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September 23, 2020
YouTube web player adaptive video aspect ratio

YouTube for the Web Now Automatically Adopts different Video Aspect Ratios

A new YouTube web player adaptive video aspect ratio experience is now available, automatically rending different types of shots…

Even in 2018, people continue to shoot and upload video in vertical, as well as other odd formats. Although, the prefered size is a 16:9 aspect ratio, there’s a ton of content which doesn’t conform. So, YouTube finally did something about it back in March of this year for its mobile app. Now, the same experience comes to the web for desktop.

YouTube Web Player Adaptive Video Aspect Ratio Debuts

The YouTube web player no automatically adapts to different aspect ratios. Basically, what this does is sheds the formerly-permanent 16:9 frame around every video on the platform. Doing so makes the uploads appear bigger, with a better adjustment. Here’s a screenshot:

YouTube web player adaptive video aspect ratio screenshot
Credit: Google / YouTube
Left side: old, Right side: new

Additionally, YouTube has deleted the black frame, which appeared around every video. With this change, even 16:9 videos appear larger. Which means the descriptions are now a bit further down on the page.

The new format is most striking when viewing vertical video. Now, it makes the most of the space, no longer constricting it. Here’s how YouTube announced the change on its Product Forums:

“We launched an update to the YouTube video player on desktop – the player now automatically adapts to provide the best viewing experience based on the video’s size (aspect ratio) and your computer’s screen/browser size.”