Whether it is a bug or new functionality, you cannot watch a video in picture-in-picture mode until you subscribe to the YouTube Premium

iOS 14 comes with the picture-in-picture mode feature, which proved to be a breath of fresh air for many YouTube users. Millions of people watch YouTube videos all over the globe, however, it did not allow the users to watch videos in the picture-in-picture mode until now. This mode allows the users to continue watching a video in a smaller window while chatting or opening other windows too simultaneously. Apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. provide this functionality for all the users. It gives them a free hand that they can watch a video while doing something else on their phone too.

Now, iOS 14 brought this feature and made it available for YouTube videos, however, recently, it has been noticed by MacRumors that now it is suddenly not so easily possible. It seems that YouTube has done something to stop videos from playing if the picture-in-picture mode is activated for a free user. However, if you are a subscriber of YouTube Premium, you can continue enjoying the feature!

If you open a video on YouTube’s site in the Safari browser on your iPhone, you can try and see it for yourself. If you open your YouTube video in full-screen, when you tap on the playback controls, you will be able to see the picture-in-picture icon on the top-left corner of your screen. When you click on it, the video will go into the PIP mode for a second or so, and then it will return to its original spot on YouTube’s website. If you try to open another window or go to your home-screen while your YouTube video is running in full-screen, you will notice that the video will go into the PIP mode for a brief moment and then the PIP mode will disappear and your video might actually stop playing too.

However, if a YouTube video is embedded on another website, there you can watch it in the picture-in-picture mode, and then it does not matter whether you are a free user or a Premium subscriber. It also works in Safari if you are using an iPad.

MacRumors noticed that this has started happening just very recently, and there has been no notification or announcement about it from YouTube or Google. So, it is not clear whether it is a bug that is creating this issue or it is some new functionality that YouTube has brought to its platform without announcing about it or telling the users beforehand. Maybe, YouTube is scared that this might stir negative sentiment amongst its millions of users, and they may stop using the app altogether.

Read next: YouTube is sacking some of the play-list related features soon including the ‘remove duplicates’ button, video notes, and auto-add options

Featured Photo: Martin Bureau / AFP / Getty Images
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