YouTube’s move to eliminate those black bars has migrated from mobile to desktop — but not everyone is happy with the push for a larger video view. Over the weekend, a Google representative shared an update to the YouTube player on the desktop inside a forum. The move, which first arrived to the platform’s mobile app, aims to increase the size of videos on that traditional YouTube page with the usual tools instead of the full-screen view.
The new look varies based on the video’s original aspect ratio. For a 4:3 video, the black bars are eliminated from the sides of the video and the footage takes up a larger space on the screen, where the usual features like that “up next” playlist and comments remain.
Vertical videos don’t take up the entire space, but the smartphone-friendly format does appear larger and swaps out the black background for a white one. For the 16:9 aspect ratio, there were no black bars to eliminate, but YouTube is removing some white space to make the video larger.
Earlier this spring, a similar update for the YouTube app allowed the video pages to adapt to the screen size, allowing for larger videos, particularly with formats like vertical video. First spotted by Android Police, the update launched quietly, with a Google representative later sharing the details in a forum post.
That forum, however, is also filled with a number of users complaining about the larger videos. Some users say the video quality drops and has to be manually updated for full quality. Others say that they can’t type in a comment without cutting off part of the video, thanks to eliminating that extra white space.
The Google representative, however, said to keep the feedback coming and that suggestions made to the official feedback tool would be prioritized over forum comments. The company hasn’t yet commented on what additional changes might be made to the new larger video design.
YouTube’s goal, however, is to better adapt to the range of different video formats now uploaded online. Besides making even the most popular 16:9 upload larger, the black bars are eliminated in the 4:3 and even vertical video appears larger despite the desktop’s horizontal format. Vertical video is now popular enough to warrant an entire network dedicated to the mobile-friendly format, and the update helps makes YouTube’s desktop viewer a bit better suited for the format. The move comes after YouTube’s move to a cleaner look last year.
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