After six years and 500 million downloads, the The YouTube team announced that it will discontinue its YouTube Go app in August.
The reason for the discontinuation is that YouTube no longer considers the app necessary. YouTube Go was originally created as a stripped down version basic YouTube app designed specifically for places with poor data infrastructure or expensive connectivity.
Users were able to upload videos if they had a bad connection, preview them before watching and change the MB usage to control the video quality. What you couldn’t do was comment or create videos on YouTube Go.
Countries like India had access to YouTube Go, unlike countries with a more established internet, like the United States. But with advances in phone performance and growth in infrastructure, YouTube Go was found to be unnecessary.
In return, the YouTube team recommends YouTube Go users to install the main app or visit the website through a mobile web browser to continue using their service.
Android Go still lives
The shutdown of YouTube Go could be the first domino in a cascading effect on the various types of hardware and apps under the Go umbrella.
For starters, the Android Go series of smartphones may be in jeopardy. These low power and data consuming phones were created as cheap alternatives to other Android phones.
Granted, Google recently announced a Go edition for its Android 12 mobile operating system. Compared to its eleventh iteration, Android 12 (Go edition) launches up to 30% faster and automatically hibernates apps to extend the life of a phone’s battery.
So there is still a chance for the hardware side of the Go series, but the software may be another story.
Google has several other Go versions of their well-known apps, like Gmail Go and Maps Go. Some of them boast a huge number of downloads rivaling YouTube Go and still see frequent updates.
YouTube Go was last updated in October 2021 while apps like Google Assistant Go saw an update on May 2, 2022, for example. But less popular apps like Gallery Go were last updated in November 2021.
Google hasn’t commented on the status of the other Go apps, but their future is now a little less certain.