despite a tweet now deleted YouTube’s support account apparently stated otherwise, YouTube Premium subscribers can no longer sign up to test YouTube’s picture-in-picture feature on iOS. Picture-in-Picture has disappeared from YouTube’s list of available experimental features, where it was previously listed with an April 8 expiration date. 9to5Google reports that some users are seeing a “feature you are trying to disable” banner saying that the test has ended. Both 9to5Google and I more add that the feature will still work on accounts that have previously signed up for the test.
The tweet was posted in response to a user asking about an earlier test of the feature, which was available to YouTube Premium subscribers. Last month, the search giant brought picture-in-picture support to its YouTube TV service on iOS, and according to Google spokesperson Allison Toh, the tweet referred to YouTube TV — not the main YouTube app. The @TeamYouTube support account tweeted again with the corrected data:
Do you use an iOS smartphone? If so, the Picture-in-Picture feature is still rolling out and will be available on all iOS 15+ devices in a few days. Tweet back @ us if needed.
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) Apr 10, 2022
To clarify, what is currently rolling out is the YouTube TV Picture-in-Picture for iOS 15+ devices. If you refer to the one for the YouTube app, it is only available to Premium members on Android mobile phones. https://t.co/wB9vUWtm3U
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) Apr 11, 2022
Picture-in-picture support is available for video services, generally at the system level for both iPhones and iPads, but YouTube’s support for the feature was spotty, requiring workarounds such as viewing via a browser instead of via its own app. But YouTube’s Premium test made the feature much smoother and allowed viewers to continue watching after exiting the main YouTube app.
YouTube’s test of picture-in-picture support for premium users was always meant to be limited. The beta period, which was first announced in June of last year, was originally supposed to end on October 31, but was then extended. But while the test was only for premium users, last month YouTube reiterated its hopes to roll out the feature “in the coming months” to all iOS users in the US, including non-premium users.
Update April 11, 8:12 AM ET: Updated with YouTube’s confirmation that Picture-in-Picture will launch “within days”. Also updated headline.
Correction April 11, 3:05 PM ET: The updated version of the story just mentioned quoted a tweet from YouTube support indicating that picture-in-picture support will be available in a few days. Google has clarified that the tweet from the account was a reference to the previously announced YouTube TV rollout of Picture-in-Picture on iOS. A rollout to all US users on iOS is still planned for “in the coming months”.