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The excellent YouTube Vanced app has been shut down due to a Google threat
- YouTube Vanced has been discontinued, its developers announced.
- The unofficial app offered background listening, ad-free playback, and more.
- The team has since confirmed that Vanced was shut down due to a legal threat from Google.
Update: March 15, 2022 (3:30 AM ET): YouTube Vanced’s developers have confirmed to The Verge that the app was shut down due to a legal threat from Google. The team confirmed that it was sent a cease-and-desist letter which forced it to stop developing and distributing the app.
“We were asked to remove all references to ‘YouTube,’ change the logo, and remove all links related to YouTube products,” an administrator for the Vanced Discord channel told the outlet.
Original article: March 14, 2022 (2:06 AM ET): There are quite a few unofficial YouTube apps available for Android, but YouTube Vanced is arguably the best one on the market. Unfortunately, the developers of the app have now revealed that it will be discontinued.
The developers posted the announcement on Twitter on Sunday:
Vanced has been discontinued. In the coming days, the download links on the website will be taken down. We know this is not something you wanted to hear but it’s something we need to do. Thank you all for supporting us over the years.
YouTube Vanced’s team added in a follow-up tweet that the current version of the app will continue to work “until they become outdated in two years or so.” We’re guessing that the app will only work fine as long as Google doesn’t make major changes to YouTube or its mobile app.
There’s no immediate word on why the app was discontinued, but it seems likely that the developers received a DMCA takedown or some sort of legal action from Google. After all, YouTube Vanced is a modified version of the standard YouTube app, introducing features like ad-free playback, a dislike counter, sponsor blocking within videos, and background video playback.
Some of these YouTube Vanced features like ad-free playback and background video listening require YouTube Premium in the official app. So it’s easy to see why Google may have taken action.
Will you subscribe to YouTube Premium now that Vanced is gone?
This will still be a major disappointment for many enthusiasts. We ran a poll earlier this month, finding that 60% of over 12,000 respondents subscribed to YouTube Premium. However, 40% of polled readers weren’t subscribers and preferred to use solutions like YouTube Vanced and/or ad-blocking software instead.
For what it’s worth, there are still several unofficial YouTube apps for Android that promise features like background video listening (such as Newpipe). So hopefully this removal spurs more app developments in this space. For now, let’s pour one out for YouTube Vanced.