YouTube Testing Two New Features: Video Autoplay and Built-In GIF Creator
YouTube is always busy exploring new ways to keep its audience engaged and staying on its platform for longer. As part of that effort, the giant video streaming site is currently experimenting with two new features: video autoplays and GIF sharing support.
The autoplaying video feature has reportedly been rolled out globally to a select few with the purpose of being tested out before it makes its way to more users. As shown in the screenshot below, the feature is optional and it’s set to “on” by default every time you open a new video.
It works in a way that upon finishing a video, a new one will automatically start; however, if you want it the old fashion way you can always toggle to turn off this behavior. The autoplay toggle stays on the top of the page, and a YouTube spokesperson told TechCrunch that the action is permanent meaning once you turn the feature off, it will remain off.
YouTube has recently been testing different ways to increase the average time of users on its site, like the integration of social features for users to see what their friends are currently watching; and the ability to use playlists made by others.
Autoplay seems more like a traditional TV where users can stream the content just like they watch constantly running shows with ad breaks in there between them. This way where YouTube could keep people watching more videos, it could also double its inventory by adding a commercial after a video as well as before it.
While the strategy might be effective in getting people to stay on the site for longer, it could also become really annoying for some users. But at this stage, it won’t be fair to say whether a considerable amount of users will actually hate this feature forcing the company to scrap it in favor of a different model.
The other feature that Google’s video streaming giant is currently experimenting on is already pretty well-established though. YouTube is now quietly rolling out its own GIF maker to a few select channels allowing you to create and share short GIFs from videos.
To create GIF using the tool, tap the share button, then set your start/end points, customize your clip, and GIF away. Maximum length is six seconds, and you also have options to add top and bottom text if needed.
YouTube has now set up a Beta sign-up page for Channel owners to sign up for the feature. At the moment, the PBS Idea Channel is the only one we can find with this feature enabled.
The GIF maker might not be a major change, but it will surely be of great importance for GIF lovers considering the fact that the tool is now hosted by YouTube itself!