All along, when someone sends you a link to certain YouTube video via WhatsApp, clicking the link means you will be taken away to open the link in the YouTube app or site.
This is a little inconvenience that you could do without. Platforms such as Flipboard, G-reader, Gmail desktop, and even blog sites don’t make you go to YouTube website or app just to view a video. They open the video as an embedment right there on the platform.
Now, the reason why I call it an inconvenience is because some of us avoid going to YouTube until we get plenty of time in our hands. That is because, once you view a particular video to the end, YouTube now starts seducing you with those ‘recommended videos’ on the side. One thing leads to another, and you find yourself wasting too much time on YouTube, though you only intended to watch just one video in the link you were sent.
These temptations to some extent are not there when you view the YouTube video as an embedment on the platform you were in the first place. Admittedly, when it comes to this front, WhatsApp is playing catch up to other platforms, but it has just outed this feature today on the iOS beta channel.
This new feature leverages on the picture-in-picture feature in iOS. That is to say, a small window floating on top of your conversation and showing the YouTube video. You can zoom in and resize the video Window by pinching accordingly or even view the video in full screen.
Unless you play the video in full screen, you will be able to continue chatting as the video playback continues. However, if you leave that particular conversation (the one with the YouTube link), the YouTube video will stop playing. Just like audio files stop playing when you exit the conversation and join a different conversation.
This feature is currently in beta stage on iOS platform, but that does not mean Android users will not get it when it rolls out into the stable channel. If anything the two platforms will get it at the same time or one shortly after the other one, if the company’s tradition is to go by.