Like it or not, vertical video is still a thing, and YouTube’s platform has a whole lot of it. While watching videos like this on the desktop, or in other aspect ratios, the video player adds some ugly black bars. Now, though, YouTube’s desktop player is adding a dynamic video player.
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Late last week, YouTube quietly announced on Google’s Product Forums that the desktop version of YouTube’s site now supports a dynamic video player. This means that the player now adapts its size to fit the video, rather than adding black bars for the opposite effect.
In the case of aspect ratios such as 2:1 or 4:3, this change simply eliminates the black bars and adjusts the page to follow suit. It’s a much better experience for that sort of video. For videos shot in a vertical orientation, though, the site now eliminates the black bars and resizes the video based on the amount of screen real estate available.
This same change rolled out to mobile users on Android and iOS over the past few months as well. YouTube explains the change as follows:
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. 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.