YouTube unveils Smart Offline for India to reduce data costs

YouTube Stock Image

For those unfortunate souls who’re stuck using their mobile data to watch YouTube videos, Google India has rolled out Smart Offline. The company had already launched an offline mode for its video-sharing platform back in 2014. It is now expanding the concept to enable the YouTube app to push content offline specifically during the night when data charges are lower.

Users can take advantage of the feature by going to a YouTube video and tapping on the little gray arrow which appears on the screen. This action will pull up an option to ‘Save overnight,’ leveraging the concerned carrier’s discounted data rates at night. Once saved offline, the videos can be viewed over and over again without buffering or incurring any charges, barring the cost of the initial download.

Not all telcos provide data at a lower price after peak hours, of course. YouTube Smart Offline will be available to users through those mobile operators who do so, starting with Airtel and Telenor for now. It can additionally only be utilized over a cellular network. Those who primarily depend on Wi-Fi for video watching may not feel the need for this feature anyway.

Google’s YouTube Red service which demands a small monthly subscription also allows for offline access to videos. But it’s not available in India at present.

How to use YouTube Smart Offline:

– Firstly, you must be an Airtel or Telenor customer
– Update the YouTube app on your phone to the latest version
– Make sure you’ve switched on mobile data through Settings
– Open a YouTube video you want to save for offline viewing, hit the gray button
YouTube Offline Button
– A prompt to ‘Save overnight’ will pop up, select this option
– The video will be pushed offline after peak hours
– Wake up to buffer-free video viewing the next day!