YouTube Wins a Small Victory in the War Against Vertical Video
It's fine if she wants to film grass growing, but she's doing it wrong! (via Shutterstock)
Vertical videos are irritating in such a small way that it seems petty to complain about them, but that isn't going to stop me from doing so. The scourge of casually filmed footage, vertical video is what happens when someone shoots something with their smart phone and holds it in the typical vertical fashion. The problem is that it leads to annoyingly small video with black voids on each side, as addressed by this talking squirrel:
Vertical videos are, like the straw that rises out of your soda can or your cereal with too many crumbs, a minor yet very annoying problem that has a very simple solution: when you film something with your phone, turn it horizontally and film it in landscape, as demonstrated by this man getting slapped upside the head:
Donald Glover of Community fame, while performing under his Childish Gambino nom de hip-hop, even paused his performance in order to get a fan to film things the correct way, as recorded by the fan themselves in the video below (caution: swear words):
But, as James Vincent writes in an article on The Verge, "YouTube tweaks Android app to hide vertical video users' shame," a small victory has been won against this seemingly ignorable yet utterly inescapable problem. From now on, if you are watching a vertical video on the YouTube app on Android, if you go to full screen, the app will automatically remove the black bars on either side of the image and make the image truly full screen, as displayed in these images:
Via The Verge, originally from this video.
This is a small victory, one which comes after the capitulation of apps like Periscope and Snapchat, which, as Vincent notes, have embraced vertical video, and are actually encouraging it. But is a victory that comes with risks because, as Vincent notes, this could just encourage bad behavior, as it is a technological solution to a bad human behavior.
It would be easier for people to just stop filming stuff in the wrong way, but like a lot of things people should do but don't, vertical videos and their images only one-third as large as they should be will probably be with us for quite a while. (Vincent also states in his article that the truly easiest solution to the vertical video plague would be to just not care, but I certainly won't be doing that.)
The small change to the YouTube app is available in the latest update, but it remains unknown when the tweak will be released with the iOS version of the app.