YouTube enables offline downloads in SA

Cape Town - Google-owned internet video giant YouTube has switched on offline playback in South Africa, Kenya and Ghana for mobile users.

Users of the YouTube mobile application will be able to tap an offline icon to save videos and then watch them when they have “low or no internet connectivity”.

Videos can be watched for up to 48 hours, wrote Google product manager Matthew Darby in a blog post.

“Starting today, the majority of YouTube videos in these countries will become available for people to view offline, from movies to local comedy and unboxings,” wrote Darby.

“Making these popular videos available for offline playback will help people move past the challenges of data connection, speed and cost to enjoy a smooth, buffer-free version of their favorite content,” he wrote.

Google said it is also working on making content more affordable and accessible to its “growing base of mobile users in the region”..

“Much of the countries in Sub Saharan Africa have proven themselves to be a part of the fast growing mobile-first world in terms of smartphone adoption, but access to high-speed, affordable data remains a big challenge,” said Darby.

“In response, we’ve been working on ways to lessen the demands of speed and data for people using our products in places where there are challenges to access,” wrote Darby.

Internet video consumption is growing in countries such as South Africa, as research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) indicated that the country increased its video consumption by 42% year-on-year.

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