YouTube is testing out two new features that might just make their way to the mobile app soon. First off, YouTube has been spotted implementing ‘Stories’ in a similar way as first seen on Snapchat, which was followed by clones on Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. As per the leak, Stories will be shown on top of the user’s feed. Another feature that YouTube has been spotted testing is the ability of using gesture controls to switch between videos on its mobile app. Notably, both these features are being tested with a randomly select set of users and this kind of A/B testing does not guarantee a release in the future.
At this moment, only a few users out of the testing group can actually post content on Stories, reports Italian blog Android World. The report goes on to claim that the Stories bar is visible on the homepage of the YouTube app as well as on other tabs. An account with a new story is shown with a red ring around the profile picture. The Stories tab on YouTube will reportedly also sport a Subscribe call-to-action button, and users will not be able to reply to the story. However, these features can only be verified once the feature rolls out widely.
Back in November last year, YouTube had unveiled Reels, a Stories-like feature that enables creators on the platform to upload previews for future updates. It allows creators to develop multiple stories that will last forever. Reels are said to be available only for creators with a subscriber count of more than 10,000. As with Reels, the new Stories format only shows stories from creators the users follow, rather than other users.
Apart from that, YouTube has also been spotted testing gesture-based swiping functionality to switch between videos on the platform. This development comes courtesy Google+ user Joe Kelly who seems to have been given access to it. The feature will involve easier switching between related videos by dragging to the left or right of the video that is playing on the screen. Other than this additional functionality, all the other actions on the YouTube app are expect to remain constant.
Last month, a blog post from YouTube CEO Susan Wozcicki had detailed five key priorities for the company that include transparency and better communication. Furthermore, she had also stated that YouTube would make an effort to inform users whenever a new feature is being tested. This seems to not be the case with the recent developments, however we could expect updates from the YouTube team in the coming days.