YouTube Boosts Gesture, Navigation Controls


YouTube unveiled a handful of updates to its app to simplify video streaming, seeking to fend off increasing competition in the online content market.

In a blog, YouTube product manager Reid Watson said users will be able to use gestures to navigate the service, with upward swipes switching videos to full screen and down exiting.

Other features are designed to make captions more visible by adding a more prominent setting on the player, simplifying turning autoplay on or off, and a list view of “chapters” for skipping to specific parts of a video.

YouTube said it was also starting to roll out prompts such as suggesting users rotate their phone or use a VR headset “when we think you can have a better experience”.

The move comes in times of high competition in the world of online video streaming from direct rivals including Netflix, along with recent uptake of TikTok, which offers short-form content.

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