Like Google Chrome, YouTube will now have an incognito mode. It will work similarly but for different reasons and is part of a new update rolling out as we speak in many places for many users. The new mode is being added into the YouTube mobile app on Android first, but will reach iOS and other devices soon.
YouTube doesn’t receive feature updates quite as often as Google’s other apps and services. Google has been rolling out updates for apps left and right and YouTube is next up at the plate. The purpose of Incognito mode is to prevent friends or your children from having an impact on your content suggestions. You see, videos are recommended to users based on consumption and watching something out of the ordinary will throw all algorithms off. Videos watched while in this mode won’t impact your content suggestions, thereby keeping them honest to you and nobody else. With Google taking this seriously with the purpose of better curating to users and generating more profit off ad revenue, it makes a lot of sense and I’m surprised this wasn’t implemented earlier and in other apps.
The mode can be entered from one’s profile by tapping ‘Turn on Incognito’. You’ll know once you’re in because of a pop-up notice and design changes which match Chrome’s incognito mode. While in the mode, users won’t be able to access playlists or any information saved to their Google account. Exiting the mode is as easy as leaving the window. Your history is not recorded on-device, though it does go through your router or service provider. Users can benefit from the mode when browsing private, without distractions or anything of that nature. It’s a nice touch I could see being useful in many cases where I’d hand my phone off to someone else who I don’t exactly trust to see my information nor look up something and have it displayed in my feed. It’ll definitely give some peace of mind when others use my phone.
While not perfect, this is an improvement many will appreciate and we’re glad it’s here. There’s always the chance the mode becomes more feature capable and seamless with updates over time. The feature is rolling out as an app update. If you don’t have it just yet, sit tight and it should arrive any day. Download YouTube at the link in brackets below or update your existing app from the Play Store. Let us know in the comments if you see the change, and if so, your own thoughts.