YouTube Go was announced in 2016 and it made its way to Nepal in 2017. So, YouTube Go in Nepal was working for a long time. The main goal of YouTube Go was to provide videos in small size which makes it easy for mobile data users. This was good for people with 3G and slow 4G connections. However, now there is 5G, faster WiFi, faster FTTH service, and better 4G coverage. Even some companies are removing 3G support in a few countries. On top of that main YouTube app has been also improved to support slower speeds. So the company has removed redundancy and closed YouTube Go.
2016 was a different time because the smartphone revolution had just started in countries like Nepal, India, and other Asian countries. People were using 3G and slower data services. The broadband speed was also less. Only a few places had 4G reception and very few people used to carry 4G smartphones. Therefore mobile data speed was very important. Thus the company introduced YouTube offline for some markets. This helped users to download videos and watch them later. It allowed people to download videos using a faster connection when available and watch videos without buffering at a later time.
Launch of YouTube Go
In order to tackle the issue of slower mobile data and expensive costs, YouTube Go was born. This was a light app that allowed people living in places with slower internet and expensive mobile data to enjoy videos of a small size. In the YouTube Go app, users could choose a very small size of a video to download or play. This was very good for us people in Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and other developing countries. By 2018, the app actually reached 130 countries due to its advantages.
In 2017, YouTube Go launched in Nepal. It was not readily available in Play Store at first. However, the app became available after some time. At first, users could download the .apk file from elsewhere on the web and install it or sideload it. We also downloaded the file from APKMirror’s website. The app required phone number verification but that was an easy process. After installing, the use was rather simple. The interface was similar to the main YouTube application.
In the YouTube Go app, people could just search for videos and select small sizes of videos before playing or downloading. This was beneficial for slow mobile data users. Mainly it helped people who didn’t have a good fixed broadband internet connection. One of the best features of YouTube Go was sending and receiving option for downloaded videos but most videos had restrictions on transferring. Even though there was transferring, it was for encrypted downloaded file and not open format like mp4.
Experience of App, Usage, and Restrictions
This app was very simple and it was specially meant for saving data. Therefore the app provided lower video quality. There was no higher quality option such as HD or Full HD. Only two options were available, which included Basic and Standard quality. The basic quality was a very low bit rate but the size used to be 8-10 times smaller. This is what matters to people in developing nations. Content is all that matter so if the quality is not an issue, you can sure save a lot of data. It is because instead of visual quality, getting information and knowledge is important.
So YouTube Go app was definitely a compromise in quality. There was a trade-off in quality for size or quantity. However, users were okay with that, and if they were a person living in a country with expensive mobile data then this was the app to use.
YouTube Go Shutdown: End of Journey
This article was actually published on April 13th of 2017, and we have updated it for 2022. This is because of new developments and that is the shutdown of YouTube Go. In a community post on YouTube, the company announced the shutdown of the Go app. The first thing is that the main YouTube app has improved a lot and there are many features. Offline video is there, data optimization, quality optimization, and dark mode are all there. Then there is the development of speed. Many developing countries like Nepal and India already have 4G connections, faster FTTH at home, and even 5G on the horizon. People even have 5G smartphones before the launch of the 5G network.
So it is understandable that the use of YouTube Go has been accomplished. Now people have better speeds, internet connection, and facilities. So people don’t need data saver apps. These days people want quality, high resolution for a big phone screen, HDR, and higher FPS for their videos. Therefore demand has shifted and the work of Go is done in YouTube.