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YouTube Tests Picture-in-Picture Viewing for Shorts, Channel Mentions in Comments

YouTube’s officially added picture-in-picture viewing for Shorts, providing another way to consume Shorts content, while it’s also testing a new way to mention other users in comments, as well as Shorts downloads for Premium members.

First off, on Shorts PiP. Now, YouTube Premium subscribers can minimize the Shorts viewing window, so that they can undertake other tasks on their device while also watching Shorts clips.

YouTube Shorts picture in picture

As per YouTube:

Get ready to multitask like a pro with our new picture-in-picture feature for YouTube Shorts! On Android devices, you can watch your favorite Shorts while browsing other apps or checking messages. It’s perfect for staying entertained without missing a beat. Dive into endless fun with YouTube Shorts, now more flexible than ever!

YouTube’s been working on the option for some time, and with Shorts consumption rising in the app, it makes sense for YouTube to add alternative viewing options.

I mean, it seems distracting, but that’s a personal concern, I guess.

YouTube’s also announced the official launch of its @mention test, which enables users to mention other channels in their YouTube comments.

YouTube first announced the test earlier this month, but now it’s going into the live environment.

If you’re in the experiment group, typing the “@” symbol on an Android or iOS device followed by letters or characters of a channel name / handle in a comment will trigger a recommended list of channels to choose from. From there, select the channel you want to mention > leave your comment > and the handle will appear as the clickable linked mention!”

YouTube says that only a small group of creators can post comments that include mentions at this stage, but all viewers and creators can engage with these comments.

YouTube’s also rolling out Shorts downloads for Premium subscribers, so you can download Shorts to your device, while it’s also expanding its test of its conversational AI bot to more Premium users.

Most of these are Premium only features, so if you want to try them out, you’ll need to sign-up. And none, I would say, are “game-changing” features as such, but they provide additional insight into how YouTube’s looking to enhance the viewing experience, and the features that are likely coming to all users at some stage.  

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