YouTube is testing a picture-in-picture type function for desktop, as reported by 9to5Google. For those who have it, the test will mimic what’s already available on YouTube for Android and iOS, allowing users to minimize and watch a video while continuing to browse.
If this is available on your account, you can play a video and then click anywhere on YouTube to navigate away without having the video disappear. Instead, the video will be minimized as a floating window in the bottom-right corner of your screen and the video / audio will continue to play. Controls will still be available on the floating video, including play / pause, replay, and the ability to watch the next clip. The video’s name will still be displayed underneath, and a small icon in the bottom-right corner allows access to full playlists. 9to5Google says it does not see a way to disable this test function if your account has it; you’ll have to manually close out the video.
It’s unclear if YouTube will be rolling this out across all accounts, if it will be restricted as a feature for YouTube Red accounts, or really, if it will be implemented widely at all. It’s a useful feature already on Android and iOS devices, and with a YouTube music streaming service reportedly on the horizon, it would be a great way to make browsing tunes on the platform a more seamless experience.