Do you watch a lot of YouTube? If you have a lot of subscriptions or find yourself going down a rabbit hole on a regular basis, you may be spending more time on the service than you really should. YouTube will now make it possible for you to limit yourself and take breaks from streaming videos through their service.
YouTube is now introducing their feature that will encourage watchers to “take a break,” says Android Authority. The newly updated version of YouTube is adding settings that let users customize how long they watch. In the “General” section of the YouTube app’s settings, users who have updated the app will find an option called “Remind me to take a break.” Using this setting will prompt YouTube to send out reminders after a certain length of time. These reminders can be dismissed and won’t actually lock watchers out of the app. But they will let people get an idea of how long they’ve been watching and then choose to pause for a while.
With this setting, users can decide how long they can watch before being prompted to stop streaming. There are six options to choose from, including “Never” as the shortest time and “”Every 180 minutes” as the longer time. There are also more moderate options like “Every 60 minutes.” If you’re really wanting to cut back on your watching, you can even pick “Every 15 minutes,” though I don’t know many people who can really stop themselves after just 15 minutes.
There are plenty of really great videos and channels on YouTube, and of course it’s not necessary to stop watching altogether. But some people can find it hard to stop bingeing videos, which means it can be really helpful to get some reminders to stop wasting so much time. Since they’re just reminders and they don’t actually lock the app, the main concern is that YouTube binge watchers will simply get in the habit of dismissing the notification periodically. But there are other apps that can do this if necessary, and YouTube’s approach will be a much gentler one for those who just need a little bit of a push.
The update is being rolled out now, according to Android Authority. Look for this new feature in your app’s settings after you’ve updated.
Chrome has been making changes to how ads are displayed in the browser for some time now. In the most recent update of Google’s browser, some autoplay videos will now be blocked, while others will be allowed automatically.
In a blog post, Google outlines how the new autoplay video update works. Now Chrome will learn your preferences when it comes to videos that autoplay with sound. Using your browsing history, Chrome will start enabling or disabling autoplay videos with sound. If you typically choose to play videos on certain websites, Chrome will allow autoplay videos to run with sound. If you typically don’t watch the videos on a site, Chrome will start disabling their autoplay videos with sound.
Even if you don’t have a browsing history, the blog post says, certain sites will have their autoplay videos enabled or disabled as you start building your history. Whichever sites have the most people clicking to play videos with sound will automatically be enabled for you until the browser learns that you don’t want videos played on those sites.
This update comes after Google has already implemented many other ways to avoid certain ads and mute sites that autoplay ads with sound. In February, Chrome’s ad blocking system went live. Their ad blocking is meant to start automatically blocking certain ads that don’t meet their standards. And in January, Chrome introduced a way to permanently mute sites instead of just temporarily muting them while the tab was open.
All of these changes mean Chrome should soon become the browser to use if you specifically want to avoid annoying ads and autoplay videos (especially if you don’t want to deal with browser add-ons). In their blog post, Google notes that their new autoplay video blocking system will block “about half” of the autoplay videos that users want to avoid. Though not a full block of autoplay videos, it should cut down significantly on the annoyance of sound suddenly blasting from your device.
Instagram is adding the option to request to join a livestream! Not long ago, Instagram added the ability to invite friends to join your livestream. About a month ago, users across Instagram found they could “go live with a friend” by inviting a friend into their live video. This would create a split screen live video with both users live at the same time.
Being able to include friends in livestreams is useful in many ways. It can be simply a fun way for friends to join up, chat, and have fun. It could also be used for more professional accounts to put out content with guests—for example, Instagram users could livestream interviews of other users.
Before, Instagram users had to invite their friends to join in. Now users can also add the option for friends to request to join. If you have the option enabled, a friend can let you know they want to join in on your video. All the user has to do is click a button that says “Request” underneath the video’s comments. If the user accepts a request for someone else to join, the person joining in will get an alert that their request has been accepted. The screen will then split in two—if you’re in portrait mode, the streams will sit on top of one another, while if you’re in landscape mode, the streams will be side-by-side. Right now, it’s only possible for two users to be in a live video at one time.
No worries, though—only mutual friends get access to this new feature. You won’t have random strangers asking to join in on your livestream. Also, if you’re worried you’ll get too many requests (particularly if you’re Instafamous and follow a ton of people back), you can always just turn off the feature. Instagram made a smart decision when they chose to allow users to disable the requesting feature—it would surely become annoying quickly if a user was creating a livestream and was flooded with requests from friends.
With this new update, Instagram is making their platform even more appealing to livestreamers and vloggers. With Facebook upping its game regularly, most recently with the addition of Facebook Creator, and with Instagram’s new developments, it’s clear that social media platforms are particularly focused on improving livestreaming and video publishing. Check out Instagram’s newest feature and see what you think!