YouTube is starting to test its queuing system on iOS and Android. The feature has been available on the web for years and appears in the YouTube apps under certain circumstances: Users controlling their Chromecast with their phone could recognize itjust like those using the YouTube Music apps – but now YouTube Premium users who sign up for the test can add videos to a stack that acts as a temporary playlist.
Once you’ve enabled the feature (which we’ll cover in a second), you’ll have access to a new “Play last in queue” button in the three vertical-dot menu that appears on video thumbnails. Tapping it will add the video to the bottom of your queue – or create a new queue if you’re not currently watching any video. Once the video you are watching ends, the app will start playing the next video in the queue and continue until you run out of video. You can also rearrange or delete queued videos. Closing the player, either by closing the app completely or tapping the “x” button in the bottom bar, will delete your queue (although the app may warn you before that happens).
When I opened the app on Dec. 24, I was greeted with a screen telling me the feature was now available for testing, and a button to enable it. (YouTube started rolling out the feature earlier this month according to android police and 9to5Googlebut the popup didn’t show up for me until today.) If you didn’t get that screen and you’re a Premium subscriber, you can enable it manually by tapping your profile picture in the top right corner, go to Settings > Try New Features, then scroll to “Queue” and tap the “Try” button.
According to that settings screen, the test will be available until January 28.
The test isn’t necessarily a sign that non-paying users will soon be able to queue up videos — YouTube’s picture-in-picture test for iOS ended months before the feature began rolling out. I also noticed that the feature isn’t exactly polished at the moment – the app failed to add video to the queue at one point, seemingly because I tried to add another one too soon after. Still, I’m excited to have this feature on my phone; it’s something I use on desktop almost every day, and the fact that it made it to the YouTube Premium test bench makes me hope that one day I’ll be able to rely on it in the app too.
Update Dec 24 5:56 PM ET: Added context that the YouTube Music app already has a queue system.