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YouTube can now be installed as a Progressive Web App to give users a dedicated experience

Some users are beginning to spot a plus-in-a-circle icon appearing directly in the Omnibox or the web address bar and getting prompts to "Install App."

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | January 25, 2021 | Updated 14:34 IST
(Picture: Reuters)

Highlights

  • YouTube Music and Google News were already present as Progressive Webs Apps.
  • YouTube can now be installed as a Progressive Web App (PWA) to enjoy a dedicated experience.
  • As per reports, progressive web apps can locally cache video downloads for offline viewing like their app counterpart.

YouTube can now be installed as a Progressive Web App (PWA) and some users are beginning to spot a plus-in-a-circle icon appearing directly in the Omnibox or the web address bar. Users are getting the prompt to "Install app." This is different from the browser's manual overflow menu 'Install' button, which was available for users for quite some time.After users select this option, they see a large red play logo in the app launcher to open YouTube in a window that does not have the address bar and other UI elements, helping users get a more dedicated experience. Progressive Web App support for YouTube.com was added over the past few days, 9to5 Google reported.


It enables shelf pinning that lets users get direct access to the video that is playing at that moment. YouTube Music and Google News were already present as Progressive Webs Apps, While YouTube Music PWA came back in October 2019, YouTube TV PWA came earlier this month.

As per reports, Google recently began enforcing a policy that would require developers to provide some form of offline functionality to make this PWA install prompt appear at the top of the Chrome browser. According to Chrome Unboxed, progressive web apps can locally cache video downloads for offline viewing like their app counterpart. Web apps require zero downloads and are becoming more indistinguishable from regular apps by the day.


In related news, YouTube is reportedly testing a new way so that users can shop directly through videos from the platform. This feature lets creators add certain products to their videos. According to a Bloomberg report in 2020, the goal is to convert YouTube's bounty of videos into a vast catalog of items that viewers can peruse, click on and buy directly.


YouTube is also rolling out hashtag landing pages that will help users discover more niche content with the hashtags they click on from a particular video or when they search for them through URL. Previously, the video platform used to show related content when users typed in a term with a hashtag. Now, according to YouTube's support page, the hashtag landing page will only show content or videos with that particular hashtag. The move will help YouTube users explore more videos and content using specific hashtags, as a user on Instagram or Twitter does.

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