wireless and encryption protocols. The receiver then downloads a unique decryption key from YouTube’s servers before the video can be played back in the YouTube app.

In addition, the YouTube Go app’s home screen highlights videos in that are popular locally and is presented in the users’ language.

However, the company would not settle for anything less and is always experimenting with protocols. So, might choose to use different ones in the future to provide “the fastest, most reliable and secure connections to the broadest range of devices.”

Initially, YouTube Go’s first market was India, but its reach later expanded to 14 other countries last year, including Indonesia, Nigeria, Thailand, and others.

With the latest upgrade, YouTube Go would now allow users to choose the option to download, stream or share videos in High Quality. This would be in addition to basic and standard quality, for those times when a strong signal is available, for instance, when connected to a good Wi-Fi network.

It also made the “share nearby” feature easier to access and added the ability for users to share multiple videos at once.

Lastly, the app also improved its personalized recommendations. Now, users would be able to pull down on the home screen for new recommendations, and also would be alerted when their favorite channels add new videos. Right now, YouTube Go is available in the Google Play Store.