YouTube Premium gets five new features

The free version of YouTube works perfectly fine (despite the current ad blocker disaster), but if you use it a lot, the premium subscription is actually a pretty good deal. Not only can you skip most ads, download videos for offline playback, and access YouTube Music Premium, you also have the chance to try out new features before other YouTubers.

YouTube today added five new features for YouTube Premium subscribers — two of which are rolling out widely now, and three more are experimental features you can enable if you’d like. Here’s what’s new.

Jump forward

After a round of testing, YouTube is moving forward with its Jump Ahead program. The new feature uses artificial intelligence to analyze the “best” parts of a video, based on where most users browse while watching. When you double-click on the player window to skip ahead 10 seconds, you’ll now have the option to “jump ahead” to that “best” spot.

YouTube says this feature will roll out first on YouTube for Android, but will be available on the iOS app for Premium subscribers soon.

Picture-in-picture for short videos on YouTube

Picture-in-picture is a convenient way to watch videos on platforms like YouTube while switching to other apps. Now, Premium subscribers on Android will be able to use PIP for TikTok-esque YouTube Shorts as well. I think this feature will come in handy for Shorts videos that aren’t also Short, but I can’t really see a strong use case for keeping 15-30 second videos in picture-in-picture mode while doing things in other apps.

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Smart Downloads for Short Videos (Beta)

If you choose to opt in to this beta feature, YouTube will automatically download new short videos to your smartphone so you can watch them with or without an internet connection. The company didn’t specify this, but I expect these short clips will also work in PIP mode.

Conversational AI (beta)

YouTube also announced that it is bringing its conversational AI system back to Android devices. When available, YouTube AI will appear below videos via the “Ask” button. You can ask the bot questions and request content similar to the videos you’re watching, even while the video is playing. I doubt this will be a game-changing AI by any means, but it’s an interesting experiment nonetheless.

New user interface for the viewing page (beta)

The only change made to the YouTube web app for premium subscribers is a new beta watch page. YouTube didn’t share much about it, but it said the new watch page will make it easier to find new videos and interact with comments.

How to sign up for YouTube beta features

If you want to try out these three new experimental features, as well as any other experimental features YouTube is currently testing, head over to New YouTube page And approval.

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