Google’s Uptime, an experimental app that enables people to watch YouTube videos with friends, is now available to everyone who has access to the US iOS App Store.
Uptime initially launched earlier this year and was created by Google’s internal incubator, Area 120. Google’s Area 120 program encourages Google employees to spend 20% of their time working on projects that are not directly related to their job. Uptime is one of many projects to have been launched through the Area 120 program.
When Uptime initially launched it required an invite code in order to use it, but now anyone is free to download it. Those using the app can connect with their Facebook account to find other friends using the app. Connections can also be made by following others within the app.
People can use Uptime to watch YouTube videos with friends in real-time, or they can be viewed at a later time while still being able to see friends’ reactions to the video. Reactions consist of various emoji that can be tapped on while watching a video, similar to other live video streaming services.
Since the launch of Uptime earlier this year, others have been trying to imitate the idea with apps like Cabana, Let’s Watch It, Fam, and so on. The number of competing apps to enter the marketplace may have spurred the decision to launch Uptime more widely.
Despite Area 120 apps technically falling under the Google umbrella, they are not branded by Google in the App Store nor do they receive much promotion from the company. It will be interesting to see if that changes in light of competing apps gaining traction as of late.
Uptime can be downloaded from the US iOS App Store here.