With the price of data being what it is in South Africa, you (literally) can’t afford to be careless with yours. Scrolled a little too long on Twitter, looking for a meme that disappeared in the refresh? Your data is finished. And the worst part? You’ll never see that meme again. It lives on only in your memory now.
YouTube doesn’t want that to happen when you’re on its platform. It intends to keep that data alive for as long as possible, so you watch as many ads as physically possible. To that end, it’s introducing three new features, each designed with the purpose of saving your data.
“When it comes to consuming content, Africa is very much mobile-first, but we know that data costs can still be prohibitive. These new, easy-to-use features will empower people to control their YouTube experience, allowing them to continue to consume the content they want, without data anxiety,” says YouTube Southern Africa Lead, Zeph Masote.
Saving Richard Wang
The first feature is known as a ‘data reminder’ – which lets users cap how much data can be used on the app before YouTube gently nudges you to turn off the 10-hour Gandalf Sax Guy remix you’ve got on loop.
Next up is the new ‘data saving settings’. Here you’ll find a button that you can preload with data settings – to quickly adjust usage between when you’re at home on WiFi or out and about on data. One tap lets you make the switch.
‘Video preview and quality picker’ may sound like a feature that already exists, but hear us out. This is for those on a tight budget that absolutely must finish their 10-hour remixes. Once you opt-in, you’ll be shown a preview of videos, along with a popup that allows you to select the video’s quality before it plays.
All three features are live now on Android. To find it, just open YouTube, tap the profile picture on the top right and click ‘settings’. Then click ‘data saving’ and play around with the settings to your heart’s desire. Unfortunately, there’s no word as to when iOS will get these features, though we imagine it can’t be far behind.