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youtube

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YouTube is testing video download recommendations in select markets

It's been five years since YouTube started rolling out offline video downloads. At the latest count, users in 154 of the world's 195 countries can download videos for offline playback; some countries require having a YouTube Premium subscription to do so, while others don't. Now the app looks to be pointing users towards videos they might want to make available for offline watching, as we see evidence of a new "recommended downloads" feature.

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YouTube starts showing community posts on the web home page

YouTube's community features began showing up around a couple of years ago but it took a year for the feature to reach more channels and start popping up in users' home feeds on mobile. However, on the web, these posts were not as easily accessible: you had to go to each channel's page to see if it had any community updates. That won't be the case for long though, as posts are starting to show up on the home page for a few users.

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Google Assistant has a Disney-esque musical ride at CES — see for yourself in VR

When it comes to massive trade shows like CES, many companies feel the need to get extravagant with booth installations just to stand out from the crowd. Case in point: Google set up a musical, Small World-style ride for Assistant that is the very definition of over-the-top. Thankfully, even those of us who aren't attending the event can give this monstrosity a virtual ride through a 360-degree video posted on YouTube.

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YouTube TV app now available on all Vizio SmartCast TVs

After roughly six months of slow and steady rollout, the YouTube TV app is now available on all Vizio SmartCast TVs. The $40 per month cable alternative first arrived on a selection of newer, high performing Vizio models about half a year ago, with a YouTube engineer on Reddit noting that the company would add more models after monitoring and fine-tuning playback quality. That process seems to be complete now, as Google has just updated its YouTube TV app help page confirming the support.

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[Update: Android too] YouTube adds 1.75x playback speed on the web

I would have never thought that a single YouTube playback speed setting would be requested or would get noticed this much, but today I've learned that you can't make assumptions like this without researching them first. It seems that the 1.75x speed setting has been asked about, not once, not twice, not even thrice, but even more times, and when it showed up a few days ago on the YouTube desktop site, many users did indeed notice it.

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YouTube is testing Up Next filters on Android

 

When you're watching a YouTube video, the app often taunts you with other recommendations you should watch next, and if you have Autoplay turned on, it even goes through that list automatically. However, you rarely have any control over what shows up in this list. A server-side test tells us that this might be changing soon.

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The YouTube app's auto-playing home screen video previews are expanding to non-Premium users

YouTube Premium subscribers have been able to preview videos on the app's home screen for months now — videos play silently with captions until you scroll away from them. More people will be able to enjoy the feature soon, though, as the YouTube team has shared that "Autoplay on Home" is coming to non-Premium users over the next few weeks.

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YouTube hits 5 billion installs on the Play Store

YouTube has been streaming video since before some of our younger readers were born. Since its launch in 2005, it's become mind-bogglingly popular. It also comes pre-loaded on every Android phone with access to Google Play, which has led to a significant milestone in the app's history: YouTube has now seen more than five billion installations on Android.

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YouTube Stories are live for all channels with 10K+ subscribers

Stories. Historically, we've loved reading them and telling them, but the word has evolved a lot in the past years to encompass moments shared throughout the day. Snapchat, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, they all have their version of Stories, and now YouTube has officially launched its own.

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YouTube Originals will be available for free with ads by 2020

One of the perks of YouTube's paid tier, YouTube Premium, is access to YouTube Originals — scripted programming more similar to traditional TV shows than most of the other content you'd find on YouTube. It seems the streaming platform is changing tack, though, as it's announced that Originals will be available without a subscription by 2020.

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