YouTube now has a prominent shortcut for opening songs and videos in YouTube Music. While the main YouTube app has offered this option since 2019, the integration is now more apparent and user-friendly.
YouTube began rolling the change out for Android en masse this week. When you’re listening to a song in the YouTube app, you’ll notice a YouTube Music icon directly in the window. The icon appears to the left of the autoplay toggle and stands out prominently.
Tapping the icon opens the song on YouTube Music, though notably, playback will start from the beginning rather than retaining any progress from the main YouTube app. You’ll have the option of toggling between audio-only and the music video, if available.
Despite implementing the new icon, the “Want audio only?” prompt remains below the video window, and the bottom of the overflow menu still contains a “Listen with YouTube Music” link. The new icon is the most obvious of the three, and the company may leave all links available to encourage the use of the service for all things music.
The open in YouTube Music shortcut follows a host of other tweaks YouTube has made to its music platform.
In April, the YouTube Music app introduced the “pinned explore shelf,” making it easier to discover new music if nothing grabs your attention on the home feed. The explore feature was previously available in tab form in a 2020 update, but the company experimented with its placement and confirmed it received better use in its new iteration.
“When running experiments on this feature, we learned that listeners preferred discovering new music via the new explore shelf vs. the explore tab and so we’re stoked to finally roll this out to more of you!” the company stated.
The explore section of the home feed links to new releases, charts, moods, and genres. It’s unclear how many people see regular use of the explore feature. Still, given its similarity to features that exist within its competitors, YouTube Music’s inclusion of them is no surprise.
To that end, no modification is too minor when it comes to YouTube. The company even went so far as to tweak the size of the app’s buttons, making them slightly taller to aid in easier tapping.