YouTube has taken a progressive step in a new app update by embracing videos filmed vertically on phones. Widely viewed as a filming faux pas, vertical filming continues to invade our lives as more people seemingly forget which way round the television screen goes.
Vertical filming has increased over the past few years with apps such as Vine and Snapchat actively encouraging it.
Until now videos taken this way round have been displayed on YouTube with two rather irritating black bars on either side, shrinking the image and making viewing difficult. The new feature in version 10.28 comes as a welcome solution to this problem, allowing the user to rotate the video to a full screen mode. The micro-update comes in the interim while a fully re-designed app in keeping with Google’s Material Design and including new in-app creation features is being produced.
No word so far from YouTube as to the extent of their reluctance in making the update, however one can imagine a sombre note of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” resonating through the halls of YouTube’s creative team. All joking aside, it feels like a great move for the smartphone age as they come into line with the evolving needs of consumers. It certainly allows users to have a better viewing experience.
As Smart TVs and Tablets begin to come in line as a primary source for web access, the eye should really have fallen on smartphone developers to limit rotation in filming in order to meet the cross-platform standard. While the update doesn’t solve the problem of vertical video disorder, it certainly makes restitution for it.
In addition to the fix for vertical videos, the update included a feature to allow push notifications for new videos on channels through the app. It’s great to see YouTube keeping in line with developing user focus and it will be exciting to see what progress has been made on the next full update.