The YouTube team has been making lots of efforts over the past couple of years to bring its service and millions of videos to more users worldwide. This involves those who have access to fast internet connections and plenty of data, but also those who have very little data bandwidth and are still limited to 2G or congested 3G. Video, by default, doesn't fit well with the latter, but through conscious efforts like YouTube Accelerator and YouTube Offline, it can reach more of those devices and people who would seemingly be off-limits.

YouTube Go seems to be the culmination of these efforts. It's a new YouTube app designed from the grounds-up to be data-conscious thanks to 4 interesting features:

  • Video recommendations on the home screen based on what's popular and trending around you.
  • Video previews that load first to give you a taste of what's inside so you can decide whether you want to watch or download, or not.
  • Choosing the resolution and knowing the file's size before you stream of save a video for offline viewing.
  • Video sharing with nearby friends over Bluetooth without any data usage.

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The whole app is more offline-friendly than what YouTube currently is, even in countries where YouTube Offline is available. It's built around saving and consuming videos with the least possible amount of data and the most possible transparency over what each video is going to cost you.

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YouTube Go will be gradually rolling out over the next months in India. You can sign up to be notified at this page. Expect Go to be fully public "early next year," though there's no word on whether that means just India or if it will come to more countries too.