WhatsApp to let users play YouTube videos directly within chat window: Reports

WhatsApp currently allows users share videos in the form of links and redirect them to YouTube for playback.

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Highlights

    • WhatsApp could be testing new video playback feature
    • The app is apparently aiming for longer sessions
    • The update is fist expected to hit iOS devices

WhatsApp may soon allow users play YouTube videos directly within the app. Numerous reports suggest WhatsApp is testing this new feature on iOS, and if these reports are indeed accurate, we can expect it to be rolled out publically over course the of next few days or perhaps weeks. The app currently allows users share YouTube videos over chat in the form of links. Users need to click on the URL for watching any of those videos, which then starts playing within YouTube app. It causes unnecessary distraction since users are thrown out of WhatsApp to watch videos, and once that happens, they may not come back to the app instantly.

YouTube has also said people spend more time on YouTube than Netflix and Facebook Video combined. Users must have noticed once they play some video on YouTube, the app knows how to keep them engaged with the platform by suggesting similar videos. WhatsApp, now owned by Facebook, must have taken these points into account in order keep users engaged with the app and maximize sessions duration.

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WhatsApp users would no longer be distracted once this feature is rolled out to the masses, and it would also eradicate the need to open YouTube for playing videos. It is being reported that this feature will make use of the picture in picture (PIP) concept. The picture in picture mode is useful especially when it comes to watching videos on YouTube. It moves videos into PIP mode once users navigate back from the video and browse something else. Android O has this most-awaited feature working in developer preview.

WhatsApp rolled out a new update last week wherein users can send and receive photos without losing the original picture quality. The update also expanded WhatsApp’s file sharing abilities to support more formats.