YouTube’s web player now auto adjusts for vertical video (but users hate it)

youtube auto adjust vertical video

Vertical video is making quite the comeback in 2018. After Instagram launched its IGTV platform, YouTube’s now accommodating users who upload and watch video in portrait mode.

The company’s web player now adapting to videos’ aspect ratio automatically.

According to a forum post unearthed by Android Police, the company released the update to the web to better mirror the experience on mobile.

“Historically, for non wide-screen videos (not 16:9) like vertical and square videos, we would show black bars alongside the video, making the video really small,” an official community manager’s post reads.

“This update moves away from the need for black bars. We launched this update on mobile awhile back (both Android and iOS) so this change also aligns the desktop and mobile viewing experiences.”

Said black bars are replaced by empty white space, while vertical videos will swallow up more of your monitor’s height.

Sounds good, right? Nope. Not according to users on YouTube’s Help forum.

“This update is cutting off what I can see rather than accommodating for it…” wrote one disgruntled user.

“It’s bloody awful give us the option to turn it off,” penned another.

“You need to either fix this or change it back to the way it was,” continued the trend.

Some are also noting that higher resolutions are being forced into a 640×480 screen, while some are experiencing clipped content.

During our tests on Google Chrome, it wasn’t immediately clear which vertical videos would adjust to a new aspect ratio, and those that did often cut some content. Some videos refused to adjust at all. Others looked decidedly strange surrounded by swathes of empty space.

Videos did not adjust at all when using Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Feature image: Marissa – Community Manager via YouTube Help Forum

Andy Walker, former editor


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