Google brought native Picture-in-Picture (PiP) support to the mainstream with Android Oreo last year. This was followed by YouTube bringing support for the feature in its Android app earlier this year, albeit only for its paid YouTube Premium and YouTube Red subscribers. However, recent developments suggest that YouTube could now be rolling out PiP support widely to non-paying Android users in the US. Music videos are expected to remain largely unusable considering uploaders can toggle PiP settings for individual videos.
An official Google support page states that YouTube PiP capabilities are available in the US on Android mobile devices running Android 8.0 Oreo or above, as first spotted by XDA Developers. That said, now that the feature is rolling out for US users, it might just be a matter of time before international subscribers also get to try it out - since the restriction for the US-based premium services has been removed. Additionally, PiP mode for videos containing music content is only available for YouTube Premium members.
In order to use the feature, users must ensure that PiP mode is turned on both in the YouTube app's settings as well as the smartphone's Settings. Once done, simply tap the Home button during video playback to activate PiP mode. The report by XDA Developers states that the feature has been spotted on the YouTube Android app by multiple users in the US. It seems to be a server-side update as the users that spotted the feature were on different versions of the app.
Back in March this year, YouTube was reportedly testing Picture-in-Picture (PiP) on its desktop version. However, this mode will allow for internal navigation instead of the system-wide implementation in Android Oreo. On desktop, the feature is said to be accessible on Google Chrome and Safari browsers.