In the weeks since YouTube launched its redesigned site the reactions have been mixed. Some users seem pleased with the simplified look and functionality of the site, while others have been resistant to the change. This is nothing new, as whenever a popular website changes their interface they face a bit of protest from users. However, this time it seems that users have a complaint that is actually valid. The new YouTube has an updated embedding option, which appears to be making it difficult for many bloggers to embed YouTube videos on their sites.
Piers Fawkes of PSFK pointed out in a recent post that as of late PSFK has had trouble embedding YouTube videos on their site. The reason? YouTube recently changed their default sizes for embedded videos. When embedding videos you can choose from a variety of sizes. However, the minimum size for many videos now starts at 560 pixels wide. This width is simply too large to fit into many blog and website templates and, as a result, many bloggers and site owners are facing frustration as a result of the change.
YouTube announced the new default size for embedded videos on their blog at the beginning of March. In their announcement they said, “The default size used to be on the smaller side – smaller than the size displayed on YouTube.com – but as of today, we’re defaulting to a larger size, one that’s the same size of a video on YouTube.com.” Videos that are uploaded with a 4:3 aspect ratio will have a default embed size of 480×385, while 16:9 content will have a default size of 640×385. Smaller sizes of 425×244 for 4:3 clips and 560×340 for 16:9 clips are also available. However, the 16:9 clips are still not small enough for some bloggers to embed.
YouTube understands the importance of the embedding option for bloggers. In the same post in which they announced the new default size for embedding they say, “A video’s life on YouTube is just the beginning; embedding gives it a life off the site. Just look at your favorite blogger and they’re likely to be embedding YouTube content in their posts.” You would think that they would have taken common blog template sizes into account before placing such limits on embedded video size.
If your blog is not wide enough to accommodate a 640×385 clip you are not out of luck. You can go into the embed code and change the dimensions of the clip manually so that it will fit on your site. However, many bloggers are likely to become unhappy with having to do this, as it can become more than a minor annoyance for bloggers that embed a lot of videos. Do you think we can expect YouTube to start offering embed code with smaller dimensions or will bloggers and site owners start turning to other video sites for their embedding needs?