YouTube Now Lets You Play Games Directly in the Mobile App

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Key Takeaways

  • YouTube now offers games directly in the mobile app.
  • the selection mostly includes classics like chess and older mobile games like Cut the Rope.
  • This is an expansion of an experiment YouTube launched months earlier.

YouTube has made Playables available to many people in the US, UK, Australia, and Canada, bringing games directly to its mobile app.

The company’s Android and iOS apps now offer more than 75 games you can play instantly. The selection includes classic games like billiards and chess as well as some recognizable older mobile games, including Angry Birds Showdown and Cut the Rope.

You can still save your game progress, and keep track of your best scores.

The rollout should take a few months, YouTube added. When the games are available, you’ll find them in the YouTube app’s Home section as well as the Explore section. You can save games so that they appear in the You tab. You’ll need YouTube Premium to keep videos running in the background while you play.

YouTube launched Playables as a public “experiment” in November of last year following a closed test that began in September. It was billed as an “interactive way to experience YouTube.”

The addition is similar to Netflix’s inclusion of games, and carries a somewhat similar rationale. In theory, you’re more likely to stay on the site if there’s a casual game you want to play. YouTube won’t make direct money from the games, but might get extra ad revenue and prompt Premium subscriptions.

It’s not clear how much uptake YouTube has had so far with its games initiative. The expansion suggests it’s relatively popular, though. It also shows how Google’s play-immediately technology, such as Google Play Instant for Android, can be useful on different platforms.