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YouTube puts standard feature behind Premium paywall

YouTube is adding the SharePlay watch party feature to its iOS app, but will charge users for the privilege.

The company has announced a host of new features for its £11.99 a month subscription platform, which offers ad-free viewing and offline downloads.

The headliner is the addition of SharePlay, which leverages Apple’s FaceTime video calling platform to enable friends to enjoy media content together.

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A number of popular apps, including Twitch, Spotify, TikTok, offer SharePlay functionality as standard. With YouTube you’re going to have to pay for it. A version of the feature is also available for Android users via Google Meet.

Elsewhere, YouTube Premium subscribers on iOS (and soon the web) are gaining the ability to enjoy 1080p videos at an “enhanced bit rate” which the company says will ensure videos are “extra crisp and clear.”

In the blog post, YouTube says: “While all users will still have access to 1080p, this enhanced 1080p quality setting will look extra crisp and clear, especially for videos with lots of detail and motion. Whether you’re an avid sports fan or locked in on the latest gaming videos, this new feature will bring an even deeper visual quality to our members!”

YouTube is also adding the ability to continue watching videos from the place they left off on another device. The feature is rolling out for Premium subscribers on Android, iOS and the web.

YouTube continue watching

Meanwhile, YouTube Premium is also integrating the Smart Downloads feature, which will automatically add recommended videos to your offline cache when you’re on Wi-Fi. That way you won’t need to use data when you’re out and about and want to watch your faves.

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