WhatsApp has been steadily expanding the functionality of its app to do a lot more than what it was initially meant for. It recently added Stories, its biggest update in years and also added support for gifs and video playback inside the app itself. In a bid to keep more users within the app, WhatsApp is now testing a feature that would allow YouTube videos to play within the app itself.
It would certainly be a great addition from a user-experience point of view. I can barely remember the number of videos I’ve left unplayed just to avoid opening a separate app for that purpose (some of us still have older phones). The feature has been spotted being tested on iOS devices and is expected to roll out to those first, with iPhone 6 and above supported. There’s no word as of now for an Android version although its hard to imagine Android not seeing this some time in the future. Unless of course, Android’s parent company Google sees this as some sort of violation (taking visits away from YouTube) and discourages this from happening on its devices.
The video will play in a separate pop-up window while also allowing viewers to zoom in, switch to full screen and hide the video altogether. It stops playing when the users switches to a different chat application. There’s also no word on when exactly this feature will roll out; expect it out for the aforementioned iOS devices shortly.