For the first time since its inception, YouTube has decided to allow users to download content from their site.
One of the first event videos to feature this service, was Barack Obama’s speech when he was sworn in as the 44th President of the U.S.A. Users who visited the Change.Gov channel on YouTube were allowed to play as well as download the proceedings of the day, from a “click to download” link on the bottom left hand corner of the video.
At present, the service only allows downloads from YouTube but not from videos embedded on other sites. This could change in the future though.
By officially allowing downloads from the site, YouTube will be able to further fortify their position in the video-sharing market. This facility will, of course, be free of charge.
In the last few weeks, the subsidiary of Google has gained in importance as Google’s own online video portal Google Video has announced that they will stop accepting new uploads.
Google is also trying to further augment their income through the video-sharing site, and in order to achieve this they have just launched a series of revamped home page ads and will also expand the library of videos available to download. Last month YouTube had also launched a new High Definition section on their site.
The decision to allow downloads of their videos will give a lot of portability to YouTube, or in other words, users will be able to access these videos on all types of screens including computers, televisions and portable media players, even in the absence of an Internet connection.