After testing it out with selected users over the past eight months, YouTube has now launched its new “Playables” in-app games offering to more users in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, with over 75 basic mobile games now available in the app.

YouTube Playables

Yes, you can now play games in the YouTube app, which YouTube’s hoping will be another way to keep people engaged for longer, while also expanding its offering beyond video clips.

As explained by YouTube:

Playables are a fun, interactive way to experience YouTube, with lightweight, entertaining games like Angry Birds ShowdownWords of WondersCut the RopeTomb of the Mask, and Trivia Crack and so many more that you can play right now.

It could be another way to boost YouTube engagement, and given the popularity of gaming content in the app, it does, at least in theory, make some sense.

Many of the most popular creators in the app have links to the gaming community, while gaming content generated over 4 billion hours of watch time in the app in 2022. As such, given the already-present, and active gaming focus in the app, an expansion into direct gaming could hold strong appeal.

But then again, in-stream games have a mixed history. Netflix’s move into mobile games hasn’t seen big response, with only around 1% of the app’s user base engaging with its game offerings, while Meta’s addition of lightweight games, both on Messenger and Facebook, failed to resonate.

LinkedIn has also recently added in-app games, based on logic puzzles, though we don’t have any data on usage as yet.

The challenge for YouTube specifically is that most people head to the app to watch video content, and expanding user habits will be difficult, though it has also been leaning into more interactive elements, like community posts, as a means to change habitual behaviors.

And you’d have to assume that its initial tests showed some promise, leading to this expansion.

We’ll soon find out, with Playables now being made available to more users in the app.

If you’re part of the experiment, you’ll see a new “Playables” menu in the Explore section, while games may also be shown in your Home feed, in-app search results, or on other parts of the platform.

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