As much as people would like it to vanish, it’s clear that vertical video is here to stay. YouTube, the world’s largest platform for user-submitted video, held out on supporting vertical video for the longest time before finally caving in and adding support for it to its mobile apps. It has now added support for vertical video to the web player.


YouTube has updated its web player on the desktop. It now automatically adapts to provide the best viewing experience based on the video’s aspect ratio and the PC’s screen and browser size.

The web player would previously show black bars alongside the video for vertical and square videos which would make it appear really small. The update eliminates the need for black bars. This update was launched for YouTube’s mobile apps a while back, both Android and iOS, and with this change YouTube has aligned the desktop and mobile viewing experiences.

Not only will YouTube enlarge the video appropriately and remove the black bars, it would also do this for 16:9 aspect ratio as well. This will enable the web player to take advantage of the additional blank space to enlarge the picture.

This change many not incentivize users to shoot video in widescreen but at least YouTube may stop them from flocking to platforms where vertical video feels at home, i.e Instagram.

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