Judging by this screenshot taken by an IE6 user who was watching some videos on YouTube, it appears the Google company will be phasing out support for the browser shortly. I don’t have Internet Explorer 6 installed on my computer, so I can’t verify this first hand, but illogical it seems not and a simple Twitter search shows multiple people confirming the news. Heck, some are even downright ecstatic over the news.
The online video behemoth is pointing to ‘modern’ browsers like Google Chrome (twice on the same page even, unsurprisingly), Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3.5 as alternatives.
With the impending move, YouTube follows in the footsteps of that other Web 2.0 poster child, Digg, which recently hinted at wanting to cut support for the browser too. Digg’s User Experience Architect Mark Trammell at the time wrote that the site is strongly considering removing essential features like digging and commenting for IE6 users. He explained that while IE6 users make up around 5% of site traffic, it only accounts for 1% of diggs, buries, and comments.
YouTube so far hasn’t officially communicated about the desire to drop support for IE6, but it’s conceivable that like Digg it would rather have its developers spend time optimizing the service for newer, better browsers than wasting man hours on the oft-despised Microsoft browser. We recently reported that Internet Explorer is losing market share to Firefox and Safari at a rapid pace.
(Thanks to Valieriy Slysarenko for the tip)