YouTube is giving Premium subscribers exclusive access to test in-development features.
Like most social media sites, YouTube frequently runs experiments to see how users respond to everything from minor tweaks to major overhauls. These experiments are usually rolled out unannounced to small groups of users in specific geographical regions or on certain devices. But now, YouTube is telling Premium subscribers—who pay $11.99 per month for perks like ad-free viewing—exactly what it’s testing and how they can try features for themselves.
There are currently three tests up for participation. Perhaps most interesting among them is an “early experimental” feature that lets users watch whole videos with sound directly on YouTube’s Home page. The experiment is only open to iOS users, and is available through Oct. 20, YouTube said on a landing page about the tests.
The other two tests are: the addition of voice search (a feature already available on YouTube’s mobile apps) to Google’s web browser Chrome; and the expansion of YouTube’s recently added Home page topic filters to include Spanish, French, and Portuguese options. (The general user base only has access to English-language filters.) Those tests will conclude on Oct. 20 and Oct. 27, respectively.
Per TechCrunch, Premium subscribers can opt in and out of each test individually whenever they want, but can only try one feature at a time.
YouTube describes the access-to-experiments perk as “limited time,” but that only refers to the tests themselves, which have short-term participation windows, the platform tells Tubefilter. It intends to offer more exclusive experiments on a rolling basis, it adds. Premium subscribers can check the landing page to see what’s on offer.