Ahead of this morning’s keynote address at the Google I/O developers conference, the company has rolled out an upgraded video player on YouTube.com, which some people on Twitter are already noticing is significantly larger than before. Of course, in the general spirit of hating change because – ugh, it’s different! – not everyone is happy about the switch.
Why is the youtube player so much bigger now ?? I don’t like it i want my small video again. Youtube don’t do this.
— Ludovic (@Ludolik) June 25, 2014
The only annoying part about the bigger YouTube player is that I have to scroll down to like the video, yes I'm that lazy
— $~jvckk~$ (@Jvckk) June 25, 2014
Asks one Twitter user, “is it just me or did the YouTube player get bigger?” A number of similar, somewhat confused tweets ask the same thing. That’s because the change is not so remarkable that you’re immediately positive there’s been an update, as opposed to a slight tweak to the video page you just hadn’t noticed until now.
But the player is bigger, and it’s one of many design changes ahead for YouTube, we understand.
With the update, the video stretches much further across the screen, putting the content front-and-center, while the community section – the cesspool known as the YouTube comments section (which Google tried to sanitize last year by switching it over to Google+) – is now a bit of further scroll down.
The upgraded player is not just be about making YouTube look “prettier” – we’re hearing that network-wide design changes have been made to YouTube in order to support the long-rumored, forthcoming music subscription service, powered by YouTube.
This subscription offering was most recently in the news because of some issues with how content from indie artists was being handled during the transition, as you may recall. According to various reports, YouTube will soon offer an ad-free service for a fee that exists alongside a free, ad-supported service. This service is designed to compete against music startups like Spotify.
Google confirmed the music service’s existence in a statement this month, saying “we’ll be adding subscription-based features for music on YouTube…and look forward to sharing them with music fans.”