When it comes to watching videos in India, bandwidth and connectivity are the primary concerns. You cannot just stream videos instantly, and watch videos on the go unless you are on a high-speed mobile network. Most of the time users will buffer videos and then watch, which is painful. Keeping this in mind, Google India is offering the Smart offline feature on YouTube.
What is YouTube Smart Offline?
It’s a part of YouTube Red, a paid program offered in the United States, Canada, and others parts of the world which gain the ability to save videos offline. YouTube already has “YoutTube Offline” which allows users to save videos, and Smart Offline is an extension to the program. This is currently being offered in India for free.
How does it Work?
Many mobile operators (and some broadband operators too) offer either cheaper data at night and some even return 50% of data during happy hours (12 AM to 6 AM). So when you choose to save a video for offline viewing, Smart Offline makes sure to download the video overnight to save the maximum possible data. The option shows up when you tap on the save offline button on the YouTube App. It works only on mobile data, and not on Wi-Fi.
- Open any video on the YouTube App
Tap on the familiar grey arrow to take a video offline.
A prompt will appear, giving you the option to select “Save overnight” using your mobile operator’s discounted night data plan.
When you select it, the YouTube app will smartly schedule your video to be offlined after peak hours that night.
Does Smart Offline work with All Operators?
As of now, the answer is no. For now, Google is rolling out this feature to Airtel and Telenor (Uninor) subscribers in India. Airtel, in particular, offers 50% off on data during night hours. You will need to update the YouTube App to the latest version in order to use this.
This is one of the many new “Made for India” features that Google and YouTube are bringing to the Indian audience. As we know, user behavior is unique in India, and Google has been quick to recognize the needs of Indian users.