We have some good news for you if you have the free YouTube account as there appears to be testing with picture-in-picture mode. This is being tested on the Android app and you do not need YouTube Red in order to get the feature. If you did not hear, picture-in-picture mode comes standard with Android Oreo, which is Android 8.0. We now are seeing the testing for those who do not have a YouTube Red account, which is good news for those with a free account. Read on to learn more about this move and how it can benefit you.
YouTube Testing Picture-in-Picture Mode for Android
Previously, you had to have the paid subscription version of YouTube in order to enjoy the picture-in-picture mode. This was called YouTube Red and the picture-in-picture mode was locked behind that paywall. Google ensured that when Android Oreo launched, Google services and products would be the first and biggest beneficiaries of the new picture-in-picture mode. The reporting now is that even if you do not have YouTube Red, you are able to get the picture-in-picture mode. This is not happening on all videos as of right now, and there is a good reason for that.
There is definitely a catch here as you might imagine because this was a previously paid subscription feature. The catch is that the content owners have complete control over which videos are going to be in the free picture-in-picture mode. That means people who have uploaded the videos can choose to disable picture-in-picture mode.
This could happen unless you are a YouTube Red subscriber. Specifically, it seems that the music videos are likely going to mostly stay behind the paywall of YouTube Red, at least for now. It is possible that in the future picture-in-picture will be standard on the free YouTube subscription, especially with it being a feature in Android Oreo.
Picture-in-Picture Mode Available for Some YouTube Videos Without Red Subscription
Since it is up to the content owners to control who sees the picture-in-picture mode, we are not sure how this all will end up working out. We do know that the picture-in-picture mode is happening with YouTube version 13.16.55, which is live now in Google Play Store. Even if you have the newest YouTube Android app update, you still might not be able to see the feature.
That is due to it still going through testing, so there is a small group of people who are getting this feature right now. There is going to be more testing and a bigger testing coming. That means you likely are going to see this feature popping up within the next few weeks.
YouTube Picture-in-Picture Mode Available in Various Locations
Many different countries are also involved in the new testing as well, so this is not just for Canada or the United States. The only requirement in order to use the picture-in-picture mode on YouTube is that you need to have Android 8.0, which is Android Oreo, running on your Android device. That is mostly because the feature requires certain support that is only available in Android Oreo. You could use either Android 8.0 or Android 8.1, they both will support the feature.
We want to hear from you on if you are seeing this feature without the YouTube Red subscription. If you are a YouTube Red subscriber, tell us how well the picture-in-picture mode has worked for you. Do think it is a good idea to leave it up to the content owner on whether or not to disable this feature? Would you rather YouTube just make this feature an option for all videos instead of it being a content owner decision? If you have Android Oreo on your device, leave us a comment below and tell us if you see the feature on your free YouTube account.