Joins Hulu and… uh… that’s it for Switch video-streaming.
Nearly two years after its release, the Nintendo Switch finally gained access to YouTube on Thursday. The app is free to download on the Nintendo Switch eShop across a variety of regions, including the US. Weighing in at 89.0MB, the app should fit on your SD card, and doesn’t require a Nintendo Switch Online subscription.
The best part of the YouTube app on Switch is that it can be used docked or in handheld mode, which means you can bring YouTube with you anywhere you go (as long as you’re near a WiFi connection). As with any other YouTube app, you can log in with your Google account to access all of your subscriptions and recommendations.
Rumors of YouTube’s impending release began springing up earlier this week when Switch owners reported that they were receiving suggestions for the app appear on the eShop. Here’s the app’s full description:
Kick back and relax with YouTube on your Nintendo Switch system. Enjoy entertainment like music videos and shows, plus gaming livestreams, how-tos and much more. Explore a world of videos with recommendations and easy access to your channel subscriptions. So grab your friends, family, and your Nintendo Switch controller, and enjoy YouTube together.
The Switch is still missing several must-have entertainment apps, including Netflix and Amazon Video, but Hulu did make its way to the game console late last year. Nintendo has hinted in the past that there are plans in place to bring these and other apps to the console in the future, but nothing has been announced.
When I start typing “how to” in the YouTube search box right now, I can see based on the auto-fills that people are coming to the Google-owned streaming video site to find out how to do everything from tying a tie to learning how to draw, how to solve a Rubik’s cube and even tackle some Fortnite business.
That’s interesting, because while you’d think most people are there to binge on cat videos, the content of prominent YouTubers, and who knows what else to pass the time, a new survey shows that people are actually a lot more curious than that.
A Pew Research Center survey of almost 4,600 U.S. adults found, among other things, that 51 percent of YouTube users say they’ve come to the site for the how-to videos. To learn how to do new things, and not just sigh over cute cat videos. “Roughly half of YouTube users say the platform is very important for helping them figure out how to do things they’ve never done before,” the Pew survey reports. “That works out to 35% of all U.S. adults, once both users and non-users of the site are accounted for. And around one-in-five YouTube users (representing 13% of the total adult population) say it is very important for helping them understand events that are happening in the world.”
The flip side to that, of course, is that even though users may want to use that site to help them better understand the world around them, many also say they’re increasingly having negative experiences on the platform. Around 64 percent of users told the Pew team they “sometimes” encounter seemingly false or untrue videos while watching content, and another 60 percent say they sometimes come across videos that depict people in “dangerous or troubling” situations. Perhaps most ominous of all, 61 percent of parents who let their young children watch YouTube content say they’ve come across videos they felt were not appropriate for young people.
The Pew findings are instructive, especially when you think about the midterm elections this week and the digital channels most people turn to when they want to consume news. Most social feeds aren’t what they once were, at least for news consumption, but while YouTube wasn’t developed as a news site per se, more and more users are using it for exactly that.
Pew data shows that the amount of YouTube users who get news from the platform almost doubled between 2013 and 2018 (from 20 percent to 38 percent). “And this new survey,” according to Pew, “finds that around half (53%) of YouTube users say the site is at least somewhat important for helping them understand things that are happening in the world — with 19% saying it is very important to them for this reason.”
Apple’s colorful iPhone XR goes on pre-order tonight and popular YouTubers who have been playing with review units have now released their own hands-on video walkthrough videos.