YouTube Premium subscribers enjoy certain features as part of their membership. Some of them I cannot live without, such as an ad-free experience and background play, and some that are not that well-known and taken advantage of, such as an included membership to YouTube Music Premium.
While the reasons cited above are the ones most YouTube users would consider when upgrading, there is also one minor perk: The opportunity to participate and access experimental features. These features are usually time-limited and used by Google to measure how we users interact with them. Sometimes these end up being rolled out to the masses, while sometimes, they are not successful enough and end up on the chopping block.
The latest experiment available to YouTube Premium customers is called “Pinch to Zoom” on smartphones, but it’s not what you think. Previously, pinch to zoom meant that you could expand a video to fill the screen. This became apparent if the original video was in a resolution that left black bars on the left or right of the player.
This new feature, however, will allow you to zoom in further and pan around the video using your finger. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be available on the web player or the YouTube Android app you can install on Chromebooks. Additionally, the experiment will only be available through September 1st, when Google will need to decide if they’ll keep it or not.
If you are a YouTube Premium subscriber and want to give this feature a try, select “Your Premium benefits” from your YouTube settings, then “Try new features.” While using it, don’t forget to submit feedback so that YouTube knows whether you like it or not, and thus make an educated decision about keeping it permanently.