13 May 2022
YouTube has confirmed its decision to shut down the YouTube Go application in August this year. It is a stripped-down version of the main YouTube app and is meant for low-power devices. It is also aimed at markets where internet connectivity is not that stable. It is now deemed to be unnecessary and as a result, it will be bidding farewell in the next three months.
YouTube Go debuted in 2016 and spent a lot of time in the beta testing phase. Its first stable version was released in 2017 with a focus on emerging markets like Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, and Kenya. It is a lightweight app as it misses out on many of the YouTube main app features. This also makes it faster to download and easier to run for entry-level devices.
The main purpose of the app was to let users enjoy their favorite YouTube creators and their videos without worrying about buffering issues. There was support for downloads so that videos could be watched offline. This feature is now available as part of the main YouTube app but it debuted with the Go version.
YouTube is now suggesting Go users switch to the main app. It says, "The main YouTube app provides a better overall user experience as well as offers features that aren’t available on YouTube Go that many have asked for - such as the ability to comment, post, create content, and use a dark theme."
It further says that various improvements have been made in all these years which allow the main app to perform a lot better on low-end devices and unreliable internet situations. This certainly seems like a sensible move as modern Android smartphones (including budget ones) are a lot more capable than what we used to get in 2016.