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Native YouTube video playback arrives on Twitter for iOS in new test

A new YouTube experiment brings native video playback directly to your Twitter feed without needing to go to a web browser or the dedicated app.

The experiment popped up on the tracker for YouTube test features and experiments and has since been announced officially by Twitter. But the iOS limitation is a strange one, but something that we’ve sort of become accustomed to with certain pre-beta UI and feature options such as this.

At the moment, when sharing a YouTube video on Twitter, it will launch a mini browser window directed at the YouTube mobile site. This experiment will see YouTube videos playing back natively within your feed in the exact same way that videos uploaded directly to Twitter will appear. A small notation will identify a YouTube video, but the rest of the experience will remain the same.

[March 18, 2021] Testing a new way to enjoy YouTube on Twitter: Twitter is testing a new way for you to watch YouTube videos on Twitter. If you are in the experiment, you’ll be able to watch YouTube videos directly in your Twitter feed. This experiment is available to a small group of people in the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Japan using the Twitter app on iOS for a limited period of time while we gather feedback. 

It’s likely that this will see an uptick in engagement with YouTube videos shared directly to Twitter, but it’s unclear what will constitute a “view” with this new method. A side effect is that this will tidy up the current sharing process, which can show in a number of ways — either as a link or rich snippet.

Unfortunately, this test is limited to a small group of users in the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Japan but only using the Twitter app for iOS. It’s a real shame that Android users are being treated as second-class citizens, but this collaboration could be a massive deal for both YouTube and Twitter — especially as a way to surface more long-form content on the social network.

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Avatar for Damien Wilde Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: