Users have long been able to use third party applications to grab content from YouTube but the site is now embracing the idea itself.
Spotted by the eagle eyed fellas at lessing.org, YouTube has very quietly begun adding a 'Click to download' button to a selection of its videos. Initially this seems to be largely political content but it is reported the feature will be quickly rolled out across the site.
Of course Google Video always provided this feature and following its recent decision to cull user uploads I suspect this is tightly related compensation. Given YouTube's vastly larger user base and notorious problems with copyright content however, it will be interesting to see if the site will introduce any form of download delay to enabling screening and stave off blatant piracy. That said, we'll leave it to work out the kinks...
In all then, YouTube has had a wonderfully productive few months with native widescreen content fast followed by High Definition videos and full length films and I fully expect even greater evolution over the rest of the year.
Now if only Google can somehow monetise the service its $1.65 billion purchase really will look like a bargain. Online store anyone?