UPDATE: A Google India spokesperson shared this statement with us on Friday: “Good things take time, the best things take a bit longer. The YT Go app is currently in beta, please stay tuned for the full launch! If you’d like to be notified about when the app is ready, you can sign up at youtubego.com/signup.”
Most users looking for the YouTube Go app on Google Play Store today after reading news reports about its launch in India were unable to find it. That’s because the Android app, which lets users download videos and watch them while offline, and even share them without data, is still in Beta mode and is listed as an ‘unreleased’ app on the Play Store. It comes with a warning, “This is an unreleased app. It may be unstable.”
This basically means users who have the URL to the page on Play Store (which we are thoughtfully providing you here) can download the app and use it, but searching for the app may not lead you to the right page.
FactorDaily had written about YouTube Go months ago, when the app was still in development, led by product manager Jay Akkad at Alphabet Inc’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. Akkad’s job is to ship products for emerging markets and in September 2015, he pitched a radical new proposition to his boss: let’s build a new Youtube app for India given its price-sensitive market and relatively fragmented access to data.
Unlike the regular YouTube app, YouTube Go appears to be inclined towards a more social experience, as users are asked to connect their phone numbers with the message ‘YouTube Go regularly scans your mobile contacts to show you friends with the app’. There is no option to skip this. There is also an OTP verification of the phone.
The suggested videos seem to be linked to the user’s primary YouTube app, since most of the suggestions are based on videos and channels watched most often by them.
Google India has not revealed when the app will be freely available through search on the Play Store.
Updated on Feb 10, 2017 at 2.50 pm with statement from Google India spokesperson.