Earlier this year, I had the chance to travel to India to see how people there were enjoying YouTube up close. While in Nagpur, I met a young man who loved using YouTube to watch WWE wrestling and wanted to show us his favorite video. But after he found it and tapped to play, the video just wouldn’t load. Maybe it was his phone or his 2G connection, but it just wouldn’t work.
Unfortunately, this story isn’t an exception for our Indian viewers. They love YouTube and its amazing selection of Bollywood hits, comedy vlogs, cricket matches and—yes—even wrestling. But even as they discover the joys of YouTube, their experience is not great on slower connections and less powerful mobile phones.
We’ve always believed that connectivity should not be a barrier to watching YouTube. In 2014 we launched YouTube Offline so you could watch videos without suffering from buffering. A few months ago we rolled out Smart Offline, a feature that allows you to schedule videos to be saved offline later at off-peak times, when there’s more bandwidth so data is faster and cheaper. But we realized that for the next generation of YouTube users to fully discover all that YouTube has to offer, we had to reimagine the YouTube mobile app from the ground up.
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