As it stands, it’s a little difficult to watch a YouTube video with friends if you aren’t all in the same room. Uptime, an app from Google incubator Area 120, looks to solve this exact problem, but before today, there’s a solid chance you’d never heard of it. What was once an app that was an invite-only affair has now opened up to the general public, giving you the chance to watch YouTube videos alongside your friends.
For the uninitiated, Uptime centers around one core concept: watching YouTube videos in real time with your friends. Social features are baked into most aspects of the Uptime app, from video discovery to sharing. If you missed a particular co-watching session, you can even check it out later to see the video itself along with the all reaction from your friends.
Once you and your friends are watching a video together, you can react in a few different ways. Uptime offers a set of emoji that allow you to insert a quick reaction, though you can also type out a comment if you’re looking to post something a little more significant. It’s a fairly simple concept that we’ve seen played out in a few different apps, but the main difference here is that Uptime comes from a Google-backed incubator.
Even though Uptime has dropped the invite requirement, it isn’t open to everyone just yet. For the time being, Uptime is only available on iOS, with no real information on a potential Android release. Figuring out if it will ever come to Android is a little bit difficult, mainly because Google doesn’t generally share many official details on Area 120 releases.
Still, even though it’s only available to a segment of smartphone users, it’s always possible that we’ll see Google borrow this functionality for its own YouTube app eventually. With a few different apps attempting to make YouTube co-viewing a thing, it’s fairly clear that consumers want those features. For now, though, only iOS users are the lucky ones in that they’ll be able to put Uptime [download] through its paces.