Google has finally killed Vanced app, the most popular YouTube mod app. Vanced updated their website, informing shutdown of the app due to legal notice received from Google.

Vanced website

What are mod apps

All OS have their own app stores, Android has Google Play Store, and iOS has the App store. These are app repositories that are approved and hosted, to be installed on the mobile devices running that Operating System.

But these aren’t the only source of apps. You can sideload them too by directly downloading and installing the packages of the app, called apk in Android. There are loads of unofficial app sites on the internet that provide these apk packages directly, bypassing the app stores.

Mod apps are primarily built for one purpose, to add and enhance features that the original owner/developer of the app didn’t have in his original application. Hence the name mod, short for modified. Vanced is one such mod app built for YouTube.

So why was Vanced killed?

  • Vanced has enabled ad-blocking on its mod app. So you wouldn’t see any ads on video playback or even in the feed. 
  • Vanced also enabled background playback. This meant the video would play in the background, even if you exited the app. It also enabled floating window on the screen, called Picture-In-Picture( PiP), which gives minimized YouTube video playback while allowing you to use other apps on the phone.

And guess what, Both of these features are available only on YouTube premium, the subscription plan of YouTube. Basic YouTube doesn’t come with these. So YouTube is essentially losing ad revenue as well as potential subscribers to its premium plan.

But why now?

Vanced has been available since 2018 and it became quite popular and grew its userbase over the past 2 yrs. Why did Google wait so long?

The simple answer lies in their business model. Google has only two types of consumers – One who uses its services for free but pays with their personal data, and the Other is one who actually pays for its Services. So even though Vanced blocked some revenue, Google was still able to harvest user data to improve YouTube algorithms further. And now YouTube taking its subscription services seriously, it made the move.

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