Google announced on Wednesday that it’s introducing offline playback of YouTube in four new markets, namely South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria.
The feature allows users of the YouTube mobile app to watch videos later, during periods of low or no Internet connectivity.
“For videos where this feature is available, you can choose to save the video for offline viewing by tapping on the offline icon,” product manager Matthew Darby said in a post on the Google Africa blog.
“Once saved offline, videos can be played without an Internet connection for up to 48 hours, so you can enjoy them without worrying about slow connections.”
Music videos are, however, excluded from the content that can be stored for offline playback.
The feature should appeal strongly to those who have broadband Internet access at the office or at the mall, but not at home.
“Many of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa have proven themselves to be a part of the fast-growing, mobile-first world in terms of smartphone adoption, but access to high-speed, affordable data remains a big challenge,” Darby said. “In response, we’ve been working on ways to lessen the demands of speed and data for people using our products in places where there are challenges to access.”
He said offline playback of YouTube is only the first of a number of ideas it has planned for the product. “We are working on even more ways to make video content more affordable and accessible to our growing base of mobile users in the region,” he said. — (c) 2015 NewsCentral Media