Think that YouTube video you’re watching could be viral material? A new YouTube live viewer count could give viewers a glimpse at just how hot that video is. YouTube is now testing a feature that shows the number of viewers watching the video at a particular time, according to Android Police.
As a feature that’s only in testing phases, the live viewer counter is only showing up for a select number of users. The feature is being tested inside the mobile app as a counter that pops up under the video title, and is displayed as “# watching now.” The feature gives viewers an idea of how popular a video is by showing the number of other viewers tuning in at the same time.
Only Android users so far have spotted the feature. The live viewer count isn’t entirely new — YouTube displays the stats on live videos — but this is the first time the data is showing up for pre-recorded uploads.
The feature joins data like the view count, likes, and dislikes to offer insight into just how popular a particular video is at any given time. Besides giving viewers a new way to gauge the popularity of the video, the data could help creators determine when a majority of their users are most active to help plan a live-stream or new uploads. YouTube hasn’t confirmed if the feature will be seeing a wider rollout, or whether the option will also migrate over to iOS users as well.
Earlier this year, YouTube announced that viewers were watching more than a billion hours of content every day. That statistic was compiled YouTube started counting not only views but how long each viewer watched for. The live view count takes those YouTube stats further, offering an idea of not only the number of views but when people are tuning in.
The viewer count test was spotted after YouTube launched a way to share videos in-app without leaving the mobile platform to share a link via text or social media. The in-app messaging launched earlier this month for app users.
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