YouTube is currently testing a new feature that allows Premium users to lock their screens and prevent accidental disruptions while watching videos. The company announced this experiment on its YouTube Experiments page.
The "Lock Screen" feature disables touch input, providing users with a seamless full-screen video experience without the worry of accidentally pausing, skipping, or selecting suggested videos. Users who have access to the test can enable the feature by tapping on the gear icon located in the top left corner of the screen.
According to Cord Cutters News, which first spotted the lock feature, it is currently only available to select Premium subscribers on Android and iOS devices. YouTube is giving users until July 30 to try out this feature. Users can visit the YouTube homepage to check if they have received an invitation to participate.
This new experiment by YouTube resembles a feature introduced by Netflix in 2020. Netflix's mobile app introduced a screen lock feature that allows subscribers to tap a lock icon at the bottom of the screen, disabling buttons like play and pause from appearing. This helps prevent accidental interruptions, such as stopping playback or enabling subtitles by mistake.
YouTube is also conducting several other tests at the moment. One of them involves warning users who use ad blockers that the video player will be blocked after three videos unless the ad blocker is disabled. Additionally, the company is reportedly considering an online game offering that would allow users to play games directly through the YouTube website or app.
By introducing the lock screen feature, YouTube aims to enhance the viewing experience for its Premium users by providing them with greater control and minimizing accidental disruptions. This experiment showcases YouTube's ongoing efforts to improve user satisfaction and explore innovative features that cater to their needs.