On Wednesday, YouTube officially launched the new interface for their embedded player. We didn’t think it was a big deal to write about it because we had already mentioned the new look a couple of weeks ago when it first peeked out. However, it’s worth mentioning now because it didn’t go over very well with the YouTube crowd at all. In fact, many people were outraged.
The problem that most people had was that by hovering over the video while it was playing, you were shown thumbnails for recommended videos, right from the player. The still thumbnails stuck around for several seconds and then disappeared. One could easily hover over the player accidentally, which made this new change annoying.
On the official YouTube announcement, people left comments like:
- “This idea is really repugnant. The more you muck with it, the worse it gets.”
- “ This options sucks… good bye to You Tube.”
- “ What a bad idea on an other wise great site.”
- “ I bet this seemed like a good idea, but it is so annoying.”
YouTube has now changed it so that the only way you can get the related videos to appear while you’re watching a video is to click “menu.” You’ll also see the thumbnails at the end of a video. Users complained, and they listened.
Clearly YouTube was using this as a way to get users to stay around a little longer, hoping they’d notice a related video that caught their eye and begin watching another. It made it easy for people to just continue watching movies without ever leaving the site that they’re on.
They were also nice enough to give users the option of going back to the old interface. If you’re embedding a video on your site and you prefer the old interface, all you have to do is attach a rel=0 parameter to the video and your problem is solved.
It’s nice to see that YouTube listened to user feedback and quickly responded. Why they thought people would enjoy a pop-up menu in the middle of watching a video is beyond me!