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YouTube Go to be shut down from August

Google says improvements made to its main YouTube app mean its Go service is no longer required

A person holding a smartphone with the YouTube Go app download page displayed

Google has announced that it will be shutting down its YouTube Go service from August as the company looks to shift users over to the main YouTube app.

Launched back in 2016, YouTube Go was created as a lightweight alternative to the main app for users contending with connectivity issues, data prices, or low-end devices. The app allows users to watch videos offline to work around these issues, as well as offering features such as nearby sharing.

From August, however, the service is coming to an end, with YouTube encouraging users to move across to its main app or access the platform via its website instead.

With the widespread improvement of lower end devices, Google said its main app now provides users with a “better overall experience” with features that can’t be accessed via the Go service – such as the ability to comment, post, create content, as well as the dark theme.

“When we launched YouTube Go in 2016, it was designed for viewers in locations where connectivity, data prices, and low-end devices prevented us from delivering the best experience in the main YouTube app,” Google said in a blog post.

“Since then, YouTube has invested in improvements to the main YouTube app that make it perform better in these environments, while also delivering a better user experience which is inclusive of our entire community.”

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To solve these user issues in YouTube Go’s wake, the main app now includes improved performance for entry-level devices, as well as those that watch videos on slower networks. Additionally, Google said it is providing extra user controls that help to decrease mobile data usage for viewers with limited data.

The YouTube app does support offline video viewing, but users must pay for YouTube’s Premium membership which is currently priced at $11.99/£11.99 per month.

“Using the main YouTube app, YouTube Go users will be able to participate in creation and community and have access to an overall improved user experience,” Google said.

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